To be honest with you, there's really not much to say about the title story of this short story collection by Richard Matheson, author of "I Am Legend". "Legend" was a magnificent read, very much different from the most recent Will Smith film (took place in different times; the creatures could talk and were very clearly vampires; the dog was not so important; etc.). Based on this, I had read somewhere, possibly Wikipedia, that "Button, Button" was also in the process of being made into a film, starring Cameron Diaz and directed by Richard Kelly ("Donnie Darko", "Southland Tales"). So, being the read-the-book-before-the-film-came-out buff that I am, I immediately went over to pick up a copy.
I finished this book on the same day that I finished "The Killing Joke", which is written about below this post. It was 10 pages. 10 8th grade reading level pages, in which next to nil happens. A pleasant married couple gets a visit from a stranger who offers them a box with a button on it. It is explained that if the button is pressed, $50,000 will be sent to the couple's banking account. At the same time, someone that the button presser doesn't know will die.
Explaining this plot alone has probably spoiled about 5 pages. I have to say that I was disappointed with the story and the outcome. "Button, Button" would probably be a true example of work being transformed into a big deal solely based on the author's literary reputation alone. Characters, story, atmosphere, tone, plot, none of these things really ever come close to being developed. That's.......really all I can say about that.
I've went into the other short stories: a man trying to care for his wife who has been bitten by a vampire, a couple traveling in the MidWest American desert and going to a diner where the husband ends up missing. They were all, to say the most, pretty disappointing. The collection may entertain those who know exactly what they're getting, but otherwise, I would recommend that you keep your money and wait to see how the film will fare.