Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Lottery: and Other Short Stories by Shirley Jackson

This was an interesting book of short stories by Shirley Jackson. You might have read The Lottery in high school English (I remember having to study that story). If you haven't read it- spoiler alret- stop reading. It is the story of this village that holds a lottery. The twist is the "winner" of the lottery gets stoned to death by the other villagers. It is really disturbing.

This book reminded me of other weird "classics" like The Bell Jar and Catcher in the Rye. The little stories are like car just can't look away and after it is over you are kind of like what the heck?

One story tells about a little boy who starts kindergarten and everyday when his parents ask him about school, he tells them stories about a terribly misbehaved boy in his class named "Charles". When the mother goes to the Parent-Teacher conference she asks about Charles. Turns out there is no "Charles" in the class.

Another story tells about about a woman who befriends a new neighbor that moves in the cottage down the street. She suddenly stops being friends with her when she hires a black man to tend her garden.

Then there is a story about a boy on a train who is told an awful story by a man about how the man killed his wife.

I think there are 24 stories in all in the book and they are each a few pages long, so they were good to read a couple before bed each night.

They were all somewhat disturbing, but in a good way? if that's possible? The kind of stories that stick with you and make you think.

I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars.


Jen the Beachbum said...

Hmm... I did not read this in High School, but maybe I'll pick it up. I love Catcher in the Rye, that is my favorite book! Have you read How to breath underwater by Julie Orringer? I can't remember if I saw it on your shelf or someone else's. That is a good book of short stories too.

amy kelinda said...

Wow, those little summaries you posted sound disturbing! I don't know if I could read this, haha, because I'm kind of a wimp when it comes to scary stories/movies. I mean, a child making up stories about someone who doesn't exist? It sounds like a scarier version of an imaginary friend!

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