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Life Among the Savages by [Shirley Jackson]
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Life Among the Savages Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 367 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Read today, [Shirley Jackson’s] pieces feel surprisingly modern—mainly because Jackson refuses to sentimentalize or idealize motherhood…. [Jackson’s] household stories take advantage of the same techniques she developed as a fiction writer: the gradual buildup of carefully chosen detail, the ironic understatement, the repetition of key phrases and the unerring instinct for just where to begin and end a story.”
-Ruth Franklin, New York Times Book Review

"Charming…you’ll see every parenting stance you’ve ever adopted, every parent-story trope you’ve ever told or heard, expressed more perfectly than you ever could have…Reading Shirley Jackson, one of the great memoirists of family life, makes sharp those feelings once more—while reminding us that, yes, thank god and curse time, we too will one day look back on them across a gulf of years.”
-Dan Kois, Slate
 
"Many who profess an admiration for Shirley Jackson, often described as a 'writer's writer' do not usually include her thinly veiled memoirs of motherhood. But it is precisely these hilariously eviscerating, keenly observed, and genersou books that I and many other writers who happen to be mothers, adore.
-Ayelet Waldman
 
"As warm as it is hilarious and believable...Never has the state of domestic chaos been so perfectly illuminated."
New York Times Book Review

"When it comes to just sheer honest, wry, frustrated, finding-ways-to-appreciate-it writing about family life, we all sit at Shirley Jackson’s feet"
-New York Times Motherlode

"Very funny… Life Among the Savages and Raising Demons are each a good place to begin for those who have never read any Shirley Jackson.”
-The New Republic
 
"Jackson artfully loves and portrays her children. She writes of their fast growth into formidable personalities with dismayed narration and lovely direct quotes, all charmingly subjective. Her view of their sayings and doings is certainly sophisticated but far from cynical or objective."
Saturday Review
 
"A housewife-mother’s frustrations are transformed by a deft twist of the wrist into, not a grim account of disintegration and madness, still less the poisoning of her family, but light-hearted comedy."
–Joyce Carol Oates
 
"Jackson isn’t all eerie uncertainties and lonely housewives. Those who know her work only from 'The Lottery' or Hill House may be surprised to discover that she could also be very funny...Jackson’s two lighthearted memoirs, are filled with droll observations and amusing mishaps."
–William Brennan, Slate

Amazon.com Review

Can this be the author of such chilling tales as The Lottery and The Haunting of Hill House? An ordinary housewife stuck in a big, shabby house with three marvelous, demanding children and a charming husband who takes detached interest in the chaos they generate? Yes, it's Shirley Jackson all right: the precision of her observations and prose is familiar, even if her humor is something of a surprise. Not until Anne Lamott's Operating Instructions in 1993 would another woman write with such honesty about the maddening multitude of trivial, essential chores that constitute a mother's life. But Jackson nailed it first, 40 years earlier, in her hilarious chronicle of life in a small Vermont town, where getting the kids to school on time requires the combined gifts of a drill sergeant and a lady's maid. The saga of her son's bumpy adjustment to kindergarten, frequently anthologized as Charles, is justly famous, but Jackson's account of the Department Store Trip from Hell (two kids, two toy guns, one doll carriage and doll, mayhem in revolving doors and escalators) is even funnier. Although her memoirs are as merciless as her ghost stories, you may not notice because you're laughing so hard. --Wendy Smith --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B00O2BS5UU
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Penguin Books; Reissue edition (May 5, 2015)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ May 5, 2015
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 2748 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 242 pages
  • Lending ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.3 out of 5 stars 367 ratings

About the author

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Shirley Jackson was born in San Francisco in 1916. She first received wide critical acclaim for her short story "The Lottery," which was published in 1948. Her novels--which include The Sundial, The Bird's Nest, Hangsaman, The Road through the Wall, We Have Always Lived in the Castle and The Haunting of Hill House--are characterized by her use of realistic settings for tales that often involve elements of horror and the occult. Raising Demons and Life Among the Savages are her two works of nonfiction. Come Along With Me is a collection of stories, lectures, and part of the novel she was working on when she died in 1965. All are currently in print (Penguin). Two posthumous volumes of her short fiction are Just An Ordinary Day (Bantam) and Let Me Tell You (Random House). A graphic novel adaptation of "The Lottery" by Miles Hyman, her grandson, was published in 2016 (Farrar-Straus-Giroux). Also in 2016: Dark Tales by Shirley Jackson (Penguin Classics) and an authorized biography by Ruth Franklin: Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life (Norton).

Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5
367 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on October 18, 2017
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Reviewed in the United States on December 12, 2015
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Top reviews from other countries

S Riaz
5.0 out of 5 stars Life Among the Savages
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 7, 2020
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3 people found this helpful
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Amazon customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book 📚
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 6, 2020
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book 📚
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 6, 2020
Awesome book. I have always loved horror short stories by Shirley Jackson. The atmosphere she crafts masterfully is both mundane and dark. The evil of the every day life and places. “Life among the savages” is her autobiography that is part fictional to increase the comic effect. “I stood terrified before my own children,” is a quote I’m going to remember.
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Paul
1.0 out of 5 stars Charity shop pile
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 30, 2019
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hannah
3.0 out of 5 stars The book making you anxious and yet nothing happens
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 15, 2020
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M Pritchard
5.0 out of 5 stars Understanding of Mother's
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 19, 2019
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