The Lottery and Other Stories

Another book with the word “sullen” for those keeping count of the back-to-back similarities. A dark collection of twisty tales from the 1940s, the formula is almost too plain, it’s obvious that each will end with a thud, a whimper, a shiver. The writing is decent enough, and the ideas behind the stories are good. Drunk party guest meets daughter of the house doing her homework in the kitchen. Woman tidying up her room after a night with her husband-to-be is stood up by him for the actual wedding so she goes in search. Man lives alone but is fastidious about his home, invites neighbor over for dinner who then pretends that his apartment is her own when a friend from work arrives — he slinks off to sleep in her dirty hovel down the hallway. Woman goes to buy furniture from a couple leaving town and pretends to be them when they aren’t there, is caught in a dancing pose by someone else coming to look at the furniture. Etc. etc. etc.