Come Along With Me; Part of a Novel, Sixteen Stories, and Three Lectures
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Come Along With Me; Part of a Novel, Sixteen Stories, and Three Lectures

4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  554 ratings  ·  63 reviews
Hardcover, 243 pages
Published September 28th 1968 by Viking Pr (first published 1968)
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Brian
If I had to pick a favorite short story from this book I'd say all of them. All of the short stories wedged their creepy little fingers way back into my head and seem to have gotten a pretty good hold back there. Like I said in my update... Ms Jackson has this things about houses that just makes me fear these structures now. She makes me believe that houses are alive, breathing, and sometimes sinister things. I look for changes in my house. I listen to what it says. When I leave my house I lock...more
El
Apr 12, 2008 El rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Rhonda, Belinda
Thinking this was an actual novel, I was surprised when I started to find it was actually a compilation of an unfinished novel (only a taste of what had been completed before Shirley Jackson's death), 16 stories, and three essays. The title unfinished novel is heartbreaking in the sense that the first three chapters are wonderful, and it would have been nice had she been able to go as far with the novel as she had wanted. The short stories are classic Jackson - I had forgotten that prior to read...more
Judi
A short story collection published posthumously by Shirley Jackson's husband. The title story, Come Along With Me, is apparently the initial few chapters of a novel left uncompleted. The concept of the story captivated me. It is by far the strongest element of the collection. A middleaged, devoted, farm wife is suddenly widowed. She opts to sell/cash out absolutely everything she owns and sets off with no destination in mind, no plans. She even abandons her name. Everything from there on is dec...more
Steve Duffy
Not many authors can give me the unfailing sentence-by-sentence pleasure I get from the writing of Shirley Jackson. My only hesitation in reading this unfinished fragment of a novel was that I knew I'd be caught up in her genius, only to be dumped back into the world after a mere thirty pages or so, but those pages were more than worth it. This book also contains a smart, representative selection of Ms Jackson's short fiction and a handful of her excellent essays. Buy it without hesitation, and...more
Miriam
When Jackson writes about hauntings or murders you can pretend that you are reading about the unusual. You don't have that luxury with these short stories. Here the quotidian cruelties, the pettiness, the dishonesty and selfishness of ordinary people are not softened by the distracting gloss of insanity and horror.
Lee Anne
This posthumous collection starts with the title story, which is the beginning of the novel Jackson was working on when she died. If there is a heaven, and I get to go there, and Shirley Jackson is there, one of the first things I will do is find her and have her tell me what happens next. Breathtakingly brilliant.

Following that, there are fourteen previously uncollected stories, all great. The best way I can describe them to the uninitiated is to have you imagine the world of "Mad Men," all tho...more
Anne Sanow
Rather a hodgepodge of a collection, what with the unfinished novel (the title story), a handful of other stories (some previously published, some not), and three lectures. The lecture "Biography of a Story" is backstory on Jackson's most famous tale, "The Lottery"--the public uproar and crazy letters demanding an explanation are fascinating, and give pause to the notion that Americans were better read 50 years ago. Some story standouts: Jackson's
trademark small-town paranoia is on display in "...more
Donita
I really do enjoy the way Ms. Jackson writes. She can take the most ordinary event and make it interesting just by her descriptions. Unfortunately, I don't always understand her stories, but they certainly give me something to think about. My favorite part of this book is the last section entitled, "Three lectures, with Two Stories". In this section, Ms. Jackson gives great advice to any aspiring writer and makes the story associated with the lecture even more interesting to read.
Frances Sawaya
A thoroughly enjoyable book! This collection ranges from Jackson's first published story to the novel she was working on at the time of her death. Interesting to see that her final protagonist is quite a departure from the usual cast of skinny outsiders; would have liked to read much more about Angela Motorman!

I appreciate the recent release of Jackson's works, especially this volume which contained several lectures as well as reprints of letters written to her or The New Yorker after publicatio...more
noelle
i dont think i am adequately equipped to describe the perfection that is shirley jackson but man, i feel like she knows me

how can someone be so adept at writing about the subtle insidiousness of every day life

i just

i'm

going to reanimate her, bye
Heather
Oh how I wish Shirley Jackson could write from the afterlife...
Myles
Though everything I've read about Shirley Jackson says the contrary, I can't help but think that she was very unhappy. Or perhaps she was only sympathetic, all of her central characters (her family stories aside), all of her focus, seems to be inside the heads of uncertain women unhappy with their lot.
They are always compelling, whether it is "Mrs. Angela Motorman," the protagonist of Jackson's unfinished novel, or Miss Harper, who has an unfortunate trip on the bus. Shirley Jackson in a quick...more
jennifer
This is a collection of short stories chosen by Jackson's husband after her death. Included are very early stories, some first published by small magazines.The title story is the unfinished novel Jackson was working on at the time of her death, and what a shame that it's only three chapters long, because it's wonderful. A recently widowed woman describes how she has sold off her home and its furnishing and fled to the big city. She has left even her name behind and sets out to create a new life...more
Sus
This is a fascinating book. I've read most of Shirley Jackson's short stories at this point, I think -- anyway, those in the collections called _Just An Ordinary Day_ and _The Lottery_, as well as this one -- and I have to say that, although those collected in _The Lottery_ are presumably the most famous, I found stories in the other two collections that struck me more deeply and will stay with me longer than the perhaps more "polished" work in _The Lottery_.

Standout stories for me in this colle...more
Becky
This book contains the first thirty pages of the novel Shirley Jackson was working on when she died, a collection of short stories (some nonfiction), and three lectures on writing. It is a great sampling of her work and her ability to successfully switch gears from spooky to clever to funny.

The standout stories for me were “Come Along with Me” (the unfinished novel about a widow who leaves home to invent a new life for herself), “The Summer People” (a New York couple decides to stay past summer...more
Tyler Gross
I read The Lottery in school, like most people who take literature in the US. That story has always stuck out in my mind, so I checked out this collection. I was not disappoint. Some stories rivaled The Lottery creepiness and tension Jackson so subtly constructs. Others surprised me, and were much more heartfelt. Jackson never loses her scathing insights into the human psyche. Very nice, diverse collection. A Southern Gothic icon.
TinHouseBooks
Lauren Perez (Tin House Marketing Intern): It’s fall, so it’s time to read Shirley Jackson again. It’s always time to read Shirley Jackson—from the sentence level up, she’s a fantastic writer—but there’s something especially bittersweet about her comic, creepy unfinished novel Come Along With Me, about a widow and medium who spins free after her painter-husband’s death and remakes herself in an unnamed city. It’s funny enough to make you snort with laughter on the bus and the ending (or lack the...more
Craig
To center a collection around posthumous work is always dodgy territory, as its either going to really excite or really alienate fans of that particular author. Here, the lead piece is not really a strong lead. "Come Along With Me" is more of an unfinished character study than anything else, but it is only the beginnings of a novel-in-progress left incomplete upon Jackson's death. While it has some seance goodness in it, it is just simply too short to get a real handle on where the story would h...more
Vanessa
The unfinished novel is compelling and the two lectures on writing are invaluable. I particularly liked the pieces on her family; "A Night in the Jungle," about her second child's first sleepover party, made me laugh out loud.
Jennifer
I had read The Lottery, The Haunting of Hill House, Life Among the Savages and Raising Demons over 30 yrs ago and decided to give this a try. She is a marvelously talented author.
------
Just finished and LOVED many of the stories. I highly recommend this to anyone who loves a truly scary and haunting story. There were a couple of stories I had remembered from years ago,such as The Lottery and The Night We All Had Grippe(part of Life Among The Savages)but The Summer People was the most chilling of...more
Sarah
I love Shirley Jackson's horror. But her realism? ..

Reading these stories and essays felt a little like watching the director commentary on Edward Scissorhands. It's a favorite of mine, so I'd been looking forward to it. I had anticipated fascinating insights into narrative structure, film technology, Edward's psyche, and the subtle art of evoking an honest performance. What I got was Tim Burton whining about the suburbs for an hour and 45 minutes.

This was, more or less, the same thing.

But her t...more
Aric Cushing
Fantastic short stories by Jackson. All of them are not thriller/horror short stories, and one of the most memorable is a short story about her kids. You will be hooked with the story 'Tootie in Peonage', which I still recall, and laugh at the memory. After reading all of Jackson's work, even non-Jackson fans will find this book worth the read.
Rachel
Sep 26, 2012 Rachel rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: short story fans
This collection of stories starts of a little disorienting with an unfinished story, satisfying until it just trails off. The 14 or so stories included in this collection didn't wow me like other stories of Jackson's have but most of them are fairly solid. I really liked the 3 lectures written by Jackson at the end of this book and that 2 out of 3 of the lectures correspond to stories that reflect the advice she gives in those lectures. I also felt that the advice in the last lecture would come...more
Angela
Shirley Jackson wrote this (her last book) as her psychologist was working intensely on her agoraphobia. It reads like a woman coming out of a funk and for Jackson, that really works! It's a really wonderful book of stories, including the one that first aroused her husband to stalk and date her. The entire book is excellent, but it always strikes me as incredibly unpleasant that her widowed husband put this collection together with his NEW wife and then dedicated it to HER! Shirley surely turned...more
Janine
Even though I'd read 'The Lottery' in middle school, once you read an entire book of Shirley Jackson's shorts and lectures, you begin to see the world differently. Those things that go bump? They carry more of a wallop now. However the lecture that I appreciated most? 'Notes for a Young Writer', which prove as pertinent now as when Ms. Jackson offered the lecture to her daughter.
Laura  Yan
I liked these short stories far better than The Haunting of Hill House. They do, each in a few tightly controlled pages, a perfect job of capturing dread and foreboding, psychological terror at its best without resorting to a single gratuitous horror trope. I also really appreciated the essays on writing included in my version of the book: Jackson's craft is impeccable, and it's wonderful to read her explanation of some of the elements that make these stories so damned good.
Venessa
Many of the stories in this collection are found elsewhere, but it's a gem because it contains Jackson's last work, a short story meant to be a novel - however, I got a little sad reading it, knowing I would never know how it ended in her brilliant mind. Also valuable for writers are two essays in this volume with very sage and wonderful advice on writing. I also highly enjoyed reading about the startling reactions people had after reading "The Lottery" for the first time.
Beth
Shirley Jackson is sadly underrated. Her brand of psychological terror is made scarier by its juxtaposition with extremely realistic settings (similar to Patricia Highsmith's style). I've read this before, but wanted to track down The Summer People again. Although this compilation is uneven, that story, The Rock, and A Day in the Jungle are excellent, and Notes for a Young Writer contains the best writing advice I've ever read.
Debra
Shirley Jackson may be the most under-read, under-rated author I've come across lately. One of my goals for 2013 is to promote her by selling her books to every one who asks me for a recommendation, so be forewarned. This woman can do it all, short story, novel, memoir and do it brilliantly. For those of you who read "The Lottery" in school and hated it, please give Jackson another chance. Or for that matter, please give "The Lottery" another chance.
Eric Muhr
Collection includes Jackson's unfinished novel, a letter to her daughter on how to write good fiction, and some of her very best short stories. Most telling inclusion, however, is an essay in which Jackson presents three different kinds of letters (mostly excerpts) she received in response to the original publication of "The Lottery" in The New Yorker. It soon becomes clear that even America's best and brightest aren't very good readers.
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13388
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...more
More about Shirley Jackson...
The Lottery and Other Stories The Haunting of Hill House The Lottery (Tale Blazers: American Literature) We Have Always Lived in the Castle Life Among the Savages

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“In the country of the story the writer is king.” 12 likes
“I have always been interested in witchcraft and superstition, but have never had much traffic with ghosts, so I began asking people everywhere what they thought about such things, and I began to find out that there was one common factor - most people have never seen a ghost, and never want or expect to, but almost everyone will admit that sometimes they have a sneaking feeling that they just possibly could meet a ghost if they weren't careful - if they were to turn a corner too suddenly, perhaps, or open their eyes too soon when they wake up at night, or go into a dark room without hesitating first.” 8 likes
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