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I remember reading this story a long time ago, and it was one of the most creepy things I've ever read! But definitely thought-provoking.


Just went over and read the story. Bit of a shocker that one, but brilliant. Thanks for the link.

And I picked up two Maigret books at the library this morning! :-)


Wow. Nice to be reminded of this, I read it so long ago. And I didn't know Shirley Jackson was the author! Hm. I'll have to go reread.


My husband and I both read this story as required reading in our respective schools. He hates it. I think it creepy but didn't mind reading it.


Katherine--I had no idea that it upset so many people when it was first published. It is pretty freaky really. I'm looking forward to reading more of her work.
Cath--Glad you read it--can't you just picture it being made into a spooky movie? And you'll have to let me know what you think of Maigret! I'm contemplating squeezing in another after I finish the Barbara Vine book I'm reading. It's nice that they're so slim--quick reads.
Kelsey--I read it so long ago I had forgotten the twist. She sounds like she was an interesting woman. I read some of her quotes and wouldn't mind knowing more about her. Will give more of her fiction a try first, though.
Linda--It is weird, isn't it. I'm glad I found the quote on what she meant by it. It is certainly a story that would start a good discussion. I read one of her novels a long time ago as well and have of course completely forgotten it. I'd like to read more of her work and compare!

Tricia Dower

The Lottery is a fantastic story for the very reasons you mention. It holds a mirror up to our lives and the inhumane practices we can come to so easily accept.


How intriguing! And most interesting of all is that negative response to the story's publication. I think it's fascinating how much we rely on stories to deliver us to safety at the conclusion, and how cheated we feel if they don't.


Jackson is a brilliant writer and this is a brilliant story, one of my favorites. The nonchalant way everyone buys into it and they way they all accept it without questions (except the "lucky" person) is so sinister and creepy. It really does point out how cruel human can be and how easy it is to turn a blind eye to another's suffering when that is what is expected.


(Hi, this is my first comment here.)

I haven't read this story, but I've seen the film, which was also quite creepy.

I did buy another of her books recently: mere hours after reading a review of We Have Always Lived in the Castle (at, sorry, I don't know how to do html here) I stumbled across it in a bookshop (I had gone in to look for another book), and I just had to buy it. Still summoning up the courage to read it though!


Argh, the comma at the end should NOT be included in the URL! Trying again:


I too enjoyed The Lottery.


I remember the first time I read this story; I was in the eighth grade and I was reading ahead in our assigned text book. It's perfect for a teenage, in my opinion; full of creepy horror and that sense of "oh-no-they-didn't."


Oh, I love this story. I'll never forget reading it for the first time. I've recently read the book We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Jackson, which was equally good.


Definitely one of the best short stories I've ever read. I've always thought it a perfect "gateway story" for those who profess not to like short stories.


Tricia--She presented it in such a deadpan sort of way--no wonder it upset people when they first read it.
Litlove--People do like their happy endings don't they? I guess some people at the time actually believed this must have been going on in small town America--amazing!
Stefanie--Everyone was so calm about the lottery in the story, it was hard to think as I was reading it that it would end in such a sinister way--I knew something bad was likely to happen, but I didn't expect that. And as long as it was happening to someone else the victim was fine with going along with it--until it turned out to be her! It's a great story!
Lethe--Hi--thanks for stopping by and commenting! And thanks for the link, I'll check it out. I read We Have Always Lived in the Castle, but it has been so long ago that it has faded from memory. I plan on reading more of her work later this year. I wonder if I can still get my hands on the movie--I'll look for it in Netflix.
Jessica--I've really been enjoying the stories I've been reading. The Lottery is one of my favorites so far.
Hayden--This would definitely be a great story to get class discussion going.
Lisa--I plan on revisiting her work a bit more. She sounds like she was an interesting woman!
Jessica--I think you're right. She catches your interest right off the bat. There are some classic stories that everyone should read and this certainly seems like one of them!

Susan Ramey Cleveland

I remember the first time I read it. I was in literary shock for several hours. I could shake the horrible feeling that the story gave me. This is definitely one of the best short stories ever written.

Susan Ramey Cleveland

BTW, if you have read The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson, you should. Best haunted house book ever.


This is the only thing I've read by Shirley Jackson, and my is it powerful! You've described so well the horror in the normalcy of the situation. So very creepy. Jackson had quite an imagination and I need to read more of her work.


Susan--She certainly is good at unnerving her reader. I think this is one of my favorites I've read all year. And I have both the Haunting of Hill House and We Have Always Lived in the Castle. I hope to read at least one of them later this year.
Tara--I always wonder about people who can write stories that are so unsettling, too. They must have wonderful imaginations. Imagine her own parents were upset by what she wrote.


LOVE THIS STORY! Mostly for the fact that it's controversial, and any time I've taught, it's caused quite a stir. Any story that can stoke discussion is a winner in my book!

Simon T

Thanks for the link - I love love love Jackon's novel We Have Always Lived in the Castle, and also liked (but not to the same extent) The Haunting of Hill House - both scary, but gothicky scary rather than horror scary.


Shirley Jackson's story is quite tragic...she actually wrote most of her stuff while losing her mind. The Haunting of Hill House is the scariest thing I've ever read. I own all of her works. The Lottery is usually required reading in most middle schools...great example of irony and the unexpected.


It's an interesting story, all right, in a very creepy sort of way...I didn't understand what had happened to Tessie Hutchinson. I had to do a lot of research on it to figure out what was going on (which is how I got here). For a while I thought that this was based on a real tradition, which freaked me out more than anything....


I had to read the story and watch the movie for an essay fr school. I thought it was interesting and cruel. Overall, it was very good and i would read it again. I liked the movie better than the book.

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