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Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery": The Authorized Graphic Adaptation
Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery": The Authorized Graphic Adaptation
Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery": The Authorized Graphic Adaptation
Ebook157 pages19 minutes

Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery": The Authorized Graphic Adaptation

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

3.5/5

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About this ebook

Winner of the 2017 Solliès Comics Festival's Best Adult Graphic Novel

The classic short story--now in full color

Shirley Jackson’s short story “The Lottery” continues to thrill and unsettle readers nearly seven decades after it was first published. By turns puzzling and harrowing, “The Lottery” raises troubling questions about conformity, tradition, and the ritualized violence that may haunt even the most bucolic, peaceful village.

This graphic adaptation by Jackson’s grandson Miles Hyman allows readers to experience “The Lottery” as never before, or to discover it anew. He has crafted an eerie vision of the hamlet where the tale unfolds and the unforgettable ritual its inhabitants set into motion. Hyman’s full-color, meticulously detailed panels create a noirish atmosphere that adds a new dimension of dread to the original story.

Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery”: The Authorized Graphic Adaptation stands as a tribute to Jackson, and reenvisions her iconic story as a striking visual narrative.

LanguageEnglish
Release dateOct 25, 2016
ISBN9781466896437
Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery": The Authorized Graphic Adaptation
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Author

Miles Hyman

Miles Hyman is an artist who specializes in graphic novels and adaptations of classic literature. His work has been shown in galleries around the world and has appeared in publications such as The New Yorker, The New York Times, and GQ. He is the grandson of Shirley Jackson. He lives in Paris.

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Reviews for Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery"

Rating: 3.6785714285714284 out of 5 stars
3.5/5

112 ratings8 reviews

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  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    This is an impressive short story. The artist captured the climate in the small town.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    When I was getting this book ready so many students got excited, "Is that the story we read in class?" I told them it was indeed the same. I don't expect to see it much for the rest of the year.

    The art is very evocative of the setting and time frame. The prose is spare but still tells the story. I was left with as many questions this time as I was when I read it as a teen. Why? How could they? Why?

    For librarians--there is female nudity when a woman takes a bath to prepare for the lottery.
    An interesting note in the book tells a story of the artist's grandmother, who was Shirley Jackson.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    One of the greatest stories ever written, the adaptation looks beautiful and rawboned but drags a bit and the famous ending loses its potency. A fine effort.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    This was a nice version of the story. It is still crazy how this story ends. It shows how some things have to grow and change. Just a great story. It really makes you think.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    Hyman introduces two prominent changes with his adaptation of Jackson's iconic short story: ● Scene 1 - Two officials preparing the ballots before dawn ● Scene 2 - Tessie alone in the house before Lottery begins(There is another scene in a diner which also may be new, transposing into dialogue some of Jackson's descriptive prose. I do not examine that scene in detail.) Hyman's adaptation does not include Jackson's complete text, though without tracking word-for-word, my impression is that most if not all included text is verbatim. Most text here is dialogue, with occasional comic-style captions; most excluded text appears to be description, which Hyman replaced with images. The illustrations remind me of William Joyce's affected 1930s graphic design, similarly stylised though in Hyman's case not art deco. (If there's a term for this style of illustration, I don't know it.) The illustrations are I think well suited to the story, a frisson between nostalgic sentiment and the brutality of the crowd which works in tandem with the plot.Arguably one could read Hyman's adaptation without his additions. Indeed, Hyman inserts both scenes before Jackson's opening lines and then proceeds faithfully through the rest of the story. It is a simple matter to skip his additions, commencing instead with the helpful caption containing Jackson's famous first lines ("The morning of June 27th was clear and sunny, with the fresh warmth of a full-summer day; the flowers were blossoming profusely and the grass was richly green."). So why add these scenes, then -- what does their inclusion contribute to the story? One possible answer is they assist in the visual telling of the story -- both new sections are practically wordless. This explanation appears especially relevant to the first new scene, with the careful preparation of a ballot box, suggesting an important vote of some kind will occur, and these images replace multiple phrases in Jackson's story which more or less impart the same information. Another possible explanation is Hyman has added new information, as though providing backstory of his own invention or restoring passages Jackson may have excised.Scene 2 is different from Scene 1. Scene 2 depicts Tessie alone in her house and is completely new and not alluded to in Jackson's story. The scene is somewhat in tension with Tessie's later sheepish admission to a neighbour that she forgot the date, not because they contradict this chain of events but because --when viewed after finishing the story-- her actions seem contemplative and even a kind of preparation for leave-taking. Admittedly, at the end of Scene 2, Tessie appears to become aware of her surroundings, as though recalling what day it is, just as she confesses later. The tension may be wholly supplied by the reader, then. As a visual substitute for these lines, however, the scene both fails and is superfluous. Superfluous because Hyman includes the text verbatim later on; and a failure because Tessie's seeming realisation at the end of the Scene is visually subtle, discernible only at the suggestion of her own statement. Without that confession, there is nothing definitive visually except that she finishes bathing. What then, does the Scene do? Effectively it prolongs the text, slowing down the reader and the moment, and postponing the climax. Jackson slows the reader's progress with a languid, almost tranquil description of people gathering, but even when depicted individually (Hyman devotes several pages of multiple panels to these scenes), the eyes still propel the plot along, especially as there is very little text to read. Hyman's additional scenes restore the languid pace, and the resulting delayed gratification not only is congruous with Jackson's original text, it is for me a crucial element of pacing for both the final reveal, and the sense of the story overall.I note here that Hyman's adaptation is authorized by Jackson's estate, and that he is Jackson's grandson, a fact he readily discloses in his preface. My reading already lead me to conclude Hyman does not add new information in the sense of backstory or cutting-room floor edits. Though the Jackson estate imprimatur is of course not the same as Jackson's personal approval, it goes some way in corroborating my own conclusion.
  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
    3/5
    Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery" has always been one of my favorite short stories. It's very thought-provoking and brings the question to mind: Why do we do this? Why are these traditions important to us when we don't even remember where it originated from?

    I'd hoped the graphic novel would be as visually striking as the story is thought provoking. I was a bit disappointed. While the artwork is great, it didn't really bring anything else to the story. While I am not a fan of gore and violence, the ending could have had more. What these people are doing is a horrible act, and this point wasn't made as well as it could have been.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    To begin, this is a classic, and five star short story!The graphic novel is cool, and beautifully drawn, but not all that necessary. It is cool that the man who adapted this is Shirley Jackson's grandson though! My one complaint is that from pages 23-26, there is nudity. Now personally, I'm not one to complain. But I do think of "The Lottery" as a story young people read, and I'm not sure those pages are appropriate. And even more to the point, they don't seem necessary for the story at all. Sort of just in there to be in there.But it's one of the best short stories I've ever read, and if this gets more people to read it, woo hoo! Little rocks for little hands... (p. 127)
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    This is a stunning interpretation of the classic short story, drawn by Shirley Jackson's grandson. His drawings, especially of faces, are strong and so very authentically, stoically New England - even those of the children, as they set out to gather their stones to cast. If you've never read the story, please do so first, and then grab this version. Miles Hyman's choices of which of his grandmother's words to include can be debated, but the pictures are worth a thousand. Hits really hard.

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Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery" - Miles Hyman

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