Reviews of Lottery, the (1948)
The Lottery was an interesting short story. The way Shirley Jackson delayed informing the reader what the Lottery exactly was added a degree of suspense. Throughout the short story there were little oddities that had me questioning what was going on, like the pile of stones in the beginning that the children made, and that peculiar black box.
The last paragraph absolutely blind-sided me; never would I have imagined that the winners of a lottery would get stoned. Whether or not this act was to the death was untold, but nonetheless it was still an atrocious deed. The fact that this culture or “ritual” was only seen as another aspect of life was a bit scary and portrayed a frightening society lacking a great deal of moral.
Review by cthulhu99 (2007-03-14)
This is a great short story. It is to the upmost, a true horror tale. The difference between this one and most other contemporary horror stories is that it does not involve monsters or ghosts or demons. It simply reflects how truly horrifying human nature can be. The fact that the story is told with such subtle tones the payoff in the end hits like a ton of lead. This is one of my favorites.
Review by islander255 (2007-03-05)
Wonderful short story! It starts off like any normal story, about a town that is gathering for its annual lottery. But Shirley Jackson builds suspense with her beautifully lucid style of writing, and by the end the story has reached its fever pitch of intrigue and anxiety. Then comes the shattering conclusion, one of the most shocking in all the history of short stories. O. Henry could have hardly been more surprising, and Edgar Allen Poe could have hardly been more macabre. This is not a short story to miss!