Thursday, October 2, 2014

Book Review: The Twlight Zone: The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street by R. Serling et al.

The Twlight Zone: The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street adapted by Mark Kneece from Rod Serling's original screenplay, illustrated by Rich Ellis

Having read a previous adaptation of a Twilight Zone episode, I picked up this volume at the library anticipating another well-retold story. The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street is a famous episode from the show. In it, a suburban street is subject to a power outage after what seems to be a meteor comes crashing overhead. Not only is the power out, but cars won't start and portable radios don't pick up any stations. People start to get nervous. One guy goes to the next street to find out if they have the same problems. The other people gather and talk about how weird it is. When two guys decide to walk downtown, a boy of ten warns them not to go, because they won't come back. That's how these stories always work out in comic books and movies--people disappear one after another because the aliens from the "meteor" are starting their invasion. The boy insists that there must be a family who are really aliens sent ahead of time to get things ready. Suspicions immediately grow and good neighbors become a paranoid mob. Things go from bad to worse when cars mysteriously start and stop and only certain homes have power. The neighbors turn on one another at a truly frightening pace and with devastating consequences.

As an adaptation of the story, this volume was a bit of a let down. The story is exactly the same with no real visual flourishes or significant new material to make it better or even different in an interesting way. Having seen the episode first, this book feels redundant. It's still a great story anyway.

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