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The Third Level

4.15  ·  Rating Details ·  158 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
The Third Level
Such Interesting Neighbors
I’m Scared
Cousin Len’s Wonderful Adjective Cellar
Of Missing Persons
Something in a Cloud
There Is a Tide...
Behind the News
Quit Zoomin’ Those Hands Through the Air
A Dash of Spring
Second Chance
Contents of the Dead Man’s Pockets
Mass Market Paperback, #D274, 192 pages
Published March 1959 by Dell Publishing Co., Inc. (first published 1948)
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Tony Rabig
May 19, 2011 Tony Rabig rated it it was amazing
Worth the price of admission just for the stories "I'm Scared," and "Of Missing Persons." The latter was once a staple of high school literature textbooks (mid-1960s), and still holds up today. This collection was cited by Stephen King as having defined the boundaries of what later became Rod Serling's Twilight Zone, and that's a spot-on assessment. Anyone looking for stories that have that Twilight Zone feel could do a lot worse than picking up this collection along with Finney's I LOVE GALESBU ...more
Mar 03, 2011 Debra marked it as to-read
Stephen King recommended book and author.

Book noted as "important to the genre we have been discussing" from Danse Macabre, published in 1981. Author discussed in chapter 9.
Oct 29, 2016 Jesse rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Noted sci fi author Jack Finney's first short story collection isn't quite what I expected from the writer most famous for "Invasion of the Body Snatchers". Throughout the entire collection, the tone is one of aching nostalgia, an elegiac desire to go back to "the good old days," and the stories reflect this, many involving time travel back to a seemingly nostalgic, "better" past, only to be confronted with the bittersweet nature of constantly looking backward instead of ahead, of wanting someth ...more
Mar 25, 2013 TrumanCoyote rated it liked it
Title story good; also "Such Interesting Neighbors" and "Of Missing Persons." And "Second Chance." Hampered by the constant tendency toward blind nostalgia; also his tendency to want to tag a moral on the ends of things. That's the only problem with the otherwise wonderful "Contents Of the Dead Man's Pocket"--nice Hitchcockian suspense (the ordinariness of the harrowing). "Dash Of Spring" reminded me of that Salinger story in Esquire--one of the uncollected ones. Very readable, smooth style.
May 24, 2015 Vicki rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi
This was my first Jack Finney book and I chose well. It has the short stories that remain in my head and heart to this day. I loved the Third Level. It is still a favorite of mine. What a great lesson it teaches about making the most of your opportunities. Never pass up the chance to have what is available to you. Each story in this book is amazing. This is to me the perfect book to read if you want to read science fiction, there is none better.
May 11, 2011 Shriya rated it it was amazing
Shelves: short-stories
Though I'm not particularly fond of science-fiction, this one is my favourite! By means of 'The Third Level', Jack Finney shows the human tendency to escape into the world that doesn't exist because the real life is too hard to handle. The story shows the thin line that exists between schizophrenia and miracles!
Jun 01, 2016 Linda rated it it was amazing
"Of Missing Persons" may be the saddest, most terrifying and important short story I have ever read.
I bought the paperback many years ago and eventually forgot the name of the story, but the plot stayed in my mind. It seems to be an allegory of faith. Finney is always good, but this story is worth the price of the book.
May 04, 2012 Ajaykumar rated it liked it
Aug 09, 2016 Tim rated it it was amazing
Best known via his classic The Body Snatchers (made into a movie as Invasion of the Body Snatchers - twice - and ripped off without credit other times as well), this is a collection of short stories that could easily be source material for Twilight Zone episodes.
Oct 05, 2013 WonderGoon rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
Good stories. Its always fun to read older science fiction books and The Third Level is one of those books that is a truly fun read. Good stuff.
John Porter
May 24, 2012 John Porter rated it it was amazing
So nice when a book you've waited for and looked for for so long turns out to be every bit as good as you hoped.
Madeline Grace
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Sep 18, 2014
Mark Sr.
Mark Sr. rated it it was amazing
Jun 29, 2015
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Apurva Kohli rated it really liked it
Jun 12, 2011
1/11/12: "A Dash of Spring" (1957)
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May 30, 2016
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Jan 04, 2014
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Feb 24, 2012
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Mr. Finney specialized in thrillers and works of science fiction. Two of his novels, "The Body Snatchers" and "Good Neighbor Sam" became the basis of popular films, but it was "Time and Again" (1970) that won him a devoted following. The novel, about an advertising artist who travels back to the New York of the 1880's, quickly became a cult favorite, beloved especially by New Yorkers for its rich, ...more
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