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The Lottery

af Shirley Jackson

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1,1434017,150 (3.98)1 / 23
The people of a village perform their annual lottery, with startling consequences for the recipient of the one paper with the black spot.
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As someone who wasn't particularly fond of The Haunting of Hill House, I had my reservations about reading more "horror" by the same author. In this case, however, Shirley Jackson didn't disappoint.

The Lottery was a short read, and unlike most horror takes place in broad daylight surrounded by supposedly friendly faces (or at least, faces who were friendly a few minutes ago). I strongly admire anyone that can take such circumstances and make them not just unsettling, but horrifying. It's not at all easy to do, and yet the second a stone is placed in the eager hands of the soon-to-be-victim's young son, that's exactly what I felt. It's one thing to view such a morbid "lottery" with such a solemn atmosphere as The Hunger Games... it's another entirely when everyone involved in the execution takes up the job so readily. Stories like these remind us how the familiar can sometimes be the most menacing enemy of all. ( )
  Spyder227 | Feb 5, 2024 |

Easily the most recognizable, widely read work of folk horror in literature, Jackson’s story (published in 1948) begins in the folksy tone of any other quick pastoral sketch, with a group of recognizable characters getting ready for their annual town ritual involving an old box, a three-legged stool, and a random drawing of slips of paper. But the beauty of the tale lies in what isn’t explained, and all the unanswered questions that are continually raised by the whole affair, soon revealed to be quite sordid indeed. The Lottery's display of violence and inhumanity shocks us because the prose is so outwardly pleasant. The characters seem innocent and to be upstanding citizens. What makes this so terrifying is that they give into an ancient ritual of sacrifice and murder due to mimetic desire. Shirley's story suggests that the desires of the collective whole (however irrational those desires may be) trump those of the individual.

A terrifying exercise in group think and a classic example of a perfect short story. ( )
  ryantlaferney87 | Dec 8, 2023 |
Well, it was fine. I’d love more worldbuilding, but hey. I love you anyway, Shirley Jackson. ( )
  CozmicDotCom | Nov 22, 2023 |
Slow build to a rather horrifying end. ( )
  beentsy | Aug 12, 2023 |
I love horror and Shirley Jackson is the queen. I had read this years ago, and it still scares me now. Current books and movies, like the Hunger Games, has used the plot that Shirley developed so well. This is one of the greats. ( )
  tami317 | Jul 21, 2023 |
Viser 1-5 af 36 (næste | vis alle)
The story earned rave reviews from editors and critics though readers weren’t as pleased. Quickly becoming the most controversial story ever published by The New Yorker, readers not only canceled subscriptions but sent hate mail to the author via the magazine.
 

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Forfatter navnRolleHvilken slags forfatterVærk?Status
Shirley Jacksonprimær forfatteralle udgaverberegnet
Brooks, WalterOmslagsdesignermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Morley, ChristopherEfterskriftmedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet

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The people of a village perform their annual lottery, with startling consequences for the recipient of the one paper with the black spot.

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