Without giving a spoiler I will say that the most beautiful and thoughtful thing about this book and his reaction to his experiences is this: while most UFO/ abduction/ ET studies look to the skies and obsess over government cover-ups for discovery and understanding, Strieber looks more often to the uncharted hallways of the human soul. This book is at times frightening, haunting, mysterious, insightful but always deeply thoughtful and illuminated with a great sense of exploration led by his bold and creative mind.
This skepticism was reinforced shortly thereafter by the reading of a review of the book by science fiction writer Samuel Delany in The Nation. In consequence, I began to look for and read Strieber's novels, planning to obtain Communion after getting a sense of the workings of his imagination. Now, having read at least five of Streiber's science fiction and horror books, now, many years later, I have finally obtained a copy of Communion thanks to the generosity of my stepbrother's girlfriend.
He says he woke up in the middle of the night with a bright orb coming through his bedroom window. He still insists to this day, as a 40+ father of three children, that something odd happened that night. Whitley Streiber insists that everything in this book actually happened. Even for non-believers, if you simply treat this as a good read, it is an incredible, powerful and sometimes uncomfortable story.
I always read it taking the visitors out of the equation and looking at Streibers subsequent examination of himself, and his life.
Mom and I both saw the first 2 UFO's while dad was driving. I spotted them and then asked mom if she saw it too, and she did.(The first one was near the cliffs (actually hiding above them at times) outside of Warm Springs, Oregon on a clear blue sky day. The radio station announced he was getting quite a few calls reporting the same sighting we saw!) The 3rd (and thankfully the last) UFO that I saw hovered above my head (slightly above the 40' oak tree that I was standing next too! Then around 1990, I happened to work with a young girl who was actually living in the same house (104 May Ave.) that I did when I saw the 3rd UFO!
I devour the book in a couple of days and during the read I got what can only be described as a Flashback Suddenly I remembered being with a pal at age 11ish standing on an Orkney hilltop in the night watching huge glowing red orbs passing silently over the town below This flipped me out I became paranoid as more memories of other events filtered into my consciousness I ended up reading every UFO book I could track down in an attempt to read up on any reports of glowing red balls It took me ten years to sleep with the light out Are there aliens?
Unfortunately The Secret School is book 4 or 5 in this series so I thought I'd read it from the start. One "proof" comes in the form of hypnosis (completely disregarding scientific evidence which demonstrates that false "memories" are easily and routinely introduced into the minds of hypnotized subjects specifically from childhood). The author also ignores that in several of the hypnotized sessions a third person, Budd Hopkins, was allowed to sit in and question the subject. The discussion in the meeting ultimately revolves around the sad lives of a few isolated souls and a strange cross in "cold reading" devices such as when the question is put forth, "Why was there such a lack of personality in these visitors?" Answer: "Oh I definitely felt that. All in all I'll suffice it to say I'll never read The Secret School because this book was so awful.
These are the questions Streiber raises in his book, probably the all-time definitive book about alien abduction. It starts off with Whitley's two abduction stories. These stories are really spooky, I read this part late at night and then didn't want to turn the lights off. As the book progresses the author goes under hypnosis to recover memories of his abduction and begins to remember more and more supposed encounters with the aliens, which get weirder and weirder.