As I Knew Him: My Dad, Rod Serling

( 20 )

Overview

In Twilight Zone reruns, I search for my father in the man on the screen, but I can’t always find him there. Instead, he appears in unexpected ways. Memory summoned by a certain light, a color, a smell—and I see him again on the porch of our old red lakeside cottage, where I danced on the steps as a child.

To Anne Serling, the imposing figure the public saw hosting The Twilight Zone each week, intoning cautionary observations about fate, chance, and humanity, was not the father ...

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Overview

In Twilight Zone reruns, I search for my father in the man on the screen, but I can’t always find him there. Instead, he appears in unexpected ways. Memory summoned by a certain light, a color, a smell—and I see him again on the porch of our old red lakeside cottage, where I danced on the steps as a child.

To Anne Serling, the imposing figure the public saw hosting The Twilight Zone each week, intoning cautionary observations about fate, chance, and humanity, was not the father she knew. Her fun-loving dad would play on the floor with the dogs, had nicknames for everyone in the family, and was apt to put a lampshade on his head and break out in song. He was her best friend, her playmate, and her confidant.

After his unexpected death at 50, Anne, just 20, was left stunned. Gradually, she found solace for her grief—talking to his friends, poring over old correspondence, and recording her childhood memories. Now she shares eloquent, revealing letters and beautifully rendered scenes of his childhood, war years, and their family’s time together. Idyllic summers in upstate New York, the years in Los Angeles, and the myriad ways he filled their time with laughter, strength, and endearing silliness—all are captured here with deep affection and candor.

Though begun in loss, Anne’s story is a celebration of her extraordinary relationship with her father and the qualities she came to prize through him—empathy, kindness, and an uncompromising sense of social justice. As I Knew Him is a lyrical, intimate tribute to Rod Serling’s legacy as visionary, storyteller, and humanist, and a moving testament to the love between fathers and daughters.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
According to his daughter, Anne, writer Rod Serling, the creator of the critically acclaimed television series, The Twilight Zone, was a caring, fun-loving father when he was not hard at work. Injured in combat during WWII, Serling turned to writing as a means of dealing with his trauma; consequently, his work had a strong moralistic streak that was, at times, fiercely critical of racism and discrimination. Having garnered the reputation of "TV's Angry Young Man" after seeing some of his work censored by the CBS Network, Serling turned to the sci-fi genre because, as he put it, "a Martian can say things that a Republican or a Democrat can't." Even as The Twilight Zone, which debuted in 1959, was in full swing, Serling managed to balance the hectic, if unhealthy, show business lifestyle, with quality time spent as a family man, best exemplified by family summers at their cottage in upstate New York. His death, due to heart attack at the age of 50, left the family, and in particular Anne, "floating through space where there is no logic, no gravity," but, as this memoir makes plain, in his life and art he is remembered fondly. (May)
Kirkus Reviews
Exploring her deep bond with the creator of The Twilight Zone, the author delves into her father's writing career, his deep commitment to social justice and her grief following his death. Rod Serling (1924–1975) served proudly in World War II and then attended college. He began his writing career after winning a prize for a radio-show script, and he became a 1960s icon as host of The Twilight Zone: "the man in the dark suit standing against a dramatically lit set, intoning cautionary observations about human beings, fate, or the universe." But fame was radically different in those days, his daughter writes; celebrities were less afflicted by "the mayhem, the pandemonium, or the complete and disrespectful lack of privacy that exists now." During Anne's childhood, the family lived in Los Angeles for the school year and decamped for the summer to a cabin in upstate New York, where everyone could relax. At the end of its third season, The Twilight Zone was cancelled, and Serling began teaching at Antioch College. CBS later resumed the series for two more years, but Serling was less creatively involved with the show, though he still wrote some episodes. His liberal ideas affected his reputation with conservative TV executives, the author argues. Discrimination and prejudice were anathema to Serling, and it infuriated him when story ideas rooted in his principles were shunted aside in favor of simple entertainment. After writing some scripts for the TV show Night Gallery, for example, he complained to Universal Studios, "I have no interest in a series which is purely and uniquely suspenseful but totally uncommentative on anything." The author deftly utilizes correspondence to illustrate the bumpy interplay between her father's strong beliefs and the commercial imperatives of network TV, illuminating as well the political and pop culture of the turbulent 1960s. A piquant memoir blending lush memories of a remarkable father and adept analysis of his work.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781469285160
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio
  • Publication date: 4/30/2013
  • Format: MP3 on CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Product dimensions: 5.37 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Before becoming a full-time writer, Anne Serling was an early childhood teacher with a bachelor of arts degree in education from Elmira College. She serves on the board of directors of the Rod Serling Memorial Foundation and is involved with the Rod Serling School of the Arts “Fifth Dimension” program. She lives in Ithaca, New York.

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Read an Excerpt

AS I KNEW HIM

My Dad, Rod Serling


By ANNE SERLING

KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP.

Copyright © 2013Anne Serling
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-8065-3615-6


Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

The last time I saw my father, it was 1975. He was lying in a hospital bed in a room with bright—too bright—green and yellow walls, inappropriate colors intended to console the sick, the dying. As he slept, curled beneath a sheet, I watched him breathe, willing him to, his face still tan against that pillow so white. And as I sat looking at him, I thought of how, when I was small, I would awaken in my room beside the flowered wallpaper and listen for his footsteps down the hall, comfortable in their familiarity, secure in the insular world of my childhood, knowing without question or doubt that when I followed those sounds, I would always find him.

When he first got sick, I wiped his forehead dry until he became too ill and I could do nothing. "Pops," he said, calling me one of my many nicknames, "don't you worry. I'm going to be just fine." And I looked at him then and nodded because I couldn't find the words.

My father died there, three days later, on the eighth floor of Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, New York.

He was just fifty years old, I barely twenty.

I was so blinded by the loss. Terrified by each day that took me further from the last that I had seen him. Incapacitated by the idea of a life without him, my world grew impossibly small and inaccessible. I did not know how to grieve, to accept, to move on. I shut down. I detached. I fell apart.

I replayed those last days of the hospital—the waiting, the doctors in their silent shoes, the unimaginable words—in excruciating, explosive detail as if in the revisiting, the outcome could be changed in some way.

Walking aimlessly outside, I was stunned by the normalcy of those obscenely bright summer skies. I knew it was useless, but I would whisper, "Dad, if you can hear me, make the leaf move. Or the bird; make that bird fly now," and I would wait. I needed something tangible, some acknowledgment that he could hear me. Some sign that I was not losing my mind.

All of the years that I mourned my father and all of the "magical thinking" that I engaged in could not bring him back. But that didn't stop my trying. In those first weeks I sat alone in his office chair reaching for pens he had held, papers he had touched. I looked at his photographs, imagining him talking to me. I panicked when I thought it might be possible I could very soon forget the way he smiled, or the sound of his laugh and the way his voice trailed up the stairs calling me Pops or Miss Grumple or Nanny. I was so afraid that I would lose him, lose him incrementally, lose him for good.

But grief is a strange thing. After it slams you, it has nowhere else to go. This understanding can take years, can take its toll, can excise you off the planet. And it did for me. I finally started seeing a therapist after the insistent prodding of friends. It took more than a year, but there I sat with Dr. Fein stein, week after week, in a room with shelves of books and no sunlight.

He told me, "You need to visit your father's grave." He said it quietly but emphatically. My mother, my friends were all telling me the same thing: "You need closure." I felt ambushed from all sides. I was not doing well. Although I had just graduated from college, I was depressed. I had panic attacks and the start of agoraphobia. I was overwhelmed by this sadness that was acute and all-consuming and sometimes left me gasping for air. A year passed, then another. June, July, August. Suddenly summers were gone. Fall filled the air in a barrage of color and then succumbed to November skies. It was gray and windy and cold, and I still hadn't done what I needed to do. I could not go to my father's grave.

I found the simplest memory could cause the greatest ache. In one, my father—wearing blue shorts, no shirt—is carrying a small green plate with a corned beef sandwich he has just made; in his other hand, a Coke. He is going outside to eat his lunch in the sun. Thinking the sliding doors are open, he walks right into them and yells, "God damn it!"

He is not hurt. When he sees me, he laughs. "I'm okay," he says, and we are both laughing. On our hands and knees, we clean up the mess with paper towels and pick up the pieces of sandwich. He has a small purple mark on his forehead that within weeks will disappear.

A sticker remains on those glass doors still. It is faded and peeled in one corner but warns when the doors are closed. And sometimes, if I stand there at just around noon on a summer day, I can see the soda spilling across the wood floor, the soaked corned beef on rye, and the green plate tipped in my father's hand. I can see him turning, tanned, and smiling in the sunlight. I can hear my father laughing in the empty room.

CHAPTER 2

On an early winter morning a few years after graduating from college, I drive from Ithaca back to the cottage. It, and the newer house my parents built next door, has been closed for winter. My tracks in the snow will be the only ones except for rabbits, squirrels, maybe a deer. I get out of the car, search in my pocket for the key, push open the door to the house, and turn on the light, grateful that the electricity has not been turned off and that there is still a little warmth.

Nothing really changes here, and my father's presence, even in the stillness, is powerful. A shadow can so easily be transformed, his voice imagined, and for just a moment I envision him there. I hear the familiar sound of his footsteps on the stairs, but of course I see nothing—only the empty steps in the faint morning light.

Although I should be, I am clearly no further along in this grieving process. I haven't found a teaching position, and so I sub in elementary schools when I can and tutor. It isn't lost on me, though, or those around me, that I'm on auto pilot, not fully present, not really engaged, at all.

As I walk from room to room I find the quiet unbearable and so in the kitchen, I switch on the radio—my mother's station, the last one played—classical. The music breaks the silence, but it feels jarring, droning, and I quickly turn it off and walk into another room.

In a closet I find what I have come for. My father's box of old letters, his 511th Airborne booklet, other memorabilia, and the family photo albums, a myriad of colored covers, each one marked with a specific year. I sit on the floor, the books and letters and other items spread before me, and I open the first album; Dad on the boat saluting behind the wheel; playing poker with his friend Dick; swimming with my sister and me in the lake; Dad rolling around with the dogs on the lawn. Another album, then another, a slide show of images flashing too quickly, on and on, until the pictures stop on a half-filled page because weeks later my father was gone.

I get up and stand at the window, watching as a bird feeder, empty for years, swings precariously. I look at the vanishing light and the falling snow, and I am surprised so much time has passed.

Kneeling again on the floor, I begin stacking the albums, carefully refolding the letters and other items and placing them into the box. I see I have forgotten to put my dad's old yearbook in. I open the cover and find him quickly. His brown eyes looking back at mine.

I return the book and close the top, ready to set it back on the closet shelf. But I worry about the dampness and the passage of time, the erosion of what remains, and quickly decide this time I will not leave it behind. I will take the box with me. These things cannot be lost.

I stay a moment more in the silent room, the empty house, knowing that I'll have to keep doing this. I will have to keep looking. That in order to go forward, I will have to go back bec
(Continues...)


Excerpted from AS I KNEW HIM by ANNE SERLING. Copyright © 2013 by Anne Serling. Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 20 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2013

    Anne Serling has left a piece of her heart on every page of thi


    Anne Serling has left a piece of her heart on every page of this deeply moving book. If you have ever experienced any type of loss in your life you will be able to relate to Anne’s beautifully written, and very personal memoir about her well-known father, Twilight Zone creator Rod Serling. When he died in 1975, she began a reluctant journey through shock and grief to acceptance, although painful, it is a journey of love and learning. Anne generously and gently takes the reader by the hand and introduces us to her father as a smiling carefree boy, a sweet young man, and most poignantly as an eager, soon to be tested WWII solider. For those who know and love the Twilight Zone and his other television work, well you will not be disappointed. In fact, you may appreciate it even more because Anne puts it all within the context of this incredibly talented man's life. Of course she knew him best as Dad, and here she vividly captures his humor, playfulness, his caring ways, and his dedication to social causes. Her imagery is exquisite and the visual nature of her writing is one more thing that makes this book so memorable. The time you spend with "As I Knew Him" will be time well spent and somewhere within its pages you will know why Anne Serling had to write this book, devotion.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 30, 2013

    ¿An Intimate Look Into the Life and Loves of Rod Serling¿ Bei



    “An Intimate Look Into the Life and Loves of Rod Serling”

    Being a child of the Fifties, living in close proximity to his hometown of Binghamton, New York as well as being a diehard “Twilight Zone” fan, I thought I knew all there was to know about writer/producer/director,
    Rod Serling. Was I ever wrong! Daughter, Anne Serling has given readers an intimate look into this multi-faceted genius of a man she is proud to call her Father. We learn of Rod’s early childhood years and the struggles of his beloved Mother and Father, (who owned and operated “Serling’s Wholesale Market” on Washington Street in Binghamton) all the while giving him love, courage, encouragement and strength. The shared letters between Rod and his parents are heart tugging and honest. We follow Rod into his paratrooper training and as a member of the 511th Airborne Division, a division which landed in the Philippines and into the Battle of Leyte-which was among some of the fiercest fighting of the war and where he sustained a leg injury which will plague him for the rest of his life. We are privy to his college days and the courtship and marriage to a lovely lady named Carolyn, who was his Soulmate and gave him the gift of two delightful Daughters, whom he adored. Author as well as devoted Daughter, Anne, shares snippets of several episodes of the “Twilight Zone” and the inspiration behind them. There are mentions of his “Old Stomping Grounds” in Binghamton and Ithaca, New York and beyond, mentioning his Mentor and Friend, Helen Foley and the Binghamton Central High School. His works were not limited to television, as you will soon learn with his outstanding screenwriting. There are many touching stories of those who worked and played (Paddle tennis, etc.) with Rod and knew him well. I feel one of the most touching parts in the book is the correspondence between Father and Daughter. Thank-you Ms. Serling, for sharing those precious memories with us, his admirers and fans. As you will plainly see, Rod Serling wore many hats, and he wore them well. Son, Husband, Father, Talented Writer, Champion of the Underdog, proud American Citizen and so much more. He might have been small in stature, but he was a tiger when it came to a cause he believed in. We are witness, when at the young age of 50, he dies of heart complications and we are taken into the world of a Daughter’s grief. A grief that only one who has gone through something similar concerning someone close to them can identify with. It is a dark, nasty monster with gnarled teeth, that once bitten, you have a difficult time unclenching its jaws, but with the love and support of her Family and Husband, Anne Serling shows us it can be done and the love she has for her Father will continue for all eternity. Whatever you plan on reading this Spring, please put this title on your TBR list—It is one book that should not be missed. Nancy Narma

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2014

    What a befitting tribute this is to Anne's dear adored Dad, writ

    What a befitting tribute this is to Anne's dear adored Dad, writer Rod Serling. The readers will be elated to know that this is a "Dear Dad" book and not a trashy daddy dearest book. It's if the reader is holding Anne's hand as she goes through the stages of grief after her dad's death. Some background info on Mr. Serling's career and works, I had read previously in other works. But the impact of his personal life was very moving and far from the TV persona that children of the 50s , 60s & 70s had come to know, love and respect. If Anne published other works, I'll be the first to purchase and read it. Thank you Anne.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2013

    A loving and insightful tribute: speaks from the heart and touch

    A loving and insightful tribute: speaks from the heart and touches the reader's soul...


    As a lifelong fan of Rod Serling, I eagerly anticipated the release of As I Knew Him: My Dad, Rod Serling, written by his daughter Anne. It is an overwhelming understatement to say that I was not disappointed. What Anne Serling offers up is an extraordinarily heartwarming and vividly detailed memoir of a daughter's love and admiration for her father.
    The book takes the reader far beyond the boundaries of the Twilight Zone, revealing the various dimensions of Rodman Edward Serling - from his childhood days at the Bennett Avenue home in Binghamton, through his World War II service, his beginnings as a struggling yet bound-and-determined writer, and the birth of his beloved daughters...to his legendary five-year run on the Twilight Zone, multiple Emmy Awards, and his later years as both teacher and writer.
    Memories are shared in the form of personal letters, nostalgic photographs, and poignantly written passages penned from the author's heart. Especially moving are her reminiscences of lazy summers days at the red cottage in upstate New York. She describes her father as a man whose life is inexorably altered by the traumas of war, the untimely loss of his own father, and the struggles to maintain his health in his later years.
    Anne reveals her father as a person of great compassion and social conscience. His respect for all people is reflected in his passion for human and civil rights. His dedication and unconditional love for his family (which included an extremely colorful menagerie) shines through the pages of her book. He left an indelible imprint on the lives of so very many, and he continues to move and inspire new generations with his timeless tales.
    The art of writing, passed down from father to daughter, has been cathartic in the lives of both Rod and Anne. For Rod, he began writing primarily as a means to cope with the traumatic effects of the war. For Anne, writing has served as a healing mechanism and as an integral part of the ongoing effort to cope with the loss of her father.
    Anne's book oozes with genuineness and heartfelt descriptive passages that evoke vivid images in the mind of the reader. Some parts brought me to tears, while others made me smile or burst into laughter. Throughout, I had the sensation of being taken on a special journey - one that transported me directly into the midst of a magical relationship between two very special human beings. For this experience my life will be forever richer.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2013

    Anyone who knows me knows how much I love the work of Rod Serlin

    Anyone who knows me knows how much I love the work of Rod Serling and how I respect him as a man. I can never get enough information about him and feel more connected to him than I do any other storyteller. For years now I have wanted to go see where he fought in the Philippines in World War II and to visit his hometown in Binghamton New York.

    Most people think of him as the writer of the Twilight Zone, but I also read, or watch, his earlier work and admire that stuff just as much - things like Patterns, Velvet Alley and Requiem for a Heavyweight.
    His work matters. He had something to say about what it means to be a human being in this world and our responsibility to other human beings and unlike many writers nowadays he was not afraid to say it. Most writers now would rather say nothing at all than risk appearing "preachy".

    I have a screenwriter friend, Stewart Stern, who adapted one of Mr. Serling's television plays, The Rack, into the screenplay for the theatrical film and has nothing but kind things to say about Rod. He said to me wistfully one day, "I miss Rod. He was a sweet man". Stewart is about the sweetest man I know so this is high praise.

    All of my life I have envied those who got to meet Rod, or work with him or studied under him or called him a friend. It is because of this that I would like to thank Anne Serling for her loving book about her father. I want to thank her for sharing her father with the rest of us. It cannot be easy to have such a public parent when you want him all to yourself so there is something selfless about what Anne Serling has done here. I felt like I got to know Rod and even grieve along with Anne when she writes of her struggle with his death.

    Her book is well written and easy to read in that way that looks easy - it's hard work to write something that is easy to read.

    If you are dealing with the grief of a loved one this book may make you feel less alone. And if you are a fan of Rod Serling this book may help you feel a little closer to him.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2013

    In my hometown we long ago staked a claim on Rod Serling.  And o

    In my hometown we long ago staked a claim on Rod Serling.  And our admiration for him is broadcast all over our Fair City.  
    However, the Rod Serling we celebrate is the screen writer, the creator of the television series The Twilight Zone and Night Gallery,
    the special guest who comes to our commencement ceremonies and inspires our young drama students to pursue their careers
     in drama.

    We "know" the man in the black suit, white shirt and tie; smoking a cigarette and speaking in a deep, tight; almost strained voice.
    We are accustomed to hearing him dole out his words in rapid-fire staccato fashion; then ending his introductions with a slight turn
    of his upper lip.  And he scared us. What Anne Serling gives us is the man; the son, brother, husband, father, uncle and friend.  
    A son very close with his parents and an avid letter writer to his Father.  A husband who delights in his wife's ability to
    create comfortable living spaces for them, to raise their two lovely daughters and to be his cheerleader in chasing his
    dreams.  A husband who loves to pull pranks on his wife just to hear her laugh.  A life long friend to several men who played paddle tennis with him during his life and paid tribute to him after his death.  And 
    as the title so poignantly reveals "As I Knew Him: My Dad..." - a father who frequently was on floor level to play with her,
    a daddy who allied her night time fears, a Father who wrote her the most intimate letters while she was away in college.  A Dad who
    had several nicknames for her and used them in the most amusing and touching ways.  A father who not only held her hand,
    but held her heart.  A heart which was crushed after his death.  The celebration of Anne's relationship with her father is so
    very beautifully written by a woman who is certainly her Father's daughter in more ways than one.  And I don't know about you,
    but I could hear that screen door slam at the cottage.  And I could see the little hand made boats bearing a single candle each,
    floating down the lake "carrying away that last gasp of summer's glow".

    I was enchanted.  I was mesmerized.  I laughed and I cried.  And most of all, I did not want Anne's story to end.  I wanted her to continue
    entertaining me, and somehow I believe she will.


     

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 18, 2013

      Like most people, The Twilight Zone was a part of many stages

      Like most people, The Twilight Zone was a part of many stages of my life. As a child, there were episodes I loved, episodes that scared
    me and episodes I was too young to understand. Later Rod Serling and The Twilight Zone marathon would keep me company while on
     call at the hospital on holidays. When teaching courses about classic works in Social and Behavioral Sciences, I elected Rod Serling to
    be my teaching assistant. His insight into human nature and societal dynamics helped illustrate to my students why century-old theories
    were still relevant.

    Whenever I teach a theory, I relay the life story of the theorist to my class to show them how life experience fuels the creative process.
    However I never gave much thought to the man behind the TZ episodes except to acknowledge his genius. I certainly never thought of
    him as a husband or father; Rod Serling was just the man who guided viewers to another dimension.

    Reading “As I Knew Him” pulled back the curtains and showed me the man behind the icon – the child of hardworking parents, the brave
     paratrooper for whom the war never really ended, the fighter for social justice and equality, the writer who weaved his life experiences
     into art and entertainment and most importantly, the family man whose priorities never seemed to shift from those he loved.

    Anne Serling invites us along as she examines her father’s life and her relationship with him. The emotion in her words makes it feel as
    if she is newly discovering answers as she writes and we are voyeurs into the processing going on in her head and her heart. The
     writing is raw, honest and vulnerable. Whether it’s the uncontrolled laughter of a little girl playing with her daddy or the paralyzing grief
    of a young woman struggling to find meaning in the world after the loss of her father, Anne Serling hides nothing from the reader. In
     doing so, you are transported into her world. My heart broke as she struggled with her loss and grief, it cheered as she found light in the
     world again, and it swelled with the love that is evident throughout the book.

    Personally, I can only imagine the type of relationship that inspires such a love letter as Anne Serling as written to her father. The words
    she has strung together in tribute to him convey the magic of their bond, a bond that will never be broken. Anne Serling has obviously
     inherited her father’s talent though I am sure Rod Serling’s reply to this would be to craft a story where it is the parents who inherit the
     gifts from their children. Anne Serling has surely given her father -and us- an amazing gift in this reflective and heartfelt memoir.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2013

    In an age of instant gratification, an age of reaction not refle

    In an age of instant gratification, an age of reaction not reflection, Anne Serling's memoir of life with her father, Rod Serling, is a welcome addition to the thoughtfully kept and cherished bookshelf. It is a work of restraint and reflection - one that has been allowed to simmer inside the soul of the author and so generously allows the reader to sit for a few insightful and graciously shared hours with her as she walks back through the decades to recall the time with her father, who was above all, a writer of prodigious talent and a visionary with a subtle message for mankind. The reflections within this labor of love are highly personal, yet capture the same universal spirit of experience Rod Serling's work in television's formative, then golden, years. In Anne Serling's narrative I see my own love for and longing to understand a father, for in the end this book is just that: a meditation by a child now grown and changed by a life lived in the shadow of family, a father, a time we all can relate to where we busy ourselves forging an identity while coming to terms with those who helped shape it. Bravo, Anne Serling - and thank you for sharing such personal and powerful reflections with those who were also touched by your father's complex and creative legacy. The work he created is for all of us, the memories you have of him are yours alone and it is with sincere gratitude that I thank you for offering a glimpse of a few of them to us all.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2013

    Ordered it, read it, LOVED it! Thank you so much for writing an

    Ordered it, read it, LOVED it! Thank you so much for writing an incredible memoir and sharing it with the rest of us. I have admired your dad for so long and now I feel as though I had known him. You captured the warmth and humanity of your father with every written page and I for one am extremely grateful. Thank you. I know your dad is extremely proud!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 4, 2013

    In this compelling memoir, Anne Serling quotes this from notes f

    In this compelling memoir, Anne Serling quotes this from notes for one of her father’s seminars: “All writers are born; they’re never made…”  Perhaps when he wrote those words Rod Serling already knew that his daughter had inherited his gift for powerful writing.  Now, we all know.  But you need never have seen an episode of The Twilight Zone or even have heard of Rod Serling to appreciate this insightful book.  Because this book isn’t about just one man or one family; it’s about family itself, and love, and loss.  And that is a dimension that is known to all of us.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 17, 2013

    This is a wonderful book to accompany or follow up Twilight Zone

    This is a wonderful book to accompany or follow up Twilight Zone Companion, written by Marc Scott Zicree, and referenced by Ms. Serling throughout her beautiful tribute to her late father. One of my college professors was a neighbor to the Serlings in the Pacific Palisades neighborhood in West Los Angeles and he had wonderful things to say about Mr. Serling and the entire family. This book affirms my professor's remembrance and the impressions I felt when enjoying Mr. Serling's work over the past 50 years. Thank you Ms. Serling for this amazing book filled with such great insights! May your father's memory be eternal!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2013

    At last, a book that tells the truth about Rod Serling, written

    At last, a book that tells the truth about Rod Serling, written (solo) by his loving and beloved daughter, Anne Serling. Not only do you read of his life’s history, starting with his family and boyhood in Binghamton, NY, but more importantly you learn about the kind of man, friend and above all, father that this cultural icon really was at heart: highly intellectual, of course, but never pretentious; sweet, effervescent, self-effacing, quite a prankster and an uncanny mimic right down to a killer gorilla impression, profoundly loving, profoundly honest, fearless, emotionally generous, joyfully silly – and throughout his soul, a deeply committed and remarkable humanist.
    Ms. Serling peppers the narrative with funny and illuminating anecdotes about many instances in his life, theirs together, and among their family and friends. Many personal letters are included in this tender, insightful book. Throughout it, you feel a wondrous sense of actually knowing this man as if a friend in real life. You will be immensely moved by the depth of empathic, soul-encompassing love between father and daughter. They were unreservedly close, kindred spirits reveling in each other’s company or missing each other achingly when living far away from each other. There was so much unfettered joy in their mutually teasing relationship that by the time Ms. Serling writes of her father’s death and its unbearable aftermath in her heart, you feel stunned by grieving right along with her. It is poignant and painful, yet gorgeous in its latter elegiac tone.
    Although Ms. Serling’s prose throughout the book is evocatively well-written, it is in the final segment of the narrative – following Rod Serling’s first heart attack – that her prose truly soars, astonishes, and you will mourn her overwhelming loss as one of our own. Her pain is ineffable, but she manages magically to eff it anyway. It’s quite a feat: unsparingly honest, her emotions raw to the bloody bone, heart-wrenching as she describes the way a bright sunny day seems a malevolent affront to her dark new world, as she describes suffering the loss of her best friend; her eventual transcendence is sublime. The closing vignette is perfection.
    In reading this memoir, not only do you find out what kind of great humanist and immensely warm personality was this icon in real life, this brave man of vast talent who was primary among those few who brought art and thought and intellect to the new medium of TV (and later, to film); not only all that, but this: you are privy to feeling the immense love between a father and a daughter, the mutuality of respect, solicitousness, silliness and unabated adoration that few among us are lucky enough to have without reservation in our own lives. While we can weep for Ms. Serling’s horrific loss, we can envy her that.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2013

    I grew up watching TZ on TV, so I was amazed and surprised to le

    I grew up watching TZ on TV, so I was amazed and surprised to learn about the "real" Rod Serling.  What a lovely memoir this is!  Anne Serling writes not only well, but movingly, about her relationship with her famous father and the multifaceted nature of his character.  Thoughtful, touching, and intelligent, AS I KNEW HIM is a wonderful read, especially for those of us who grew up admiring Anne's father's genius.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2013

    This beautifully written memoir explores the wonderful relations

    This beautifully written memoir explores the wonderful relationship between father and daughter. It is obvious that Anne has a deep and compassionate soul, and that her father's death was a devastating event in her life. She pours her heart into every word and you can feel the love and respect she has for Rod as you read her recollections of the stories of her childhood. I was laughing and crying right from the start. Anne has the wonderful gift of eloquent expression through the written word. Thank you for sharing such touching memories with those of us who were not fortunate enough to have met him personally. You have made us all feel as though we know him, too.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2013

    Rod Serling was one of the most influential storytellers of the

    Rod Serling was one of the most influential storytellers of the twentieth century. With classic television shows, like the hard hitting dramas of "Playhouse 90," to the masterful science fiction of "The Twilight Zone," Serling was in a league of his own. Now, thanks to this extraordinary new memoir written by his daughter, Ann Serling, we are provided with an in-depth look at the man behind the brilliance. We read the letters he sent home to his parents while serving in World War II and the ways in which his combat experiences shaped his writing. We learn of his unflinching commitment to social justice and how his deeply held convictions found their way into several "Twilight Zone" episodes. Above all else, however, we learn about Rod Serling, the family man. He clearly loved being a dad, and after having read the book, I can say he had much to be proud of as a father. Poignant, funny, sincere, and sharply written, Ann Serling's memoir is an incredibly moving look at a gorgeous father-daughter relationship. "As I Knew Him: My Dad, Rod Serling" is a worthwhile addition to any summer reading list.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2013

    A wonderful story of a girl and her father and a touching story

    A wonderful story of a girl and her father and a touching story about A famous Dad, a sudden death and how she moves forward. Oh I did I mention it about Rob Serling as well? A must have in your library. You will be forever changed by this book

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2013

    Absolutely amazing story telling. Just when we thought we knew e

    Absolutely amazing story telling. Just when we thought we knew everything about the man behind the Twilight Zone a work like this comes along. A brilliant mix of biography and autobiography.  Personal and heartfelt. A testament to the Serling legacy. 

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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