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Serling: The Rise and Twilight of TV's Last Angry Man Paperback – January 26, 2012

3.3 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Sander has fashioned a vivid and fascinating portrait of this complex innovator from television's Golden Age."―Library Journal



"The story of Serling's career doubles as a history of the television industry itself, and Sander vividly depicts the heady early days of live TV, when the highest artistic achievement seemed attainable. Highly recommended."―Booklist



"Sander's strong, straightforward portrait of Serling as an industry goad who confronted his corporate bosses forms the most unexpected and powerful part of the book. Rod Serling merited this fine book."―Philadelphia Inquirer



"Rod Serling was a literary hero to me, and this really outstanding book beautifully balances the highs and lows of his career. Serling is brisk reading on a brilliant and prophetic artist."―Mitch Horowitz, author of Occult America

About the Author

Gordon F. Sander is a journalist and historian who has written for the New York Times and the Financial Times. He is the author of The Frank Family That Survived and Serling: The Rise and Twilight of TV's Last Angry Man, both from Cornell.



Ron Simon is Curator of the Paley Center for Media and an adjunct professor at Columbia University and New York University.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 322 pages
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press; 1 edition (January 26, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801477301
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801477300
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.8 x 7.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,726,648 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I give this 3 stars only because Serling biographies are few and far between, so there is not a lot of competition. But this book suffers in many ways. First, it paints Serling as unpleasant and difficult to work with (he was, to an extent - as are most brilliant creative minds; but this portrays him as completely devoid of redeeming qualities, which is despicable). There is almost no attention given to his adult home life, the world he lived (and wrote) in outside of TV, which is VERY IMPORTANT when analyzing a person's character. The overall depiction is patchy, not well-rounded, and gives way to a lot of unfortunate assumptions.

All of that aside, much of the "information" in this book is length descriptions of Twilight Zone episodes. While that may be fine and dandy for someone who has never watched the show, 99% of people looking for a biography on the enigmatic Rod Serling know the show inside and out. Plodding, several-page-long descriptions of each episode are, quite simply, nothing but dull filler material.

There's nothing great about this book. It's as exciting as watching paint dry, and far more illuminating information can be found now thanks to the internet. Still, if it's absolutely the only thing you can read about Rod Serling, it's better than nothing.
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This book is okay - lots of information, but it's so poorly written and boring I could not even get through it. My boyfriend tried as well, and he stopped reading it too. It is rare that I don't finish a book - I will usually hold out because I can't stand to start a book and not finish it, but this one was just so painful I couldn't do it. Really a shame too - I am such a HUGE fan of the Twilight Zone, and was very interested to know more about the mastermind behind it. I hear his daughter is in the process of writing a book about him. Perhaps it will be better.....
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This is one of those biographies that goes down the checklist of what NOT to do when writing a biography. The Writer starts with a preconception, in this case that Serling was a man-child, and then fails to demonstrate anything that supports the theory. The writer continues to try and use the title and concept of the work the subject is best know for, The Twilight Zone, as an ongoing metaphor hamfistedly throughout. The author gives great weight to the testimony of minor sources :There are several anecdotes of old friends from Serling's small town past interacting with him and decrying the fact that he'd "gone hollywood". The book takes at face value that the testimony of people trying to glom onto a busy person as signs of a character fault in Serling, not that a small town High-school friend may not understand that they can't be a priority for a busy old friend. Lastly the book is simply ploddingly written, Dull and uninspired. You'll learn little about Serling you can't find on Wikipedia and it'll be a chore getting there.

As a minor note: Toward the end of the book the author uses the word "ironically" incorrectly several times in a dozen pages. It may be just a pet peeve but it's a sad thing to see from a professional writer.
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Format: Paperback
It saddens and amazes me that a book filled with falsehoods and inaccuracies is allowed to be published. This fictional account is a story, but certainly not filled with the reality of who Rod Serling was in life. For a true, heartfelt, and accurate depiction look to the family. It is especially troubling that the authors are teaching the next generation! A man filled with love for his family, who looked deeply into the souls of men and touched countless generations was NOT "TV's Last Angry Man" but a man loved by many, a son, father, and husband. The authors should be ashamed and ask the family for forgiveness.
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