Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Book Talk: Communion

The other day I finished reading Communion by Whitley Streiber. I had seen this book a couple years ago in Downtown Books up in Milwaukee and was interested, but not interested enough to buy it considering I have too many books at home as it is. So, on a whim, I grabbed it from the library and gave it a shot. Overall impression: it was ok, just ok.

The first half (roughly) of the book was, to me, the most interesting, where Streiber describes the abductions as he recalled them. Not only is it creepy, the language paints a vivid picture in the mind (not surprising considering Streiber is a speculative fiction author). The events that Streiber describes are chilling and gave me the heebie-jeebies more than once.

The second half-ish of the book was hard for me to get through. The author delves into hypnosis sessions to bring his memories more into focus, which brings up still more memories of abductions going back to when he was about 10 years old. There is also a lot of exposition about what exactly the "visitors" are, whether they are real or figments of his imagination. There is also a sequence of Streiber in a sort of support group for other New York area abductees. At the end the author examines the possibility of visitations throughout time and discusses what is that has happened. He does not come to a solid conclusion, but instead acknowledges that he doesn't have the answers.

The author certainly believes in what he says happened to him, and I want to believe as well, but there's one thing that makes it a little hard. Streiber says the visitors, who came to him in 1985, warn of an impending catastrophe or some kind of disaster that will befall mankind and/or the planet. At one point in the book, the year 2000 is referenced as a point by which there will be a great change in the world. It's been 22 years since the book was published. Where's the big catastrophe? What happened with the great change? Have we seen it yet? Did something happen to stop it?

I am glad that I read it, because it was interesting and gave me a couple vague ideas for stories, but it was difficult to get through. If you have the time, go ahead and take a look, and maybe it will grab you in the night and take you places you wouldn't think were possible.

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