• As I Knew Him

  • My Dad, Rod Serling
  • By: Anne Serling
  • Narrated by: Anne Serling
  • Length: 8 hrs and 15 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (111 ratings)

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As I Knew Him

By: Anne Serling
Narrated by: Anne Serling
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Publisher's Summary

In Twilight Zone reruns, I search for my father in the man on the screen, but I can’t always find him there. Instead, he appears in unexpected ways. Memory summoned by a certain light, a color, a smell - and I see him again on the porch of our old red lakeside cottage, where I danced on the steps as a child.

To Anne Serling, the imposing figure the public saw hosting The Twilight Zone each week, intoning cautionary observations about fate, chance, and humanity, was not the father she knew. Her fun-loving dad would play on the floor with the dogs, had nicknames for everyone in the family, and was apt to put a lampshade on his head and break out in song. He was her best friend, her playmate, and her confidant. After his unexpected death at 50, Anne, just 20, was left stunned. Gradually, she found solace for her grief - talking to his friends, poring over old correspondence, and recording her childhood memories. Now she shares eloquent, revealing letters and beautifully rendered scenes of his childhood, war years, and their family’s time together. Idyllic summers in upstate New York, the years in Los Angeles, and the myriad ways he filled their time with laughter, strength, and endearing silliness - all are captured here with deep affection and candor. Though begun in loss, Anne’s story is a celebration of her extraordinary relationship with her father and the qualities she came to prize through him - empathy, kindness, and an uncompromising sense of social justice. As I Knew Him is a lyrical, intimate tribute to Rod Serling’s legacy as visionary, storyteller, and humanist, and a moving testament to the love between fathers and daughters.

©2013 Anne Serling (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about As I Knew Him

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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As Only Anne Could Tell It..

I first downloaded the book, but when I saw that Anne had narrated an audiobook, the switchover was a "no-brainer." Captivating and insightful; the work holds the listener from the first chapter to the closing acknowledgements. Always appreciated Rod Sterling's wit and insights as portrayed via his stories on the TZ, and appreciate what it took to give us this "deep dive" into some of the personal background that helped to shape this world and life view. Awesome..

2 people found this helpful

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Thank you so much Anne!

Thank you so Anne Serling, for sharing about your dad! what a riot he was!

2 people found this helpful

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A daughter's loving remembrance of an interesting man

As a fan of Rod Serling, but not knowing that much about him, his daughter fills in the gaps between the public and private Rod Serling. I found her recollections framed a loving family man, brilliant writer and a man whom I shared similar political views. I was often grown tired of Ann Serling's maudlin, seemingly still grieving remembrance of her father. But then I realized how profoundly affected my family was at my own father's untimely death in 1986. I think often of him along with my late mother. So to fault her would be an insult to close families and other acquaintances. I will take away a lot from this Audible book and no doubt think of Rod Serling not only from his television, movie and written works but as a great, sometimes simple, but often complex man.

2 people found this helpful

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Better In Print, Perhaps

What would have made As I Knew Him better?

I'm not sure that anything would have made the story better. It's Ms. Serling's story to tell as she pleases. The primary trouble is that I find her narrative (in a purely auditory sense) terribly distracting.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

Since it's in essence an autobiography/memoir narrated by the author herself, there's not much I as a reader can suggest. It would simply be better in print form I think.

What didn’t you like about Anne Serling’s performance?

Her performance is acceptable enough (or might be to others) but I find it difficult to focus somehow.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from As I Knew Him?

It's far easier to "play editor" with visual content. Lacking that in this instance, I can't say.

Any additional comments?

No.

2 people found this helpful

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A Poignant Remembrance of a Dad and a Hero

I loved this book. I believe you will, too

Rod Serling was a hero, a famous writer/personality, friend, and dad, just to mention a few things about the man. If you know TV's "The Twilight Zone," you know Rod Serling.

He was also a World War II combat hero who fought in the Philippines.

He was a friend of the oppressed and someone who did not tolerant prejudice in any form. He fought constantly for injustices in and out of Hollywood.

Of course, he was a dad to Anne, the author of this book, and her older sister, Jodi, who went on to work in nursing.

I have personally traveled to the humble grave site of Rod Serling a couple of times. This last time, on June 28, 2020 on the 45th Anniversary of his passing from a massive heart attack at the age of 50 in 1975, I took along this audio book for the 9-hour round trip.

I was not disappointed.

Anne narrated the book with professionalism and, obviously, a clear understanding of her subject: her dad, Rod Serling.

Even though Rodman Edward "Rod" Serling has been dead now for close to 1/2 a century, his fans run into the millions. I know one man, decades younger than I am, who is such a fan that he has the face of Mr. Serling tattooed on his arm.

If you purchase and listen to this book, and I hope you do, prepare yourself for what will probably be some tears. The pain from the death of Anne's father at such a young age (she was still in college) went very deep for Anne, and you will feel it.

I have often wondered what brilliant pieces of literature would have come from Mr. Serling had he lived. But, we lost more than a writer when he died, we lost a man of high standards, principles, and convictions; attributes, in my unqualified opinion, that are sorely missing today. You will learn of all of this in the book.

Though a mere 5' 5", he was not a physically tall man. At 5' 7" neither am I. The difference is that he truly was a giant of a man in so many ways.

Addressing the nuts and bolts of the book, it is well-written (I hope Anne writes more, as she is quite good at it), and the production is world-class. Of course I am only guessing, but I would have to think that Mr. Serling would be very proud of Anne. I know I am, and I don't even know her. He was a man who deeply loved Anne and Jodi and his, wife, Carolyn, who joined him in death, and I believe a new life, in 2020.

Buy the audio book. It will be well worth your time.

1 person found this helpful

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His life was much more exciting

Story was very well written and learning about Rod was fascinating. I watch Twilight Zone with my family for years and never realized how much background those shows had. Anne truly expresses how much she loves her father, which is evident by everything she says. Mr Sterling was a happy, introspective and engaging man, but the narrator made it miserable to listen. If it weren't such a well-written story, I would have probably stopped listening, due to the droning, depressing , monotone voice.

1 person found this helpful

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A Beautiful Tribute to a Wonderful Man

I feel so grateful to have stumbled upon this biography of Rod Serling! I knew him from Twilight Zone and other works, but never knew the man behind the writing. The author, his daughter, gives us a deep and intimate picture of the man, the father, the writer, the activist that he was. I'm deeply moved by his genius, passion, his conviction, and the intense way he lived his life. I have also ordered several of his plays and other writings because I want to dive deeper into the writing, since I'm well-versed in his work for tv. Anne Serling, thank you for laying bare your inner most pain and emotion and allowing us into that private world that you shared with your dad.

1 person found this helpful

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long and drawn out

This is more about the crippling loss of a father. I wanted to hear about Rod Serling, not his grief stricken daughter. Disappointed, then again I should have known, it is titled "as I knew him" afterall. The reading pace is painfully slow, I strongly suggest speeding it up to 1.15 or even 1.3 speed.

1 person found this helpful

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My Dad: Rod Serling

Would you consider the audio edition of As I Knew Him to be better than the print version?

Yes, I thought his daughter did a great job narrating it. At times, you could hear the emotion in her voice.

What was one of the most memorable moments of As I Knew Him?

*** THERE WERE SEVERAL, I LIKED THE WAY SHE TOLD US ABOUT HOW ROD INTEGRATED HIS LIFE INTO THE SHOWS.

Which character – as performed by Anne Serling – was your favorite?

ROD, OF COURSE!!

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

SAD AT THE END, BUT YOU KNEW IT WAS COMING.

Any additional comments?

BEAUTIFULLY WRITTEN.

1 person found this helpful

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Beautiful and human

Beautifully read and written. so human and beautiful a soul was Mr. Serling. Thank you for being a hero to other writers like myself. A work of art.