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Sunday, January 12, 2014

"Shirly Jackson, Novels and Short Stories" - Shirley Jackson

"Shirley Jackson, Novels and Short Stories" - Shirley Jackson
 
 
For Christmas this year, my Mom did something pretty cool. Since she has three grown daughters, a son-in-law, a grandson, and a boyfriend-in-law, there are a lot of gifts going around the tree. To simplify things, my mom asked the adults to fill out four questions: Something you want, something you need, something to wear, and something to read. After seeing a movie called "Haunting of Hill House", I wanted to read the book it was based off of. So, you can guess, that was my something to read. :) My Mom, being the cool Mom that she is, stepped it up. She got me a collection of Shirley Jackson's novels and stories. I had never heard of any of the other stories, but she said that she'd read one other and it was good.
 
So, to begin, Shirley Jackson was a pretty unknown author to me. When I told my Mom I wanted to read "The Haunting on Hill House" I didn't even know who the author was.... pathetic right?! So let's give an introduction to who Shirley Jackson is before we get to the novels I've been reading. Shirley Jackson is a post war author who wrote novels between the years of approximately 1940 and 1960's. I'm not quite sure what you would call her genera, but there is certainly horror in it, but it's more about the mind being confused and freaked out than the blood and guts of the authors today. I would say it's more psychological than anything. Honestly, that's about all I know, but I'd be interested in learning more.
 
On to the novels! So far I've read parts one and two of "The Lottery", which contains five parts. "The Lottery" consists of short stories that leave you wondering what just happened, and freaks you out a bit. There has been a short story that involves an unexpected apartment switch, a white small-time town afraid of mixing with African-American people until a city single mother comes and throws their world upside down, and two little boys that are creepy but you cannot quite figure out why. The stories in the Lottery start out simple and understandable. The situations are similar to something we'd encounter. While you're reading there are subtle change and before you know it you're left wondering what just happened and why you're freaked out at the end.
 
There are still three other novels in the book that I've yet to read, and a collection of short stories. There are even some sketches in the book that I haven't discovered yet, but I am interested in seeing them. I would say that overall this book is a good read. If you're into suspense books and movies, like Alfred Hitchcock, then this would be a good read for you. The parts of "The Lottery" are small enough that you could read them before bed, like I am, but I will admit they are keeping me awake. My brain is trying to sort out the stories and make sense of the odd emotion I get. I would say go rent it from your library, you'll be happy you did. :)