Book Review: Everything I Need to Know I Learned in The Twilight Zone by Mark Dawidziak

Cover of the book Everything I Need to Know I Learned in The Twilight Zone by Mark Dawidziak
Everything I Need to Know I Learned in The Twilight Zone
by Mark Dawidziak
St. Martin’s/Thomas Dunne, 2017

This review was first published by Booklist on March 3, 2017.

This book is a delightful love letter to the original The Twilight Zone television series, the primary writers of the show, and its creator, Rod Serling. The narrative is presented as a lighthearted guide to life, as Dawidziak sets forth 50 “life lessons” that can be found in various episodes. Some of the lessons are a bit on the nose, but make no mistake—as humorous as this book is, these lessons are substantial. The Twilight Zone episodes functioned as mini-morality plays, after all, steeped in Serling’s belief in the fundamental dignity of individuals. One could do worse than try to live by the book’s precepts. The book reminds us, too, of how revolutionary and brilliant the show was. Dawidziak includes statements from a variety of showbiz movers and shakers about why The Twilight Zone was important and the influence it had on them. This book won’t stand as a scholarly work, but that’s not the point: it’s a joyful celebration of being a fan. If nothing else, it will make readers want to rewatch the show—and that’s surely a welcome thing.

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