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Death on Television: The Best of Henry Slesar's Alfred Hitchcock Stories

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Henry Slesar wrote more than 40 stories that were chosen for the classic television show, Alfred Hitchcock Presents. Irony, not suspense, is the key ingredient in the nineteen stories by Slesar offered in this collection. While irony often seems a by-product of cynicism, Anatole France called it "the last phase of disillusion." For Hitchcock and his writers, irony, not just Henry Slesar wrote more than 40 stories that were chosen for the classic television show, Alfred Hitchcock Presents. Irony, not suspense, is the key ingredient in the nineteen stories by Slesar offered in this collection. While irony often seems a by-product of cynicism, Anatole France called it "the last phase of disillusion." For Hitchcock and his writers, irony, not just suspense, was the basis of storytelling, along with its two constant companions: humor and pity. Hitchcock first spotted Slesar’s work in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine. The story, entitled "M Is for the Many," became an episode called "Heart of Gold." A lonely, orphaned young man just out of prison calls on the family of his cellmate. They "adopt" him and he is happy for the first time in his life—until he learns that their kindness is directed toward finding out where his cellmate hid the money he stole. In his introduction Henry Slesar says, "Hitchcock always appreciated a good joke. He also appreciated a good story. I have never needed a more gratifying commendation than the fact that he liked the ones in this book." 1. Introduction 2. Night of the Execution (1957) [The Day of the Execution] 3. The Right Kind of House (1957) [The Right Kind of a House] 4. One Grave Too Many (1960) 5. Party Line (1960) [The Deadly Telephone] 6. The Money (1960) [Trust Me, Mr. Paschetti] 7. A Crime for Mothers (1961) 8. The Last Escape (1961) 9. A Woman's Help (1961) 10. Coming Home (1961) [You Can't Blame Me] 11. Cop for a Day (1957) 12. The Case of M.J.H. (1962) 13. The Test (1962) [Thicker than Water] 14. Burglar Proof (1962) 15. Most Likely to Succeed (1962) [Beggars Can be Chosen] 16. Final Vow (1962) [Hiding Out] 17. Blood Bargain (1963) 18. Starring the Defense (1963) 19. Behind the Locked Door (1964) - with Joel Murcott 20. Second Verdict (1964) - with Alfred Hayes


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Henry Slesar wrote more than 40 stories that were chosen for the classic television show, Alfred Hitchcock Presents. Irony, not suspense, is the key ingredient in the nineteen stories by Slesar offered in this collection. While irony often seems a by-product of cynicism, Anatole France called it "the last phase of disillusion." For Hitchcock and his writers, irony, not just Henry Slesar wrote more than 40 stories that were chosen for the classic television show, Alfred Hitchcock Presents. Irony, not suspense, is the key ingredient in the nineteen stories by Slesar offered in this collection. While irony often seems a by-product of cynicism, Anatole France called it "the last phase of disillusion." For Hitchcock and his writers, irony, not just suspense, was the basis of storytelling, along with its two constant companions: humor and pity. Hitchcock first spotted Slesar’s work in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine. The story, entitled "M Is for the Many," became an episode called "Heart of Gold." A lonely, orphaned young man just out of prison calls on the family of his cellmate. They "adopt" him and he is happy for the first time in his life—until he learns that their kindness is directed toward finding out where his cellmate hid the money he stole. In his introduction Henry Slesar says, "Hitchcock always appreciated a good joke. He also appreciated a good story. I have never needed a more gratifying commendation than the fact that he liked the ones in this book." 1. Introduction 2. Night of the Execution (1957) [The Day of the Execution] 3. The Right Kind of House (1957) [The Right Kind of a House] 4. One Grave Too Many (1960) 5. Party Line (1960) [The Deadly Telephone] 6. The Money (1960) [Trust Me, Mr. Paschetti] 7. A Crime for Mothers (1961) 8. The Last Escape (1961) 9. A Woman's Help (1961) 10. Coming Home (1961) [You Can't Blame Me] 11. Cop for a Day (1957) 12. The Case of M.J.H. (1962) 13. The Test (1962) [Thicker than Water] 14. Burglar Proof (1962) 15. Most Likely to Succeed (1962) [Beggars Can be Chosen] 16. Final Vow (1962) [Hiding Out] 17. Blood Bargain (1963) 18. Starring the Defense (1963) 19. Behind the Locked Door (1964) - with Joel Murcott 20. Second Verdict (1964) - with Alfred Hayes

31 review for Death on Television: The Best of Henry Slesar's Alfred Hitchcock Stories

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jawahar Surti

    3.5/5 A collection of short stories written from the TV show. Each story gives the date when the show was aired and the cast. The stories vary between okayish to sheer brilliance. The ends have a twist which many a times you don't see coming. At times you can guess. But it's nice to have such books around. You can read a story in a few minutes in between you your work or regular reading. 3.5/5 A collection of short stories written from the TV show. Each story gives the date when the show was aired and the cast. The stories vary between okayish to sheer brilliance. The ends have a twist which many a times you don't see coming. At times you can guess. But it's nice to have such books around. You can read a story in a few minutes in between you your work or regular reading.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Abbey

    BOTTOM LINE: Edited and arranged by Francis M. Nevins Jr. & Martin H. Greenberg, this is a superb suspense/horror short story anthology. A really terrific grouping of short stories written by Henry Slesar from which were filmed some of the most memorable Alfred Hitchcock TV shows that aired from 1957 through 1964. Not quite horror stories, most of them are quite ironic and sly, with very tasty twists at the ends, quite suiting Hitchcock's - and my own - preferences in short stories. It's difficul BOTTOM LINE: Edited and arranged by Francis M. Nevins Jr. & Martin H. Greenberg, this is a superb suspense/horror short story anthology. A really terrific grouping of short stories written by Henry Slesar from which were filmed some of the most memorable Alfred Hitchcock TV shows that aired from 1957 through 1964. Not quite horror stories, most of them are quite ironic and sly, with very tasty twists at the ends, quite suiting Hitchcock's - and my own - preferences in short stories. It's difficult for me to pick a few bests, they're all so beautifully sharp and still effective, even after almost sixty years, but certainly among that number are "The Right Kind of House" and "Party Line". Night of the Execution — young D.A. gets his comeuppance, very sly The Right Kind of House — classic, edgy, tale of retribution One Grave too Many — pickpockets and the nature of guilt Party Line — gorgeously brutal, classic tale of suspicious neighbors and so-called friends The Money — A Crime for Mothers — The Last Escape — A Woman's Help — Coming Home — Cop for a Day — The Case of M. J. H. — The Test — Burglar Proof — Most Likely to Succeed — nice little bit about a shady entrepreneur and an old friend Final Vow — Blood Bargain — Starring the Defense — Behind the Locked Door — Second Verdict —

  3. 5 out of 5

    OTIS

  4. 5 out of 5

    Mark

  5. 4 out of 5

    Sule Atakısı

  6. 4 out of 5

    Joel Johnson

  7. 5 out of 5

    Siepi

  8. 4 out of 5

    Igraine

  9. 4 out of 5

    EelKat Christine Allen

  10. 5 out of 5

    Brandon

  11. 4 out of 5

    Slee

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ga

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jordan

  15. 4 out of 5

    Hunting Violets

  16. 5 out of 5

    Tischelle

  17. 5 out of 5

    Ellery Carr

  18. 4 out of 5

    Liyakathali Khan

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jitin Madhu

  20. 4 out of 5

    James Wierzbicki

  21. 4 out of 5

    Leanne

  22. 5 out of 5

    rêveur d'art

  23. 4 out of 5

    Venkatarangan Thirumalai

  24. 5 out of 5

    Creolecat

  25. 4 out of 5

    David Baldwin

  26. 4 out of 5

    CasualDebris

  27. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

  28. 4 out of 5

    David Schwenker

  29. 5 out of 5

    Duru

  30. 4 out of 5

    Horace

  31. 4 out of 5

    Laura Mulqueen

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