A haunting and psychologically driven collection from Shirley Jackson that includes her best known story The Lottery At last, Shirley Jackson s The Lottery enters Penguin Classics, sixty five years after it shocked America audiences and elicited the most responses of any piece in New Yorker history In her gothic visions of small town America, Jackson, the author of such masterworks as The Haunting of Hill House and We Have Always Lived in the Castle, turns an ordinary world into a supernatural nightmare This eclectic collection goes beyond her horror writing, revealing the full spectrum of her literary genius In addition to Come Along with Me, Jackson s unfinished novel about the quirky inner life of a lonely widow, it features sixteen short stories and three lectures she delivered during her last years


10 thoughts on “Come Along With Me

  1. Diane S ☔ Diane S ☔ says:

    When the whole family comes down with the gripe it makes for an amusing night of bed switching, blanket and pillow switching along with the many accouterments the various family members take to bed Delightful, amusing and as a parent she must have had a great deal of patience.


  2. Fabian Fabian says:

    This Halloween, read Shirley Jackson The subtlety that works incredibly well in classic horror films works its magnificent power in this realm like it never has before sorry King, sorry Barker sorry del Toro, sorry Lovecraft or since Nobody can reach the pointillistic American Gothic of Shirley Jackson.Death stains all matter of factly and doesn t comfort but unnerve Characters in her short tales fill up empty rooms slowly as if with all of their hopes and dreams Her world is one rip This Halloween, read Shirley Jackson The subtlety that works incredibly well in classic horror films works its magnificent power in this realm like it never has before sorry King, sorry Barker sorry del Toro, sorry Lovecraft or since Nobody can reach the pointillistic American Gothic of Shirley Jackson.Death stains all matter of factly and doesn t comfort but unnerve Characters in her short tales fill up empty rooms slowly as if with all of their hopes and dreams Her world is one ripe with horrid implications gross details and flaws in the suburban design.She is perfect as Hawthorne in this, my favorite of all literary genres his novels and short stories are as perfect as her sketches published and non and lectures Her Louise Please Come Home will knock your socks off


  3. Teresa Teresa says:

    I checked this out from the library to read only the unfinished novel and the few pieces that aren t included in other collections.The unfinished work, Come Along With Me, is about thirty pages long and readslike one of Jackson s short stories than one of her novels It shares the theme of escape, or attempted escape, from domestic life with some of her earlier works but the first person narrator seems to be of a different type, an unabashedly big inways than one middle aged I checked this out from the library to read only the unfinished novel and the few pieces that aren t included in other collections.The unfinished work, Come Along With Me, is about thirty pages long and readslike one of Jackson s short stories than one of her novels It shares the theme of escape, or attempted escape, from domestic life with some of her earlier works but the first person narrator seems to be of a different type, an unabashedly big inways than one middle aged woman Some of the character s thoughts were repetitive, but it s impossible to know if that was intentional or if some of the repetition would ve been lost in a successive draft.Other new to me pieces were the short stories Tootie in Peonage and A Day in the Jungle, which descends into a morass of believable anxiety almost hard to read I also read one of the hilarious nonfiction stories, Pajama Party, included in one of her books about her family, though I didn t remember it and two lectures the first, Experience and Fiction, which seems to be a combination of parts of two other lectures or vice versa I d previously read, and the last, Notes for a Young Writer, composed for one of Jackson s daughters The latter contains solid writing tips, and I think it s the only time I ve heard a writer explicitly say it s okay if what s read out loud might sound unnatural, because you need to remember that you are writing to be read silently.


  4. Brian Brian says:

    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 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 the front gate so it doesn t run off.Now my favorite part of the book are the lectures In particular the one about her short story The Lottery I loved reading the correspondence this one little story generated It shows how far we ve come as a culture since 1948 where today we can write about almost anything and not shock the masses This kind of scares me too to a degree I find people like Glenn Beck and stations like Fox newsdisturbing than stoning a villager once a year.I m gonna finish Neil s book now and another book of short stories I started but have put off then I ll move on to Borges But Shirley Jackson will be sitting by me in spirit


  5. Michael Jandrok Michael Jandrok says:

    Somewhere among the musty, dusty memories of my childhood is the day that my mother gave me access to her bruised but well loved paperback copy of The Haunting of Hill House You have to understand that I was a precocious reader for a youngster, and my mother was not averse to letting me read books or stories that were well beyond my grade level in school, especially if she thought they were genuine pieces of literature that I would benefit from absorbing I was also by this time noodling arou Somewhere among the musty, dusty memories of my childhood is the day that my mother gave me access to her bruised but well loved paperback copy of The Haunting of Hill House You have to understand that I was a precocious reader for a youngster, and my mother was not averse to letting me read books or stories that were well beyond my grade level in school, especially if she thought they were genuine pieces of literature that I would benefit from absorbing I was also by this time noodling around in the works of H.P Lovecraft, Robert E Howard, and a new writer on the horror scene some dude named Stephen King And I also think that my mother must have figured that Hill House was a big literary step up from the comic books that I kept bringing into the house And thus began my lifelong fascination with the works of Shirley Jackson, a fandom that I still pursue to this very day Jackson herself is a bit of a conundrum as a person She was able to write gently humorous slice of life vignettes that centered around her real life family, and yet she shunned most interview requests and lived a life apart from the established literary circuit of the time Born in 1916, she lived to be only 48 years old, a victim of heart disease brought on by her weight and her heavy smoking habit Her husband, the literary critic Stanley Hyman, was a bit on the controlling side, maintaining a tight grip on Jackson s royalties from her writing Hyman was also a serial philanderer, a situation that Jackson was not entirely happy with Despite all of this, Jackson was a prolific novelist and short story writer, authoring six novels, two personal memoirs, and well over 200 works of short fiction and personal journalism She remains an elusive yet highly influential figure within the realm of suspense and horror fiction Shirley Jackson s biggest strength as a writer was her ability to convey a sense of discord within her stories Her characters often populate a world where things are just the SLIGHTEST bit off kilter, an ephemeral zone where odd things happen to seemingly normal people who have managed to sidestep their way into a universe that is vaguely sideways and a bit to the left of ours Her novels and stories surely rank amongst the most cerebral and erudite in all of speculative fiction You know that you are going to get an intelligent and inventive story every time that you crack open one of her excursions into the unusual Come Along With Me was the first collection of Jackson s work to published posthumously First released in 1968, this book includes the beginning of what was to be Jackson s next novel, as well as 16 short stories and three lectures that she gave at colleges or conferences during her later years I have a first edition Popular Library paperback printing in my collection, and that s what I am reviewing here It s a bit of an uneven anthology, but it does give the reader who might otherwise be unfamiliar with Shirley Jackson a reasonable idea of what to expect upon digging deeper into her oeuvre Come Along With Me According to Jackson s husband, Stanley Hyman, this was the last story that Shirley was working on when she died It s littlethan a fragment, though an interesting fragment it is The theme is a familiar one in Jackson s work, that of a woman making a new start by inventing a new persona and moving to a different town But this woman obviously has a bag of secrets that would have made for a scintillating tale had Jackson lived to finish it Janice Jackson s first published short story, a brief piece of short horror about a girl who casually recounts her suicide attempt earlier in the day It s a well crafted little two page bang up that would presage her career as a writer who would work in the dank netherworld of psychological terrors Tootie in Peonage A social satire that hits the mark with bullseye accuracy Tootie Maple is hired by Julia Taylor, the sort of upper middle class housewife who longs for the prestige that comes with hiring the help The problem is that Tootie is a lazy mess who would rather paint her toenails than clean the pots on her shift An even bigger problem is that Julia is afraid of firing Tootie, who was the only applicant for the job in the first place Sly comedy ensues A Cauliflower in Her Hair Teenaged Virginia Garland brings home a friend for dinner, another girl named Millie Millie catches the eye of elder statesman Mr Garland, who pretty much leches over her in full view of the family A kind of creepy story with rapey overtones Proof that you don t need supernatural horrors to creep you out when there are plenty of real life predators running around, often right in front of our noses Possibly a metaphor for the open marriage that Stanley Hyman insisted on, and that Jackson made uneasy agreement with I Know Who I Love The sad story of one Catherine Vincent, a woman who has let life pass her by, and now must care for an ailing mother who never cared much to have a daughter in the first place A rumination on life and missed opportunities The Beautiful Stranger A woman is visited by the ghost of her dead husband, who appears to her as a lovely stranger inhabiting the physical form of her spouse This is Shirley Jackson at her best as a writer of horror fiction The prose is beautiful, the plot is layered, and the ending..watch out for that ending The Summer People An older couple decide to stay in their summer vacation rental beyond Labor Day No one s ever done that before is the constant refrain from the locals, who don t seem too keen on having visitors in the off season Stories like this might get you to look at the fine print on that timeshare contract REAL closely Island The sad reality of an old woman s life means that she must escape her daily torment by imagining herself alone on an island A harsh account of a life near its end, and maybe that final escape won t be so bad after all A Visit for Dylan Thomas Hands down the finest piece of Gothic horror that I have ever read Multifaceted and layered, this story achieves a level of sinister beauty and dark, eldritch dread like nothing I have ever read before Truly a masterpiece You should seek out this book JUST FOR THIS STORY The Rock Paula Ellison, her ailing brother Paul, and his wife Virginia find themselves vacationing on a remote island called The Rock They are joined by Mrs Carter, the landlady, and another guest, the mysterious Mr Johnson This is another one of those stories that really keeps you on your toes, as reality slowly recedes and Mr Johnson s REAL purpose on The Rock becomes clear A Day in The Jungle Yet another of Jackson s tales of a woman seeking a new life and a new identity Elsa Dayton takes off her wedding ring and leaves her husband, heading to the big city in the hopes of starting over But of course, things never go as planned in a Shirley Jackson story I really do think that the idea of leaving a life behind in favor of reinventing the self must have been one that Jackson must have relished Perhaps her marital troubles were at the root of this, perhaps her health I don t really know All I know is that this is a recurring theme in her dramas that surely must have been some kind of a reflection of her subconscious Pajama Party Jackson didn t just write suspense and horror She also wrote a lot of domestic tales that were barely fictionalized accounts of her life among the savages This was her shorthand for the funny and heartwarming stories of life with her husband and children Not to be confused with Erma Bombeck, who mined a similar literary vein with much less style and a much weaker vocabulary Louisa, Please Come Home Yet another story of a runaway girl who moves to a new town to establish a new identity This one is a real case of you can t really go home again Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it The Little House A young woman inherits her dead Aunt s house, and makes lovely plans to make this new abode her own But the neighbors have other ideas The Bus Old Miss Harper steps onto the late night bus to.The Twilight Zone The Outer Limits This is a pretty scary story, maybe the closest that Jackson will ever come to letting the boogeyman out of the closet and letting him wrap his arms around one of her characters Very effective, very creepy Experience and Fiction A lecture in how to take story elements from everyday life and apply them to plot construction Nice information for aspiring writers, revealing information for fans The Night We All Had Grippe Grippe is an old medical term for influenza This is another of Jackson s domestic romps that details a night spent changing beds and losing pillows, as every member of the household must deal with snuffly noses and high fevers Biography of a Story A lecture piece where Jackson describes in great detail the public reaction to her short story, The Lottery, first published in The New Yorker I m not sure which is scarier, the story itself or the letters that Jackson received in the wake of the initial publication Proof positive that the American public has ALWAYS had a bit of trouble separating reality from fantasy Fake news, indeed The Lottery Jackson s most famous story, a sort of tongue in cheek play on a theme that The Wicker Man would later flesh out in greater detail I can see why folks were disturbed by this one Worse yet, The New Yorker didn t label this as fiction when it first came out So people assumed..and you KNOW what happens when you assume Notes For A Young Writer More how to from Jackson, as she tackles the best ways to keep your audience interested once you have them hooked She doesn t have to convince me.At the end of the day, Come Along With Me is a solid introduction to Shirley Jackson for people who might not otherwise be familiar with her work Most of the stories in this collection had never been anthologized before, and the lecture pieces are interesting and a bit revealing Jackson s big strengths are her liquid prose and her ability to put the reader into a state of believing the unbelievable She was a truly unique writer and her legacy certainly wasn t tarnished by this posthumous release FINIS


  6. Robin Bonne Robin Bonne says:

    Included in this collection is the story, Louisa, Please Come Home, which is one of my all time favorite short stories.


  7. El El says:

    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 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 reading The Haunting of Hill House I had read several short stories by her, and reading Come Along With Me reminded me just how powerful her stories can be Her small town stories are possibly the best I ve ever read and I could not help but think of Flannery O Connor while reading them She was a master of all sorts of stories, from the ghoulish to the creepy to the real In with the essays is Biography of a Story which is her explanation of her experience writing and the aftermath of her most vivid short story, The Lottery.Jackson s strength, so far in what I have read, has been in short stories as opposed to novels While Come Along With Me was unfinished, it read like a short story and was able to retain that short story mystique that so many of her other stories possess I was reminded while reading this collection thatThe Haunting of Hill Housedid not feel perfect enough for me, and I think this may be difference Short stories, when done correctly, can pack apowerful punch, and Jackson managed to always punch with her stories Until I read another complete novel, I ll reserve further judgment


  8. Jeanette Jeanette says:

    These stories are mixed Some of them, like the grippe one, are funny Family funny.But others are so close to a psychosis perception that they are chilling When meant to be just descriptive event or period or place scenarios Or not One day on a bus, or conversations with the boardinghouse lady etc Remembering a day with a friend Husband or nanny known nostalgia And most of those are bordering on not just supernatural or medium seer skills but clearly dwell too in hallucination experienc These stories are mixed Some of them, like the grippe one, are funny Family funny.But others are so close to a psychosis perception that they are chilling When meant to be just descriptive event or period or place scenarios Or not One day on a bus, or conversations with the boardinghouse lady etc Remembering a day with a friend Husband or nanny known nostalgia And most of those are bordering on not just supernatural or medium seer skills but clearly dwell too in hallucination experience territory.She could write a scary tale I wonder if all were meant to be


  9. Mir Mir says:

    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.


  10. Eli Easton Eli Easton says:

    I m doing a lifetime book challenge where you read one book from each year since you were born I chose this book for 1968 because I wanted to include a Shirley Jackson and the rest of her books were published before I was born This collection was released posthumously As for her previously work, I can highly recommend The Haunting of Hill House , We Have Always Lived in the Castle , and The Lottery and Other Stories.This volume is a mishmash collection including some lectures essays, a pa I m doing a lifetime book challenge where you read one book from each year since you were born I chose this book for 1968 because I wanted to include a Shirley Jackson and the rest of her books were published before I was born This collection was released posthumously As for her previously work, I can highly recommend The Haunting of Hill House , We Have Always Lived in the Castle , and The Lottery and Other Stories.This volume is a mishmash collection including some lectures essays, a partially finished novel, and various short stories.Come Along With Me This is part of a novel that Ms Jackson was working on when she died at the way too young age of 48 It s about 4 chapters or so It s interesting and I was just really getting into it when it abruptly ended In the story, a woman has moved to a strange town after her husband died, and her internal voice is a little crazy It s unclear why she decided to move and change her name, but she claims to be a psychic and holds one seance just before the book ends I would love to know where the author intended to go with this story, if the woman really saw ghosts or just thought she did As it is, it s a bit frustrating My favorite stories The Beautiful Stranger 5 starsIt seems to me I read this long ago Wonderful example of Shirley Jackson s understated suburban horror squirmyness A woman is sure her husband is a stranger when he comes home from a trip The Summer People 5 starsProbably the most outright horror story in the book The story ends before the worst happens, but it s the slow built up that is so creepy Fantastic Louisa, Please Come Home 4 starsA young woman deliberately vanishes from her family and home, moving away under a new identity and building a new life We never learn why she felt compelled to do this there was no abuse or reason, it was simply a compulsion perhaps There s not a big scary ending, it sa subtle tale on identity and the slippery nature thereof The Bus 4 stars This is the last short story in the volume and echoes the lost from home theme in many of the others An older woman is trying to get home on a bus and falls asleep The driver wakes her and puts her out at her stop , but after the bus leaves she realizes she s in the middle of nowhere She is picked up by a truck and taken to an old house which is a converted road house, but it reminds her of the home she grew up in The story is creepy throughout and the ending was a littleconcrete than others At least I thought I understood what was going on Biography of a Story The Lottery 5 starsThe Biography of a Story is an essay by Jackson on the reception The Lottery received, including excerpts from many letters she got from the reading public In short, everyone hated the story and some were outraged and angry and others tried to figure out the story s meaning As a writer myself, I found this fascinating to read The Lottery is included, and since it s been years since I read it, I enjoyed experiencing it again Definitely hard core creepy and quite relevant today Deservedly considered a masterpiece.Other Stories Janice Super short, basically dialog Not much meat 2 stars.Tootie in Peonage This is a very odd story that seemed to be about racism Or it was racist It s about a lazy servant and the family that can t get rid of her 1 star.A Cauliflower in Her Hair Also very short a young girl has a friend over for dinner and her dad likes her a little too much Vaguely creepy 3 stars.I Know Who I Love 2 stars I wasn t sure what to make of this Sort of an odd and sad little character study.Island 3 stars Another sad slice of life character study about an old lady and her companion Nothing much happens but it s got a nice melancholia I liked the imagery of what was going on in the old lady s head.A Visit 3 stars A young girl is spending the summer with a school friend in a huge and fantastic old house Or is she There s lots of reflections and repeated images of the house and an old aunt in a tower I confess, I m not sure the meaning of this Is the girl dead I would have likedhints.The Rock 3 stars Another bleak and lonely setting, this time a rocky island with a mysterious old man Is he a ghost Is he death Oncethe story is creepy and unsettling, but I wasn t sure what it meant precisely.A Day in the Jungle 3 stars This is another story of a woman who runs away from her home and husband and attempts to take on a new identity in a nearby town We never understand why she left her husband, though she seems a little unhinged initially and becomes very much so at the end By the time she meets up with her husband, she s relieved because she s become so afraid of everything and he s a safe harbor So many of Jackson s heroine are just not quite right in the head that a vague dreamy way Pajama Party 2 stars This isn t horror and readslike one of Ms Jackson s cute family stories A family is having a slumber party for their daughter s birthday Sort of amusing, I suppose, but not my thing.This Little House 3 stars A young woman inherits her aunt s house after her death and meets some rather insidious neighbors This was enjoyable but very short and uneventful.Overall So many of these stories are about women escaping their suburban domestic prisons only to realize that running away to a new life doesn t save them There s a consistent theme of the rubbery nature of identity, with one fake spouse and other escapees changing their name and trying to vanish In one case, when an escapee tries to go back to her original reality, she is no longer recognized and everyone thinks she s an imposter I m not sure why this theme of escape and identity seemed to haunt Ms Jackson to the extent that she wrote it over and over again I know she was married to a literary critic and professor and had four children Did part of her long for escape from her role as housewife I can completely understand that, if so There s also a subtle edge of insanity in many of her characters When we re in their heads, their narration is just left of center, which instills that creepy vibe Many of these characters reminded me of Nell in The Haunting of Hill House , who was definitely whacked The other thing I noticed was that all over her stories have a creepy overtone but few have any kind of real end in the end Often there is very little action either,of a slice of life and internal dialog I suppose this is inherent in the short story form, to some extent, since the stories are too short to have much of a plot Most of the stories are left off vaguely so that you wonder if you understood the story at all, or if it was an allegory or what In many cases this isn t satisfying to me I tend to be aliteral reader and I want something to happen. That may be why I prefer her novels, and, in the case of this collection, I liked best the stories that had at least some plot movement Having said that, I find that not showing the horror play out works brilliantly in The Lottery and The Summer People In those stories, it s clear at the end what s about to happen, and there s some plot movement, but you don t see the gory details I think leaving the monster to the imagination is highly effective Onenote In the included essay Notes for a Young Writer , Jackson writes Do not try to puzzle your reader unnecessarily a puzzled reader is an antagonistic reader This made me smile because I found a number of the stories in this volume puzzling and not very clear, and that seems to be their charm.Overall rating 4 stars