Button, Button

Button, Button

Uncanny Stories

Book - 2008
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What if every time you pushed a button you received $50,000...but someone you didn't know died? Would you still push the button? How many times?

"Button, Button", which inspired a memorable Twilight Zone episode, is just one of a dozen unforgettable tales in this new collection by Richard Matheson, the New York Times bestselling author of I Am Legend and What Dreams May Come. This volume contains a number of stories that were adapted for television, as well as a new introduction by Matheson himself.

This collection of stories features "Button, Button," soon to be a major motion picture starring Cameron Diaz and James Marsden.

Publisher: New York : Tor, 2008
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780765312570
0765312573
Characteristics: 205 p. ; 21 cm

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WhidbeyIslander
Aug 27, 2017

A mostly top notch collection of short stories.

Contents (and my review of each -- plot details contain spoilers; rating out of 5 stars):

* Button, Button - good premise, well told. By now everyone probably knows the plot, but there are at least two different endings floating around, so you may still be surprised. (4.5 stars)
* Girl of My Dreams - a man whose wife's dreams foretell the future tries to cash in on her gift by extorting people whose tragedy she dreams of (4 stars)
* Dying Room Only - a woman's husband disappears from a roadside diner (3 stars)
* Flourish of Strumpets - a couple is bothered when door-to-door prostitutes keep ringing their doorbell. (3 stars)
* No Such Thing As A Vampire - a woman is attacked by a blood-seeking creature night after night even though her husband sleeps in the same room with her (4 stars)
* Pattern For Survival - a writer submits what he and every character in the story thinks is a great writing achievement (4.5 stars)
* Mute - a boy is brought up to be a telepath but cannot speak (4.5 stars)
* The Creeping Terror - the lifestyle of Southern California seems to be infecting the rest of the country (4 stars)
* Shock Wave - a church organ about to be retired revolts (3 stars)
* Clothes Make the Man - a suit of clothes takes on a life of its own (3 stars)
* Jazz Machine - not sure what it's about. Written as a poem and I didn't read it.
* "Tis the Season to Be Jelly - also didn't read. Dialogue was all hillbillyish and hard to follow.

DBRL_KrisA Dec 11, 2016

As with any collection of short stories, there are some that really shine,and others that... don't. "Button, Button" is classic Matheson, with that Twilight Zone feel that made him such an important contributor to that show. "Shock Wave" has a similar feel to it. "A Flourish of Strumpets" was a funny take on door-to-door prostitution. "Tis the Season to Be Jelly" was just... strange. But the best piece, in my opinion, was the only poetry piece in the book: "The Jazz Machine".

v
Venley
Sep 30, 2015

I can see why Stephen King gives him alot of praise. I can see he got some Ideas from Mr. Matheson.

r
Rubicat
Sep 17, 2015

some of these stories are dated and it is obvious that many were intended for magazines but it was clear to see Matheson's growth as a writer as he aged. It was a nice intro to Matheson's talents and a precursor to his later, scarier works.

v
vanravenstein
Apr 29, 2012

The stories in the first half of the book were brilliant, the second half, boring.

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