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The Road Through the Wall The Compelling Novel That Began Shirley Jackson S Legendary CareerPepper Street Is A Really Nice, Safe California Neighborhood The Houses Are Tidy And The Lawns Are Neatly Mowed Of Course, The Country Club Is Close By, And Lots Of Pleasant Folks Live There The Only Problem Is They Knocked Down The Wall At The End Of The Street To Make Way For A Road To A New Housing Development Now, That S Not Good It S Just Not Good At All Satirically Exploring What Happens When A Smug Suburban Neighborhood Is Breached By Awful, Unavoidable Truths,The Road Through The Wall Is The Tale That Launched Shirley Jackson S Heralded Career.For Than Seventy Years, Penguin Has Been The Leading Publisher Of Classic Literature In The English Speaking World With Than 1,700 Titles, Penguin Classics Represents A Global Bookshelf Of The Best Works Throughout History And Across Genres And Disciplines Readers Trust The Series To Provide Authoritative Texts Enhanced By Introductions And Notes By Distinguished Scholars And Contemporary Authors, As Well As Up To Date Translations By Award Winning Translators.


10 thoughts on “The Road Through the Wall

  1. says:

    Foreword, by Ruth Franklin The Road Through the Wall


  2. says:

    Having read some of Shirley Jackson s most famous novels, as well as her recent biography, I thought I would like to read all her work, from the beginning This is her first novel, written in 1947 and published in 1948, the same year as, The Lottery Jackson was to say, that the first book an author publishes is the book written to get back at their parents, and, certainly, there are hints that some of this novel comes from her childhood experiences The scene is a suburban childhood, in the fictional Californian town of Cabrillo Jackson hints at her dissatisfaction with her own childhood experiences the constraints of being well brought up, the veneer of respectability ,and the ugly emotions that she scented beneath that outward, public behaviour For those who have delighted in, The Haunting of Hill House, or We Have Always Lived in the Castle, this may seem a little tamer, but there is much in this, first book, which suggests both Jackson s brilliance as a writer her sharp, satirical eye and glimpses of the work that is yet to come.It is the start of the summer holidays in Pepper Street, and the inhabitants of the houses have long days ahead of them The neighbourhood ch...


  3. says:

    I m currently slowly working my way through all of Shirley Jackson s books many for the umpteenth time it was a pleasure to revisit this, her very first novel, originally published in 1948 Road tells the story of the residents of Pepper Street in a genteel suburb of San Francisco in the summer of 1936 That these people are by and large a distinctly unpleasant bunch of alternately backbiting, bigoted, snobbish, or mean spirited folks is what seems gives a lot of readers pause but one of Jackson s principle aims with her fiction was to rip away the veneer of polite society and expose the darker instincts that lie just below the surface There s also the fact that Road features a rather large cast for such a short book just under 200 pages Despite the hard edges of the characters populating Pepper Street Mrs Merriam and a young girl named Virginia are a...


  4. says:

    First let me comment on this particular publication, which was riddled with editing errors, at one point referring to one of the characters, Miss Fielding, as Miss Flemming Further, the description on the back of the book doesn t fit the story Very bizarre All that said, though slightly different from Jackson s later novels, which easily fall into the horror genre, The Road Through the Wall still delivers in Jackson style.Most notably is Jackson s insight into middle class America suburbia She s an expert at exploring the good bad duality of our psyche, and at times this reads like a reality TV show The Families of Pepper Street except well crafted with depth and intentional satire.She also delivers a chilling ending, the most tragic element, not what happens, but how the various characters react This really is...


  5. says:

    3.5 stars, rounded downI love Shirley Jackson a lot, but this book didn t really grab me I think it s because there were too many characters and I didn t really get what was going on half of the time There were some great scenes and her characteristic weirdness and the great description of female companionship, but it left something to be desired I think I will...


  6. says:

    This is a series of everyday vignettes about the horrible, horrible, normal people that fill the microcosm of Pepper Street Horrible children, horrible spinsters, horrible wives and husbands The horribleness of the community builds with each page, so the entire time, I...


  7. says:

    As far as I can tell, this was Shirley Jackson s first novel It has a few flaws but you can recognize her She already had her fingers on the pulse of the dark underside in American suburban life The Lottery, the short story which made her career, was published in The New Yorker in the same year as this novel.Over a period of one summer, a group of families, all of which live on the same block, interact in the way of small neighborhoods Each family is introduced with a bit about their backgrounds, their children if they have any, and a description of their house This part was hard to keep straight I ended up making a map of the block with the names of the characters next to the houses It becomes clear that most of these families are in flux Each one is either on the way up or down in the case of a couple elderly women living alone, on the way out.The children drive the events but with much interference from their hovering parents For a reader like myself, who grew up in just such a neighborhood during the mid 1950s, reading this short novel was excruciating and eye opening We might as well have ha...


  8. says:

    Having sat with it awhile, I think this might actually be one of my favourites the writing is smooth and dark, and Jackson, masterful as always at her character studies, gives us a whole road of them, sketching each character with apparent ease Everyone was awful, in a completely believable way, and even while the ending was brutal and mostly unexpected, Jackson s calm continuat...


  9. says:

    The Road Through the Wall is Queen of Creepy Shirley Jackson s first novel In the foreword to the Penguin edition which I borrowed from the library, Ruth Franklin writes Compared to The Haunting of Hill House or We Have Always Lived in the Castle, Jackson s masterful late novels, The Road Through the Wall is a slighter work But it is marvellously written, with the careful attention to structure, the precision of detail, and the brilliant bite of irony that would always define her style.The novel was published in 1948 to a largely unappreciative audience its critics were put off by the book s unpleasant characters, its grim tone, and its violent conclusion The Road Through the Wall is a prelude of sorts to The Lottery, which was published the following year It takes place in 1936, on Pepper Street in small town California Instead of a familial saga, it is rather of a neighbourhood affair, although the familial relations are nothing less than fascinating throughout We meet several families resident on the street, and come to know them intimately thanks to Jackson s wonderful, measured prose Every single character has differing traits, and one of Jackson s real strengths here and there are many lies in demonstrating the imaginati...


  10. says:

    A creepy look at suburbia as only Shirley Jackson could tell it.