Reviews written about The Alfred Hitchcock Presents Companion.

The Delta Star, October 2002

"This book was worth the anxious wait by Alfred Hitchcock fans worldwide."

The Hitchcock Annual, 2001-2002
"It contains an enormous amount of material on Hitchcock's activities apart from his role as a film director. I should add that this far-ranging, miscellaneous quality makes the book a fascinating companion."

Leonard Maltin, Entertainment Tonight & Movie Crazy
"Is a treasure trove of information and lore, based on enormous research and a number of interviews."

The one and only Hitchcock book for TV fans, August 19, 2003. Reviewer: Arlene Titterton (New York City, NY)
I have to admit that I have four bookshelves from the floor to the ceiling with hundreds of books about Alfred Hitchcock. With this in mind I will state that Mr. Wikstrom and Mr. Grams has given us the one and only book that EVERY admirer of Sir Alfred should own and read. Everything about the television series from the production history to an episode guide is highly detailed. Experts in their craft from all over the world contributed and this is so clearly evident that anyone who browses the pages will admit the authors took their time to compile one heck of a book. Jaclyn Packer has a Ph.D., Ulrich Rudel is from Europe, Patrik Wikstrom is from Sweden as stated in the "about the authors" and Mr. Grams is already a familiar name. I knew Alfred Hitchcock had cancer more than once but until I read Packer's chapter, I never knew Hitchcock acted in a television episode of "Tactic" and played the role of a director in order to support the cause of fighting cancer. The bibliography even listed two sources of information that impressed me. Thomas Binotto's "Nichts Als Zufalle" from Film Dienst, April 2001 issue and Frank Arnold's "Du Hast Nur 23 Minuten-Alfred Hitchcock's Fernseharbeiten" published in Berlin, Germany in 1999. Of the hundreds of books I have read, this is the first I have seen anyone credit those sources. Obviously two chapters had to be translated to English and the translation is superb. If you want to have an enjoyable and informative book about Sir Alfred's television series, this is the book. Highest recommendation.

The definitive and comprehensive resource for fans, August 9, 2003. Reviewer: Midwest Book Review (Oregon, WI)
Presented through a special arrangement with Universal Studios, The Alfred Hitchcock Presents Companion by Martin Grams and Patrik Wikstrom is a complete and authoritative guide to the "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" television series, including a thorough episode guide with plot summaries, behind-the-scenes looks, over 100 black-and-white photographs, documentation on "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" collectibles, information concerning the 1980s remake series, notes on Hitchcock spoofs, and more. The definitive and comprehensive resource for fans of this classic spine-chilling series, The Alfred Hitchcock Presents Companion is also a welcome and very highly recommended addition to personal and academic Television History reference library collections.

One of my three favorite books, May 30, 2003. Reviewer: Pam Holman (Juno, Alaska)
This has to be one of my three favorite books. The other two are "The Twlight Zone Companion" by Marc Scott Zicree and "The Outer Limits Companion" by David Schow. Like those books, The Alfred Hitchcock Companion covers the complete background production, synposis and episode guide, rare photos, and magnificent documentary approach. The style or writing is scholarly and a few notables from Sweden and Germany wrote short brief essays that explore the program in detail. Mad Magazine spoofs, AHP collectables and even Hitchcock's appearance on the show "Tactic" for the cancer relief fund with William Shatner was the most interesting. This book came to my attention through the book review in FILMFAX magazine last month and they are right. This is the final word on the subject of the Hitchcock show. To make it short and sweet (and I mean this literally) this the hands-down, ultimate book on the subject. Buy it!

Thank you Grams and Wikstrom, February 10, 2003. Reviewer: Gene Stover (Potomac, Texas)
This is a must have for any of you Hitchcock fans. Like The Outer Limits Companion, this book covers every aspect of the Hitchcock television series. Almost every episode has memories from the writers or actors or directors, trivia, bloopers, and other goodies. I ordered the book for myself but when it came in the mail Boy was I shocked! It's 660 pages thick! There are various chapters written by scholars covering Hitchcock TV show spoofs, Hitchcock TV collectables, Hitchcock TV shows that were produced and directed by Mr. Hitchcock that wasn't part of the series. All of the Hitchcock anthologies are listed. As an English teacher, I also noticed how well this book is gramatically correct - using the proper English as Hitchcock would have. This makes translations in other countries far easier to read. With the exception of a few hazy photos that are a little difficult to see, this is superb. Did I also mention the index is almost 40 pages thick? I only wish other television programs received the same treatment as Grams and Wikstrom have done.

God's grace to Alfred Hitchcock fans, February 13, 2002. Reviewer: Eric (Cincinnati, Ohio)
As a devoted fan of Alfred Hitchcock, I have purchased tons of books about the British director whose style and charm still impresses me. I purchased a copy of this book last month and now, 40+ days later, I have finished reading each and every page. The two authors of this book should be praised and acknowledged for their hard work putting such a piece together. This is clearly evident when not only do they include all of the story origins for the television episodes, but what year and publication the story originated. Exclusive interviews with production crew, directors and actors lead insight to my favorite episodes. I found the appendixes at the end of the book absolutely wonderful, listing all the paperback and hardcover anthologies that bore the AHP name, but also their table of contents. Now that's comprehensive. Reruns, syndication airings, collectables, and even Hitchcock's alternative hostings apparently filmed and never aired are included. There is a thick index at the end of the book (I found my favorite Hitchcock-actors with ease). I even noticed how gramatically correct the book is. The famed director is called "Hitchcock" throughout, not "Hitch" as only his friends called him "Hitch." I also noticed how international the book's text was written, as a few words here and there throughout the book are the proper English use, although we rarely see them spelled the correct way today, so all you European readers will enjoy this aspect. The only qualm I have is the photo quality throughout the book. It seems once in a while a photo doesn't come through but it's stille easily visible. But the photos are mouth-watering. I enjoyed the scholarly essay about Hitchcock's directed episodes, but a little intellectual for me. The essay about Hitchcock-story rip-offs in comic books is fascinating. I have no doubt every Hitchcock scholar and fan who has been planning to do a book on this series will be upset after reading this book, which brings 200% justice to what I consider the best Hitchcock book in the past two years. In short, I am VERY pleased and I highly recommend you buy a copy for yourself (through, of course) and tell your friends. This certainly was a "Good evening..."

The best book on this subject so far, August 8, 2001. Reviewer: "lukoch" (Darmstadt, Germany)
First, let's get the things I don't like about this book out of the way: A little more care could have been invested into the proofreading since I have spotted a number of mistakes in spelling and punctuation just glancing over the first few pages of the introduction. Also, except for the cover shot of Hitch, which looks just fine, all of the pictures inside the book look like they very reproduced on a very cheap photocopier. But these are minor flaws which don't really count when you consider the wealth of content within these pages. I also happen to own the book "Alfred Hitchcock Presents: An Illustrated Guide to the Ten-Year Television Career of the Master of Suspense" (currently out of print), as far as I know the only previous work on the subject of Hitch's TV shows, and quite an enjoyable read by itself, but this new tome is much more comprehensive. It is full of well-researched details, and once you pick it up and start reading (anywhere; you don't have to start on page 1), you will find it hard to put down again. I like the fact that it works as a reference book (when you just want to check up on a particular episode), but it works equally well as a general analysis of the Hitchcock TV phenomenon. It is obvious that the authors deeply care about their subject, and the extent to which they have done their homework exceeds even my expectations. If you are in any way interested in Alfred Hitchcock's work for the small screen or just Hitchcock in general, don't miss this book. It's a must-read and I highly recommend it.

A SUPERB READ, June 2, 2005. Reviewer: P. D. Gray "Paul G" (Tyne and Wear, England)
I love HITCHCOCKS work and bought this book to find out more concerning the one area of his productions I knew very little about, namely the tv series. It is so full of detail, facts and figures..its amazing. Theres even a lengthy look at the short story anthologies HITCHCOCK was suppossed to have written introductions for (and didnt!) and much much more. I cant believe the person who wrote the review on here who concentrated heavily on criticising the writers for their grammar, spelling and turn of phrase in general, its meant as a work of reference and not great literature....when you yourself have written a book which has been so well researched and proved so popular, THEN you'll have room to criticise. If like that reviewer you wish a book that is lacking spelling errors, has nicely reproduced photos etc etc then opt for a dull, large sized, shallow coffee table book to impress your friends. If your a true fan though and want to find out all about the tv work then this book is a MUST HAVE, a godsend to all HITCHCOCK fans.

The Master of Suspense--and the Idiot Box. Reviewer: Jeff Smith See Link
The The Alfred Hitchcock Presents Companion, the bulk of which serves as a guide to the Hitchcock television series, initially presents a series of essays written by Hitchcock experts. The essays, most of which are ultimately engaging and insightful, discuss a variety of Hitchcock-related topics, ranging from spoofs, comic books, movies, and the Suspicion television series to somewhat more arcane topics, such as Hitchcock's improvised television rendition of the human reaction to a diagnosis of cancer. Following the essays is a chapter devoted to Hitchcock collectibles, which lists, describes, and discusses items such as board games, sheet music, LP albums, soap, and videos.

The middle 400 or so pages of the book present an episode-by-episode guide to the television series Alfred Hitchcock Presents and The Alfred Hitchcock Hour. Arranging the episodes chronologically by season, Grams and Wikstrom include such information as production credits, broadcast date, cast, directorial credits, and writing credits. The plot synopsis of each episode (and the authors do give away the ending!) is followed up by a discussion of trivia related to the episode. An added feature is the inclusion of the unedited script of Hitchcock's famous pre- and post-show narratives.

Appendices A, B, and C, plus the index and bibliography, constitute the last 100 or so pages of the Companion. The authors provide a selected listing of Hitchcock's other television appearances in Appendix A. Appendix B presents a listing of twenty-six of the best of the Alfred Hitchcock Presents series (broadcast on PBS), while Appendix C details Nielsen ratings for Hitchcock's television series, as well as a bibliographical listing of Hitchcock anthologies.

Grams and Wikstrom, in their "Introduction" to the The Alfred Hitchcock Presents Companion, state that they "know this book is not perfect, but we feel it's pretty darn close." Such an assertion constitutes about as fair an evaluation of the book as the objective reader could make. When I first began reading the book, I have to admit to a curious feeling of what I can only describe as near confusion. That is, it initially seemed to me that the Companion was not quite sure what it wanted to be: a collection of essays or a descriptive listing of television episodes. However, as I read I began to see a connection between the essays and the "guide" part of the book, as the authors worked to coalesce elements of Hitchcock's life and career with his artistic vision.

Grams and Wikstrom's Companion indeed is extremely broad in its scope, if not particularly deep in an analytical or academic sense. However, aside from occasional stylistic flawsgenerally surfacing as ill-constructed sentencesthe book is entertaining, obviously well-researched, and informative. Close to perfect is about as good as it gets for a book of this nature.

Copyright © 2006, Patrik Wikström
All Rights Reserved.