Quick Thoughts: “The Lottery and Other Stories”

“The Lottery and Other Stories” by Shirley Jackson

Genre: Adult Fiction

GoodreadsSource: Library

Summary from Goodreads:

The Lottery, one of the most terrifying stories written in this century, created a sensation when it was first published in The New Yorker. “Power and haunting,” and “nights of unrest” were typical reader responses. This collection, the only one to appear during Shirley Jackson’s lifetime, unites “The Lottery:” with twenty-four equally unusual stories. Together they demonstrate Jack son’s remarkable range–from the hilarious to the truly horrible–and power as a storyteller.


  • Short stories compilations are always difficult to review. When you have many stories, you have many opinions.
  • The Lottery by far was the best story in the book. I hadn’t read it but I knew of it. Even though I knew what would happen, it didn’t take away from the horror of the story.
  • Overall, I was pretty underwhelmed by the collection. They weren’t bad stories but most weren’t very interesting stories.
  • The twists weren’t very shocking or surprising to me.
  • I do think her stories would be good picks for English and Literature classes. The stories could make for some interesting discussions. I think that’s why many teachers pick her.

The bottom line? I should have just read The Lottery and returned the book. I’m not giving up on Jackson though. I would like to try one of her novels at some point.

3 thoughts on “Quick Thoughts: “The Lottery and Other Stories”

  1. I think we had a similar experience because I found The Lottery the best story too. Luckily I read it first and when it became obvious that the other stories wouldn’t hold up, I didn’t bother finishing the rest of the collection. Have you read any of her other books?

  2. Pingback: Shirley Jackson Week: A recap - Reading the End

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