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Button, Button: Uncanny Stories [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

Richard Matheson

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1. April 2008
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.


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"His stories not only entertain, but touch the mind and heart."--Dean Koontz
“Perhaps no other author living is as responsible for chilling a generation with tantalizing nightmare visions."--The New York Times

“Richard Matheson is one of the great names in American terror fiction.”--The Philadelphia Inquirer

"Matheson is the master of paranoia--pitting a single man against unknown horrors and examining his every slow twist in the wind."--San Jose Mercury News

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Richard Matheson was The New York Times bestselling author of I Am Legend, Hell House, Somewhere in Time, The Incredible Shrinking Man, A Stir of Echoes, The Beardless Warriors, The Path, Seven Steps to Midnight, Now You See It…, and What Dreams May Come, among others. He was named a Grand Master of Horror by the World Horror Convention, and received the Bram Stoker Award for Lifetime Achievement. He has also won the Edgar, the Spur, and the Writer's Guild awards. In 2010, he was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame. In addition to his novels Matheson wrote several screenplays for movies and TV, including “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet,” based on his short story, along with several other Twilight Zone episodes. He was born in New Jersey and raised in Brooklyn, and fought in the infantry in World War II. He earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri. Matheson died in June, 2013, at the age of eighty-seven.


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18 von 19 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen An Excellent Offering of Matheson Stories 19. Mai 2008
Von Jordan Edward - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Though not as strong a collection as either of the previous two volumes published by Tor, "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet" and "Duel", "Button, Button" is a slim volume that offers quality throughout and, in some places, true greatness. Matheson experiments stylistically more in this collection than in the other two. The best stories are those that he does not attempt to experiment with, or, in other words, those keeping with Matheson's trademarked style of cinematic minimalism applied to a dark fantasy story, or suspense story, constructed in the realist manner.

The title story is certainly one of the finer offerings in the collection. It is written almost as a parable, or a fable, with the lines of distinctions marking not the characters but the action and the consequences of those actions. "Girl of My Dreams" and "Dying Room Only" are crime/suspense stories, the former containing fantasy elements, that are driven by action and dialogue to a rational conclusion. "Girl of My Dreams" concern a battle between the mental and the physical and shows how fear and uncertainty can easily usurp the power of physical strength.

"A Flourish of Strumpets" is a darkly humorous story that is pervaded by an invasive atmosphere that underlies the funny moments in the story, including the twist ending, with a vision of human frailty. "No Such Thing As a Vampire" is a story dealing not only of vampires (of the real variety) but with revenge, myth, belief, and the conductive power of these intertwined. "Pattern for Survival" is a short piece with a surprisingly unexpected cohesiveness. "Mute" is a darkly brooding commentary on the frailty of genius, the corruptible innocence of a child, and the undeserving punishment inflicted upon the weak and helpless by those stronger yet mentally and emotionally inferior.

"The Creeping Terror" is a long, boring, experimental piece that aims to be satirical and comes off as pointless, dated, and unoriginal. "Shock Wave," however, is original, suspenseful, and a jolt to the senses. "Clothes Make the Man" is a story that plays solely off its twist ending but since the story is short and the twist a satisfying one, it is pulled off exceptionally. "The Jazz Machine" is an atypical prose poem that is actually quite a good story if the style doesn't weigh you down too much. "Tis the Season to Be Jelly" is a baffling stylistic piece of bizarre fantasy, and not very satisfying.
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3.0 von 5 Sternen The Most Consistent Level of Quality Across a Matheson Anthology Collection 28. Mai 2008
Von James N Simpson - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Richard Matheson has certainly written some of the most classic and well known masterpieces throughout his career, many of which are short stories. Usually with a Matheson anthology the title story is superb (such as with Duel: Terror Stories By Richard Matheson) and the rest are just fillers and to be honest are very average stories. Those coming across Button, Button Uncanny Stories will be pleased to know that the majority are of not only readable but fairly high quality. The only thing though this collection lacks is a masterpiece, there's nothing of the quality of Duel, or The Shrinking Man, I Am Legend or Nightmare At 20,000 Feet in this collection.

All short stories within, with the exception of Button, Button, (this anthology's title story) were all originally published in the 1950s or early 1960s. Button, Button is no new work either it first appeared in 1970. Trying to track down a lot of these Matheson gems today would be pretty difficult and expensive so it's good to see publishers republishing old work together for the first time in new anthologies.

So what are the stories about?

Button, Button - is more of a philosophical question than a story as other than the characters coping with the dilemma of being asked if they would push the button on a device delivered to their home which will give them $50 000 at the expense of someone they don't know being killed every time they push it. There is really not much substance to this story, it is actually one of the weaker stories of this collection simply because other than the what would you do aspect, nothing much happens after that.

Girl of My Dreams - has a woman who can see the future deaths of people. A loser guy sees her as his ticket to wealth and hot women by blackmailing those close to those she sees to hand over cash in exchange for the information so they can protect the ones they love.

Dying Room Only - is an interesting little tale. A married couple stop in an isolated town's service station to get something to eat. Both use the bathrooms as their food is cooking but the husband never comes out. What happened to him? You'll need to read and find out.

A Flourish of Strumpets - does show its age a bit but remembering when it was written (1956) and picturing that time period as the setting makes it brilliant. A conservative husband and wife answer the door to a prostitute who is bringing herself to her customers rather than wait on street corners and is after business. Appalled this couple ring the police who aren't that helpful. The husband soon learns his neighbours aren't as appalled by the daily visits of a different woman each day as he and his wife are.

No Such Thing as a Vampire - is certainly no I am Legend quality wise but still a worthwhile read. A women awakens to find puncture marks on her neck. No matter what vampire remedies and precautions are taken she is still bitten every night. Servants leave, the town fears they will be next when the vampire has finished with her. The husband is an unbeliever in vampires, there is no such thing as vampires surely!

Pattern for Survival - I reread this three and half page story twice and still have no idea what the point of it is. A popular writer gets another story published in a magazine, that's it.

Mute - Fire destroys an isolated house. A boy is later found to have in the woods having escaped. Remarkably he cannot speak. How did he escape the fire and why can he not speak? One of the few average reads in this anthology.

Creeping Terror - LA is alive! Citrus trees start growing where they shouldn't be, people dress for and start heading to the beach on foot in places where there is no beach. This story of LA expanding and taking over the world is written in the style of a paper written for assessment in a university class complete with footnotes. Easily other than Pattern for Survival the most average story in here.

Shock Wave - About an organ in a church which is old and some want to destroy and get rid of. An old man is infuriated that they want to get rid of his old girl which he knows is alive.

Clothes Make the Man - A man who is really into clothes finds that one day his clothes went to work without him. Also to his dismay his wife finds his clothes without him hold more sex appeal than he does inside them.

The Jazz Machine - is a story written as lyrics justifying why they broke a white man's jazz machine.

Tis the Season to be Jelly - A family talks as they begin to melt, their noses fall off and they fall apart.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen superb anthology 2. April 2008
Von Harriet Klausner - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
The twelve stories that make up this collection were mostly written in the 1950s and 1960s (the newest is 1970) but continue to be timely as they showcase a strong suspense horror author who remains renowned for his Twilight Zone twists affirmed by this anthology. The title story is a terrific tale of ethics vs. greed as a married couple possesses a device in which each time they press a button they receive $50,000, but a stranger dies. "Girl of My Dreams" stars a rat who abuses his naive girlfriend's psychic gift to make money; greed is one of the deadly sins in the Matheson world while the loss of innocence ("Mute") is even deadlier. "No Such Thing as a Vampire" feels very Twilight Zone like. This superb anthology is top rate as the short stories are filled with everyday people with moral choices between avarice and ethics involved in scenarios beyond their normal existence; any moment Rod Serling will inform the audience they entered a world filled with imagination and much more.

Harriet Klausner
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5.0 von 5 Sternen The short story the movie The Box is based on and more.... 31. Oktober 2009
Von Long Island Momma - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
I picked up this book, once I realized the movie The Box was based on a short story by Richard Matheson. I wasn't familiar with Richard Matheson, but apparently, Stephen King was once quoted as saying that he is the author who influenced him the most as a writer, so I figured I would give him a try.

I read the first story, which the movie, The Box is based on called Button, Button and loved it. It is a tale of ethics vs. greed as a married couple possesses a device in which each time they press a button they receive $50,000, but a stranger dies. The other short stories in the book are all excellent and many have a Twilight Zone feel to them. I highly recommend this book.
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4.0 von 5 Sternen Fun, Bizarre Short Story Collection 2. Februar 2012
Von Naida M. - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
The Box: Uncanny Stories is a creepy collection of twelve short stories by author Richard Matheson who also wrote I Am Legend and What Dreams May Come.
As with most short story anthologies, I enjoyed some of these tales more than others. In this collection, there were maybe two that I didn't care for.
These stories are strange and suspenseful and have supernatural and fantasy aspects to them. Most of the stories have an unexpected twist to them. I'll mention a few that I enjoyed here in my review.

-Button, Button - A couple is asked to push a button and in return they get fifty thousand dollars. The price however, is that someone they do not know will drop dead. It is mainly the wife who wonders if they should push the button and take the money. I guess the ending fairly quickly, but I enjoyed this one none the less.

-Girl of My Dreams- A woman has vivid nightmares about the ways others will die. Her husband greedily exploits her supernatural ability. Told from the husbands point of view, you really get a feel as to how grimy he is.

-Dying Room Only- This was more of a suspenseful story that got under my skin and made me uncomfortable as I read it. A married couple stops to eat at a small rest stop in the middle of nowhere. After going to the ladies room, the wife comes out to find her husband is missing. There are only locals at this rest stop, and no one wants to answer her questions about her husbands whereabouts.
This is my favorite story of the bunch. It tapped into the fear of being utterly alone and helpless. Matheson sets the mood perfectly, the heat of the day is stifling, as is the wife's slowly growing terror.

-No Such Thing As a Vampire: A woman awakes one day to find tell tale bite necks on herself. She fears the worst, as do the townspeople and her servants. This was a story about revenge and the lengths someone will go to attain it. This one reminded me a bit of Dracula.

-A Flourish of Strumpets: A conservative husband and wife find that each night a different prostitute comes knocking at their door offering her services. The descriptions of these 'strumpets' as well as the uptight husbands reactions had me laughing a bit. This story had a nice twist at the end.

-Creeping Terror : Los Angeles is actually alive and slowly spreading all over the world. Citrus trees begin to grow where they should not, people are struck with the sudden urge to dress for the beach and to cut the tops off their cars to make them into convertibles.
Another story that was bizarre and humorous. I found this story to be very cleverly written. It's written in the form of a paper written for a university class, there's even footnotes included. This one had more of a science fiction feel to it.

Overall this was a nice collection of creepy and bizarre, sometimes even humorous short stories and I enjoyed my introduction Matheson's work. I hope to read more of his books. I have seen a few on screen adaptations.
It's not easy to write good short stories. Matheson did well with most to the ones in this collection, they were short yet packed a punch. These tales felt very Twilight Zone like to me and I enjoyed that.

Interestingly enough, Matheson wrote the short story Nightmare at 20,000 Feet, which was made into one of my favorite Twilight Zone episodes starring William Shatner.
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