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Life Among the Savages Paperback – May 5, 2015

4.3 out of 5 stars 321 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

About the Author

Shirley Jackson (1919–1965), a celebrated writer of horror, wrote many stories as well as six novels and two works of nonfiction.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Penguin Books; Reissue edition (May 5, 2015)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 240 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0143128043
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0143128045
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 6.4 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 0.7 x 7.7 x 5.1 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.3 out of 5 stars 321 ratings

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Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5
321 global ratings
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Top reviews from the United States

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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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