Saturday, September 24, 2005
Book Report: A Season to Be Wary by Rod Serling (1967, 1968)
I inherited this book, whuch collects three novellas from Rod Serling, whom we among the wise ancients remember as the man behind the Twilight Zone, from my aunt. I read it rapidly, as its writing is thicker than R.L. Stine; because the writing is richer, it engages the reader more and pulled me along better than a series of simple declarative sentences and frags that presented numerous opportunities for me to insert my own thoughts (mostly damn, this Stine book sux) into the narrative. But I disliked that book so badly, I'm ripping on it here and am failing to give Serling's book a fair hearing.

The book includes three novellas, as I mentioned, and all are of the Twilight Zone fantasy genre. In the first, a former Nazi officer hiding in Argentina desperately dodges Israeli agents and deals with his own aging and possible madness. In the second, a racial rabble rouser in 1960s Mississippi makes his living, livelihood, and gets his chicks by fanning the flames of racial hatred and inciting riots. In the third, a wealthy blind woman finds someone willing to sacrifice his eyes to give her 12 hours of sight.

In retrospect, none of the main characters of the stories represent true protagonists, as each is relatively subevil in their own way. However, Serling presents them in such a fashion that we can sometimes feel the emotions they do and almost sympathize with them that way, and we're certainly interested in what happens to them. The third story, "Eyes", represents the weakest of the three, though, and really doesn't make one connect to any of the characters, but one still wants to know how the events turned out.

So I enjoyed and appreciated the book. I'll go out on a limb and say it's probably the best book ever dedicated to Sammy Davis, Jr.

To say Noggle, one first must be able to say the "Nah."