Top positive review
If tamed, LOL potential so strong it could power the whole town ~
Reviewed in the United States on October 18, 2017
Here's a very funny novel about a mommy, a daddy, a powerhouse-full of children and assorted pets, who give up Manhattan's crowded post-World War II real estate market for the dubious comforts of life in snowy Vermont. The author is Shirley Jackson, usually associated with macabre stories and novels like "The Lottery" and THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE. LIFE AMONG THE SAVAGES is presented as fiction, but many of the incidents in this book seem to have been lifted out of real life in rural Vermont, with her four kids and husband, critic Stanley Edgar Hyman. There's a good chance that when the narrator says things like "I was in bed with a mystery" she meant one she was writing, not reading. And the all-female college hubby teaches at just happens to be Bennington.
But with Shirley Jackson at the wheel, there's usually a shiv or a shiver underneath the domestic goings-on. One housekeeper frosts her cookies with "Repent, Sinner"; another borrows a few bucks and flees town with her felon boyfriend. Another story has the kids all excited about their next visit to "Pudge" over the hill, where the children live beneath the water of the pond and an afternoon visit might take years . . . Sadly, due to multiple addictions to liquor, smoking, pills and even chocolate (obesity), not to mention likely overwork, the real Shirley Jackson did not live to see fifty. How fortunate we are to have not only her scary work but this supremely funny book and its sequel, RAISING DEMONS.