Since I’ve started writing for Team Hellions, aliens have become almost, if only slightly less, synonymous with the other featured topics here, like wrestling and comics. Kevin and I have both reviewed Pat Lee’s Extraterrestrial Compendium and one of my favorite comic series, Saucer Country, was a regular feature in the review section until it was canceled. (Yeah, I’m still mad about it.) So, aliens? We talk about ’em… in like 1% of the posts that appear on the site. In more recent times I felt compelled to reread Whitley Strieber’s highly controversial best seller Communion, which deals with his alien abduction experiences.
Communion is the kind of book to garner such reviews as, “this book was stupider than a circular firing squad” or “what a crock of shit…” Both of these reviews were culled from Goodreads, and if you want hours of enjoyment, just scroll through some of them. Amazingly, many of the negative reviews come from readers who were “frightened” by the book. I was one of these people a couple of years ago. I used to own a copy, but threw it away because of an experience I had from reading it. I won’t go into detail about it, but it scared the shit out of me. So, to the woman who said this book was a “crock of shit,” well, that was from my bowels. So why revisit it? To conquer fears? Probably, but a lot of it has to do with my writing. The first story I ever tried to write was an alien abduction story. I’ve never quite been able to, but after reading this book I feel like I’m ready and able to.
The bulk of Communion deals with Whitley Strieber’s history as an abductee, but is largely centered around two experiences, one on October 4th and the other on December 26th, 1985. Through a series of hypnosis sessions, the events of these days are revealed and take the author back through a lifetime of abduction experiences, which would go on to involve his wife and child. More than that though, Strieber challenges the nature of reality and posits questions about what he calls “The Visitors.” Who they are? Why they’re here? He examines myth and our past, looking for connections within our culture.
For a book that deals with these topics, it deals with them intelligently; asking questions, positing theories, and making predictions, some of which have come true. It’s a well written account of events that have happened to so many people around the world. Communion became the book that talked about these issues, and became the vehicle with which we share our stories and experiences. It’s worth a read, at least once in your life. It makes you think, as much as any book that posits questions that can’t be answered will.