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The Twilight Zone: The Original Stories
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The Twilight Zone: The Original Stories

4.26  ·  Rating Details ·  594 Ratings  ·  33 Reviews
Collected here are thirty of the most famous, chilling, weird, shocking stories every published--stories that became the episodes of one of the most unusual shows in television history, The Twilight Zone. Here are some of the characters:
*an old salesman who has to make one last pitch--to Death
*a psychiatric patient who stays awake until his dreams merge with reality
*a stru
Hardcover, 550 pages
Published July 1st 1994 by MJF Books (first published 1985)
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Centauri I don't mind my show being supernatural, but I don't want to be booked into a graveyard every week

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Let me just put this out there: I have never watched any of the Twilight Zone episodes. This book has me so interested now though! I almost can't wait until the New Year's Day marathon!

I'm not crazy about science fiction, but I enjoyed just about every one of these stories, with the exception of one or two. Each story came with its own unexpected twist, which always makes for fun reading. The only complaint I read could have had is that science fiction often lends itself to becoming outdated, l
Jul 24, 2011 Sarah rated it really liked it
By the standards of early television, these stories are fantastic. By literary standards?...

Science fiction, in general, doesn't age well. (Men from Mars? No, I've seen Mars. There are no men.) It's ironic how this genre keeps one so firmly entrenched in a time and place! We always imagine a linear trajectory: today's values...but more so, today's fears...but more so, today's aesthetic...but more so. Sci-fi ultimately functions as commentary on the here and now, which makes vintage sci-fi deligh
Jan 28, 2016 Alexandra rated it liked it
the stories in the first half of the book were wonderful. a few of them were true to their episode, and so many were vastly different from what ended up on tv, but nonetheless, almost all of the stories in the first half of the book were amazing.

the second half of the book, while there were a few good stories, was just...boring. and a few times I almost gave up on it. but because I had gotten so far, I kept reading. but mehhhh. and that last story? blech. did not like.

the cool thing about this
Adam Wiebe
Dec 17, 2015 Adam Wiebe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Twilight Zone contained many interesting concepts and twists which made it a delight to read. However, some stories were too long and dragged on, taking away from the others compiled in the book. If you enjoy old science fiction, impossible feats, legendary creatures and magic, this book might be for you.
Rebecca McNutt
Apr 24, 2015 Rebecca McNutt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can never get enough of these stories, The Twilight Zone wasn't just horror; it's stories that have deep moral values, that question the times, that consider issues of humanity and that really make you think about yourself and others.
Roy Buttons
I don't think that these stories are real. But they are good.
Dec 28, 2016 Centauri rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Total Rating: 110 Stars > 3.67 Stars
30 Short Stories – I will do my best to rate the stories without influence of the episode weighing in
(I read these because I enjoy the original show)

One for the Angels – 2 Stars
As far as 1st stories of an anthology goes, this may not have been the best selection. 1st question that nagged at me profusely: who goes out at midnight to buy things from a stand? Seriously, people gathered around at midnight to hear the pitch of all pitches? Doubtful.
Feb 13, 2012 Katie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My dad got this book for me for Christmas last year. It is awesome. Many of the Twilight Zone episodes were original stories adapted for screenplay. This book contains 30 of the original stories, and they're even better than the show. Some were a bit predictable, some I already knew the ending because I'd seen the episode, and others completely threw me off with the plot. It's a great read when you don't have a lot of time because you're a mom of a very rambunctious 1-yr-old. I could sit down fo ...more
Sep 05, 2009 Shay rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Twilight Zone fans
Shelves: library-borrowed
Think of it like this: you have just seen Lord of the Rings. But! Lord of the Rings is not a popularly published set of novels in this country. In fact, you didn't know if it was properly written down as a story anywhere. And out of the blue someone hands you a bound anthology of all three books. That is my excitement level at finding this book.

While I agree with some of the reviewers that a few of these stories are weak, they are nonetheless parts of my childhood. I lived to watch Twilight Zone
Sep 25, 2009 Katie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
LOVED this book! Sure, all the old Twilight Zone reruns are amazing mini-adventures but to read the original stories, most all written by the same three or four guys and then changed slightly for tv, is amazing. These authors had so much imgination and morals: they really put their own perspectives into their characters to make the strange situations more believable. I think everyone should read "An Occurence at Owl Creek Bridge" by Ambrose Pierce (or Bierce, not sure) and my personal fav will a ...more
Jan 22, 2008 Tom rated it liked it
Some of the stories are very good. It's interesting to see how they were changed in the transformation to episodes of the show. For example, the main character in "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet" is traveling alone in the story; adding his wife, someone for him to talk to, is what makes the story possible as a drama. And, as is probably the case with any collection of this many stories, some of them are just so-so.
Sep 07, 2008 Kathy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great stories from the original series. I read this in high school as an assignment from an English teacher who thought I might like the stories, and he was right! I'd love to track this down and read it again.
Justin Hill
Oct 31, 2015 Justin Hill rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bedtime
So many great, unsettling, memorable short stories! I read this in my teens and introduced my teen kids to it as bedtime stories leading up to Halloween. Favorites include The Howling Man, Nightmare at 20,000 Feet, How to Serve Man, and Brothers Beyond the Void (People Are Alike All Over).
Jun 19, 2014 Jamie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Twilight Zone Fans
Loved Twilight Zone as a child, reliving it through the book. Richard Matheson...I love him. I do very much like reading Charles Beaumont's words in print, as I'd only ever seen the episodes based on stories. Quite wonderful to compare and contrast the show with the original stories.
James Kelly
Mar 24, 2009 James Kelly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love the show and when I saw this book of stories that the show was based on I had to read it. I was not disappointed. I would recomend this to anyone who was a fan of the show, or if you like a good story with a twist.
If you are a fan of the Twilight Zone, you need to read this. It's wonderful in its own right, but it gives more depth and context to episodes you already know and love.
Oct 15, 2013 Taylor rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book! But I'm not going to lie I didn't read the last 200ish pages. The stories didn't interest me as much as the first half of the books. Overall I did enjoy the many stories I did read :)
Jan 13, 2008 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-fiction
Some of these stories are great. Some of them are interesting ideas that made better Twilight Zone episodes, but I whole-heartedly recommend this for any scifi/fantasy fan.
Mar 10, 2017 Donald rated it liked it
To begin, this book showed me just how many of the Twilight Zone episodes that I HAVEN'T seen! I gotta catch up! Overall, this collection is good, and probably a must read if you are a fan of the show. There are over a half dozen stories by Richard Matheson and one by Ray Bradbury, so they make it worth it all on their own! (I also liked the tales by Charles Beaumont!) It was interesting to me to see the differences between the stories and the episodes themselves! One of my all-time favorite TZ ...more
Boyd Hendrix
Jan 04, 2017 Boyd Hendrix rated it it was amazing
Timeless classics. This was probably the best collection of short stories I have ever read. Enjoyed this book thoroughly!
Aug 02, 2016 nick rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: didn-t-finish
oh, disapointment. the way someone discribed this book to me a few years ago before i finally found a copy, made me think this was unheard of storys written by the writers of the show. but its actually episodes by the writers aswell as storys by authors that the show bought then adapted into episodes.

story #6, 7, 30. hard to figure out the setting of a scene in the beginning. the word ramp would relate to spaceship or someone in a wheelchair but the characters are just walking down a regular fl
Bill Cipher
Dec 08, 2015 Bill Cipher rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone Who Liked The Show, And Everyone Who Likes A Good Ole Fantasy Horror Sci-Fi!
"The Twilight Zone: The Original Stories" by Richard Matheson is a collection of stories from the popular black and white T.V. series. Some of the stories may be a little different from the T.V. series, but that's only because its written, and not live. They have stories like "Terror At 20,000 Feet", "One For The Angels", and "Little Girl Lost". I recommend this book to everyone who liked the show, and everyone who likes a good ole' fantasy horror sci-fi! I give this book four stars cause someti ...more
Sep 27, 2009 Alwa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Uneven, sometimes unbearably corny (nothing could save "One for the Angels"), but occasionally spellbinding. Contains the original story version of my personal nightmare, "Time Enough At Last," some good Richard Matheson, not my favorite Ray Bradbury but a pretty good one, stories by Damon Knight and Henry Slesar that put them on my to-find list.
Jul 02, 2013 Kbg503 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Had to re-read this in honor of his passing. "If, when I move on, I am remembered as a good storyteller, my soul will be content."

Nice to re-read stories that I had forgotten. The notion in "Blind Alley" that Hell had gone "Corporate" is entertaining and I'm surprised to find a copyright date of 1943. For me, "It's a Good Life" is a much scarier story than TV episode.
Aug 23, 2009 Judy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A mixture of space travel, pacts with the devil, and other such makes the quality of the stories also mixed. Some were very good and others were weak. The last, by Ambrose Bierce, was so "pat" that I knew how it would end (and there were others that were "giveaways," also. But, I'm glad I read it.
Sep 28, 2012 Rob rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jerome Bixby's It's a Good Life is MUCH scarier and thought-provoking than either the TZ's televised or Joe Dante's film version. This is a wonderful collection of short fiction. It's great to see the inspirations for such classic television.
Clara Babbage
Creepy tales of the strangers things in the world
Kevin Lucia
Jul 25, 2013 Kevin Lucia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Awesome collection. A few of the stories - like the episodes themselves - are slight misses, but the Matheson and Beaumont stories are worth it!
Dec 25, 2009 Molly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fascinating collection. This contains some of my favorite "episodes;" "Number 22 Looks Just Like You," "Time Enough at Last," as well as a few others I love.
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Martin Harry Greenberg was an American academic and speculative fiction anthologist. In all, he compiled 1,298 anthologies and commissioned over 8,200 original short stories. He founded Tekno Books, a packager of more than 2000 published books. In addition, he was a co-founder of the Sci-Fi Channel.
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