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Rod Serling and The Twilight Zone: The 50th Anniversary Tribute Hardcover – February 15, 2009

3.6 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


A fine and fitting tribute to a show which I was privileged to be a part of. Writer of The Twilight Zone - Nightmare at 20,000 Feet. (A fine and fitt )

A timely commentary on TV's first truly great filmed weekly dramatic series The Twilight Zone, a show that has clearly passed the test of time and speaks again to each new generation of devoted fans. (A timely commentary on TV's first truly great filmed wee )

Brode, the finest scholar of American popular culture working today, has here written what is easily the most definitive study of The Twilight Zone - or any television program, for that matter! (Brode, the finest scholar of American )

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Barricade Books; 50th edition (February 15, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1569803587
  • ISBN-13: 978-1569803585
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,444,109 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"Submitted for your approval (or disapproval in this case), one Douglas Brode, an ersatz Rod Serling who in 26 pages of this new 'Tribute' has convinced me that while his feet may be planted on terra firma, his head is definitely NOT in the Twilight Zone!"

Why do I say this? Well, firstly because I was really looking forward to this book - and am thus far in the reading of it thoroughly disappointed. How it ever got so many grand blurbs from not only TZ writers but other media luminaries is utterly beyond me. But there is one egregious blurb on the inside front cover from TZ writer George Clayton Johnson that is totally at odds with the thrust of this book - and that is Rod Serling's literary masterminding of the Zone (a grand theme, mind you, but poorly executed herein for reasons outlined below). But back to Johnson's blurb: "Rod Serling as 'the producer' was the contractor. The writers were the map makers and architects. The Director played the part of foreman on the job, but it was the actors who built the shrine called THE TWILIGHT ZONE, transforming the scripts into the sights and sounds that make up a film. Here at last is the definitive book on THE TWILIGHT ZONE, the first ever to accurately describe the working process for that great series." Now - I have quoted this blurb in full (and it is on the inside front cover flap) because it is obviously written by someone who has not read the book they are commenting upon. The book is NOT 'definitive', it tells next-to-naught of the 'working process' of the series, it insults Mr. Serling by relegating him to the role of 'contractor' and does NOT include him as one of the map-maker writers and falsely claims that it was the actors who built the shrine of the classic series. Well, I admire Mr.
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Format: Hardcover
Two biographies have been written about Rod Serling, both endorsed by Carol Serling, his widow. The reason I purchased them was because I read Carol Serling's endorsements in magazine articles some fifteen or twenty years ago. In Stewart Stanyard's book, she was interviewed and commented that the books do not portray her husband in the right light. Repeatedly she has publicly blasted those biographies so I assumed one day she was going to do it herself.

So when I heard that she co-authored a book about Rod Serling and The Twilight Zone (because that's what the title of the book reads) I assumed this was going to be the book she's been working on for decades. The "Rod and I" autobiography. Family photos, lasting impressions and candid thoughts of him coming home late from work, you get the idea. Her father did not approve of their marriage but Rod Serling rose to fame and fortune. They had a house in Calfiornia and a maid and a gardener and so on. That is success.

The book arrived the other day and my jaw dropped open. There's only three photos that are not Twilight Zone DVD screen captures and two of them had appeared in magazines in the sixties. I suspect Carol Serling did not write the book but Douglas Brode because she only wrote the introduction and at the end of her intro she states "I know that Rod would approve of Douglas Brode's remarkable book and the insight that he offers into Rod's work." That means the dust jacket for the book is misleading. It should read "by Douglas Brode with a foreward by Carol Serling."

Worse, before you even get to page one, there are mistakes galore. On page xvii, Brode states that Arch Oboler created "Lights Out." This is incorrect. Wyllis Cooper created "Lights Out." Oboler was one of the script writers for the series.
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Format: Hardcover
If you paid more than $0.01 for your copy of this book, you paid too much.

Why this book was even done is way, way beyond me. Okay, where do I begin? It's obvious that Carol Serling had nothing to do with this book outside of writing the introduction.

A cursory reading of even one of Brode's "analyses" will reveal that he doesn't have anything new to offer. He has a few interesting ideas that pop up from time to time, but nothing that can't be found on an internet message board or some other venue, or even in a casual conversation between TZ fans. Brode makes all kinds of creative presumptions and attempts to find some deeper meaning in episodes whose "meaning" is already very self-explanatory. When I first got the book, I leafed through it and on every one of the five or six pages I leafed through, I found either misspellings of actors' names, or just glaring typos (examples: he refers to Suzanne Cupito aka Morgan Brittany as "Susan Capito", Doc Stockton of "The Shelter" is suddenly "Doc Stanton", and the caption under the pic of Shatner and Chris White from "Nightmare at 20K Feet" says 'Bob and Ruth Wilson' when in fact Chris' character's name is Julia...this is an old, old error from the TZ Companion book that Brode obviously just copied straight out. Boo!!!!!!) But this is just one of a vast number of disappointing things. Here's a list of the major flaws:

(1) The author doesn't even cover all 156 episodes!
(2) The author has basically said what has been said over and over about most of the episodes for the last 50 years.
(3) The author constantly pokes at Marc Scott Zicree and his mis-readings of certain episodes! Now, maybe I am not the biggest fan of Zicree's TZ Companion but it's sure better than THIS one!
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