Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery is a short story that stretches just a dozen pages, but those twelve pages have helped to define what horror writing should be ever since. First published in the New Yorker in 1948 to unprecedented public reaction, the Lottery has become a classic.
A seemingly innocent town square gathering, a tradition that happens each and every year in each and every town across the country. Herd mentality, mob rule, crowd psychology – call it what you will, but blindly following a tradition with no pause for thought, with no pause for the consequences is what it is. What happens if we don’t conduct the lottery? – the thought never enters their minds.
Jackson’s writing is bone chilling, it has an underlying tension that slowly but surely creeps up on you without any clear indication of why. She is an exceptionally talented writer and produced a clear, crisp American classic.
This is a must read, in a collection of short stories or by itself, for everyone that regards themselves a well read – irrelevant of whether you like short stories or you don’t do horror – the Lottery is one you should make an exception for.