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Review: 'Let Me Tell You' by Shirley Jackson

Review: 'Let Me Tell You' by Shirley Jackson

As a child, I was fascinated with my mother's old paperback copy of "The Lottery and Other Stories" by Shirley Jackson. When I asked my mother about the book, which still bore her high-school notes in neat cursive in the margins, she remembered only that it was scary. "Especially that story," she said with a shudder. Dutifully, I flipped to that story, in which the inhabitants of a New England town gather to engage in what turns out to be a primitive sacrificial rite. I held my breath as I read, awaiting the shock of gory description for which I skimmed Stephen King novels, but found only a rhythmic, unsettling ordinariness punctuated by a single moment of...

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