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A Good Place To Start

The Lottery And Other Stories 1

A Bad Place To Start

We Have Always Lived In The Castle 1


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Categorization is odious. There is tremendous overlap among genres. These pigeonholes are offered only as a convenience.

Shirley Jackson

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Please consider recommending where to begin reading this author, or where not to. A few words about your experiences reading this author and why you make the recommendations you do will be helpful to other users. If you are the author or have studied this author extensively, please say so.

Bybee November 12th, 2006 03:46 AM PST

What makes Shirley Jackson such an intriguing writer was her duality. She was a master at penning horror classics like The Haunting of Hill House, and her famous short story, The Lottery, and just as much genius burned in her comical family stories collected in two books: Life Among The Savages and Raising Demons. It's difficult to recommend one or the other, so if you like fun, light reading, start with Life Among The Savages and if you want a bit of a chill, try The Haunting Of Hill House or We Have Always Lived In The Castle. A not-so-good place to start with Shirley Jackson is with The Sundial. The novel is a little dull and forced --unusual for Jackson-- and every character is unpleasant in one way or another.

tinaw157 January 8th, 2007 08:31 PM PST

It was high school that I read The Lottery and we had a very vocal discussion on right and wrong. From that time on I loved the story. It has a meaning and effects people on every level and it doesn't take long to find the devil's advocates in a group dicussion. The Haunting of Hill House is my next favorite. I didn't read much of her other stories, they just didn't interest me as much as these two did.

The woman was mental and her history strange. A good read in itself. You can understand the strangeness of her other books.

pageminder February 11th, 2010 10:35 AM PST

I started with We Have Always Lived in the Castle. Don't start there! It feels very dated (in 2010) and the end is visible from miles away. At the same time, it is literate and written with feeling, so worth a read once you've acquired an interest in Jackson.


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