I am an adoring fan of Shirley Jackson, her novel We Have Always Lived in the Castle and her short story, The Lottery (which is included in this collection) are among my favorites. One of the best parts of Come Along With Me are the chapters from her unfinished last novel that lends it’s title to the collection and it’s one of the few here that fully embody the signature strangeness and darkness that I love in her writing, which I found sadly lacking several of the stories. This is of course a matter of my expectations getting in the way and all the stories, even the lighthearted ones are well written.
It’s a shame so little was left behind of what was sure to have been another incredible novel, but it’s inclusion as well as her darker stories including my favorite, “The Summer People”, make this collection worth a read, at least for Jackson fans. I personally could take or leave the essays and lectures (as unintellectual as it may sound I prefer to read fiction than read about fiction).
I’d advise skipping the intro because it rubbed me the wrong way to have her husband talk about getting the collection together with his new wife, whom he dedicates it to. Kind of disconcerting.