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Of course, the Lottery is a classic. I am glad I got this chance to listen to these other short stories. I will remember some of the characters for quite some time. One negative - there is no break or pause between the short stories. The narrator goes directly into the next story and you are left wanting some time to reflect and absorb the previous short story before you are slammed into the next one.
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Listening to this dated recording of these classic-yet-aging stories, one can barely imagine the furor that the original publication of the title short story endured. Readers of The New Yorker canceled subscriptions over it, and threatening hate mail arrived for months. The story was banned overseas.
Now, the reader of these short stories plows through them witlessly. Her voice reminds me a bit of Cherry Jones, but her clear delivery is competent without finesse. The editing of these tapes-to-aa file is tragic, as the final, chilling line of "The Lottery" plows right in to the title of the next story without so much as a breath in between, and this happens at the end of every subsequent story as well. Without a hard copy of the book, it's extremely difficult to know when one story ends and the next begins.
On a sadly comical note, several times in the file a male voice breaks in and announce "Side Three" or whatever the next flip side of the tapes (or LPs?) would be. The recording is clean for such a badly edited copy. Anyone who isn't a connoisseur of 1940-60s short stories is bound to be very bored by these delicate tales, and without an appreciation of Jackson's larger works is apt to be confused as to how they were published in the first place. I happen to have loved her books since the 1960s, and knowing a great deal of her tragic personal life fleshes out these frail tales into a bold, heartbreaking bas relief.
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