As I Knew Him: My Dad, Rod Serling (Printed Copy)


by Anne Serling
ISBN: 978-0-8065-3673-6
Publish Date: 4/29/2014
Format: Trade Paperback
Categories: Citadel, Memoirs



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"A haunting and beautifully written memoir about the creator of The Twilight Zone." --Robert Redford

"Beautifully written. . .I laughed and I cried. I plan to read it again once I catch my breath." --Carol Burnett

In this intimate, lyrical memoir about her iconic father, Anne Serling reveals the fun-loving dad and family man behind the imposing figure the public saw hosting The Twilight Zone each week. After his unexpected, early death, Anne, just 20, was left stunned. But through talking to his friends, poring over old correspondence, and recording her childhood memories, Anne not only found solace, but gained a deeper understanding of this remarkable man. Now she shares her discoveries, along with personal photos, revealing letters, and scenes of his childhood, war years, and their family's time together. A tribute to Rod Serling's legacy as a visionary, storyteller, and humanist, As I Knew Him is also a moving testament to the love between fathers and daughters.

"A tender, thoughtful and very personal portrait of American genius Rod Serling." --Alice Hoffman

"Richly told. . .a haunting memoir about grief, creativity, and a father-daughter bond as memorable and magical as any Twilight Zone episode." --Caroline Leavitt

"Filled with anecdotes and self-reflection. . .Serling still casts an outsized shadow." --Variety

"Lush memories of a remarkable father and adept analysis of his work." --Kirkus Reviews

About Anne Serling:

Before becoming a full-time writer, Anne Serling was an early childhood teacher with a bachelor’s degree 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 Fine Arts “Fifth Dimension” program. Her writing has appeared in Salon and Huffington Post. She lives in New York.



Breaking Bad
creator Vince Gilligan, a great admirer of Rod Serling’s work, gives a thumbs-up to the copy of As I Knew Him he was given.  Photo credit:  Eric Herman

Average Customer Review

Based on 1 review


Customer Review

Truly the One and Only Book About Rod Serling (Tuesday, November 19, 2013)
Reviewer: Thomas Thyros

Firstly: Forgive me for this rather long, gushing, and at times, windy review. But I believe when something touches those hidden buttons and stirs the emotions--as this book does--it deserves a review this replete.

I have never been easily impressed. But this book does impress the hell out of me! There are times when a book, song, or piece of art will have profound effect on those who experience it, and Anne Serling has her father’s knack for reaching into those secreted parts of one’s soul. This review is a long time coming--much too late I fear--but heartfelt all the same.

I received an advanced copy of this book many months ago. I broke open the book to a random page and started reading. (This is something I do to sample a book.) I knew immediately--that very moment--I would need some time; a perfect time for such a book with so much to say about someone that, I myself, have had a great love for, as well as a profound respect--unequaled. This book made me love the man even more, and respect him more profoundly.

I found that “perfect time” and I set myself to reading, what turned out to be, this most excellent book. An avid reader, I have read many of the “biographies” about this icon of our time, he being one of my greatest heroes. However, I must say that this book--in one fell swoop--negated every-single-one of those other books! When one reads this book, he or she quickly realizes--utterly--that all those other books are mainly hokum, and hearsay--disrespectful without need, wasteful of valuable time, and lacking in credence.

This book needed to be written, not only for Anne, but also for all of us. My gratitude to Anne is immeasurable for her giving of herself in this extraordinary book. Anyone who reads this book--and is a fan of Rod Serling at the start--will realize that Rod Serling was an even greater man than we could have ever imagined. Anyone who has been curious about Rod Serling will become a fan of this man and all that he gave to us.

This book is a love story in the purist sense. Anne pours herself out on the pages, bleeding, and allows us not only to know her father better, but also to know her as well. We get to see her father’s grit within her, her unwavering fortitude on contemporary social issues, and her desperation to “find” her father--which at times will break your heart. If the love presented here, between father and daughter, were the norm, this world would be a much better place to exist.

This book is comfortable; like having a long, private, and fascinating conversation with an old friend. I, a published writer myself, enjoyed the rollercoaster ride of emotions. I laughed, experienced anger, felt jealousy, felt pain, and I experienced searching moments of examination about my relationship with my own father. But perhaps the one that “grabbed me in the dark,” so to speak, was that I found myself weeping at times. This is an uncomfortable admission, as not many things or people can make this happen. Since finishing this book, I find myself reliving parts of it, and consequently, it has given me the gift of reliving parts of my own life as well.

Now I must make yet another uncomfortable admission: For twenty years, I have not spoken with my father. However, I think now it is time to fill the chasm and bridge the banks. For this, I want to thank you, Anne, for being genuine, honest, and, “simply a beautiful person.” Additionally, I would like to thank your father in absentia as well for being who he was, for standing up for what he believed in, for his service to our country, and for being a part of my world.

Anne, please write another book. This one is loved, and we have fallen for you as well.


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