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The Magic of Shirley Jackson
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The Magic of Shirley Jackson

4.31  ·  Rating Details ·  176 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
This collection is a generous selection of Shirley Jackson's work, consisting of three complete books:
The Bird's Nest,
Life Among the Savages,
Raising Demons,
and eleven short stories--including the world-famous "The Lottery."
ebook, 753 pages
Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (first published June 1966)
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(showing 1-30)
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Beth
Apr 09, 2012 Beth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1940s1950s
I can never get enough Shirley Jackson (this was a re-read), and was happy to come across this validation today: "According to the post-feminist critic Elaine Showalter, Jackson's work is the single most important mid-20th century body of literary output yet to be critically revalorized in the present day." Agreed! I'm still waiting for someone to write the definitive Shirley Jackson biography--Blake Bailey, are you listening?
Laura
Jan 24, 2017 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this. I've never read any Shirley Jackson, other than the obligatory English lit. reading of The Lottery. Witty, sometimes dark, a good collection. And I may have identified more than I'm comfortable with the mom in Raising Demons.
Valerie
Jun 21, 2015 Valerie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I really wanted to like this. I blame the collection's lack of coherency, and the fact I was reading on a Kindle, for detracting from my enjoyment.

Her short stories are awesome, especially the creepy ones which begin the collection.

Now, as the longer stories in this collection demonstrate, she is a skillful writer, and quite funny to boot. But I flat-out did not like "Bird's Nest" - an incredibly repetitive, slow, heavily cliched tale of multiple personalities - or "Life Among the Savages," a me
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Melinda
I've read more than half of this omnibus edition. I especially love _Life Among the Savages_ and _Raising Demons_, both about her family life with three children and husband, moving from NYC to a small town in Vermont, about school and friends and housekeeping--lots and lots of housekeeping. These two do not have the sting of some of her other writings. I found the concerns and laughter in her writing echoes many of my feelings as I'm parenting and being a spouse and homemaker. One example is of ...more
Deborah
Dec 07, 2015 Deborah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was actually 3 books: The Bird's Nest, Life Among the Savages & Raising Demons. There were also 11 short stories including the infamous Lottery. The Bird's Nest was a strange tale of a young woman with multiple personalities. Jackson merely hints at why this happened, so a thinking cap is advised. The other 2 books are based on her life in Vermont raising her children in the 40's & 50's.
These 2 books are very funny. A different side to Jackson. The stories were all disturbing in one
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Carla Remy
Nov 29, 2010 Carla Remy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 20th-century-lit
The stories were great - of course I'd read "The Lottery" but most of them were unfamiliar and fascinating. And I rather loved "The Birds Nest," a cool if dated (1954) novel about multiple personality disorder. But I did lose interest during "Life Among the Savages" - that and "Raising Demons" are autobiographical novels about domestic life and raising children, from the 50s. Not bad but I'm not sure they hold up. Maybe I'll check them out again someday. Still, it sucks that she died so young (4 ...more
Simone
Jun 06, 2013 Simone rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I checked out this book from the library, intending to read only a couple of books from it. I ended up reading the entire anthology. I love Shirley Jackson! This was a woman whom I would have loved to have over for coffee.

Some of my favorite short stories: (They seem to fall into two camps: social commentary on parenting and human nature, or indicative of unhappiness [perhaps bordering on near madness].)
"Pillar of Salt"
"The Renegade"
"Flower Garden"
"Come Dance with Me in Ireland"
"Of Course" (one
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Shirley
Nov 17, 2014 Shirley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This may have been the best 50 cents I've ever spent on a book (I got this omnibus at the local library book sale). Shirley Jackson is underappreciated. She will not be confused with any other writer. From start to finish, this compilation reveals her fascinating mind, from a range of short stories (including the most famous, "The Lottery") to The Bird's Nest (about a woman with multiple personalities) to her two memoirs about her family, Life Among the Savages and Raising Demons. I loved it all ...more
Andra
Jan 24, 2013 Andra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: monika sanders, michelle donaldson, brian bowes
Great vintage find! Collection of three books and 11 short stories!!! written by Shirley Jackson (author of I Have Always Lived in a Castle). The Bird's Nest, Life Among the Savages, Raising Demons, and The Lottery.
Written in the mid 1960's; The Lottery was a big sensation and social commentary of the era.
K T
Jul 03, 2015 K T rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I borrowed this from our public library. it is a collection of her writings i chose to read her memoir of family life in a small New England village, "Life Among the Savages"; I found it to be funny but not compelling
Beth
May 24, 2009 Beth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. I have finally finished two of the novels and both are wonderful. I intend to look for Life among the Savages and Raising Demons in a used book store, as I want them both for my shelf. I would look for this book, but chances are, I won't find it. Certainly worth reading.
Misti
Jun 11, 2012 Misti rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. All of the stories captured my interest but I think the biographical books, Life Among the Savages and Raising Demons, were my favorite.
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Shirley Jackson was an influential American author. A popular writer in her time, her work has received increasing attention from literary critics in recent years. She has influenced such writers as Stephen King, Nigel Kneale, and Richard Matheson.

She is best known for her dystopian short story, "The Lottery" (1948), which suggests there is a deeply unsettling underside to bucolic, smalltown Ameri
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