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Solving the Communion Enigma: What Is To Come Hardcover – January 5, 2012

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Editorial Reviews


“There's enough compelling material to make even the rigid skeptic ask questions.”
Jeff Ayers, Associated Press

“No matter your beliefs, Strieber's writing has impact…Everyone interested in UFOs, other dimensions, or the mysteries of life will want to read Strieber's new work.”
Library Journal

“Interesting and challenging…Don’t miss it.”
Edgar Mitchell, Apollo 14 astronaut

“In these pages we have the privilege to watch a great author return to his most famous text and draw out from it more meaning and more secrets…I am not certain that I have ever encountered a mystical writer this fearless, this psychologically astute, and this darn clear. Be careful what you read in these pages, then. Both the risks and the rewards are very real…”
—from the foreword by Jeffrey J. Kripal, chair of Religious Studies, Rice University

“Amazing! I devoured this wonderful, important, thought-provoking book at a sitting. Whitley Strieber has done an incredible job here, weaving science with deeply-felt personal experience to tell a captivating, fast-moving story that significantly advances our understanding of one of the greatest mysteries of our time.”
Graham Hancock, author of Fingerprints of the Gods

About the Author

Whitley Strieber is the internationally bestselling author of more than twenty novels and nonfiction works, including The Wolfen, The Hunger, and The Coming Global Superstorm, which was made into the feature film The Day After Tomorrow. He lives in California.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Tarcher (January 5, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1585429171
  • ISBN-13: 978-1585429172
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #226,278 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I publish both fiction and nonfiction. My most famous works of fiction are the Wolfen, the Hunger, Warday (with James Kunetka), Superstorm (with Art Bell), Majestic and the Grays.

My best-known works of nonfiction are Communion and the Communion series: Transformation, Breakthrough, Confirmation, the Secret School and Solving the Communion Enigma. I've also published the Key and have just finished Super Natural: a New Vision of the Unexplained with Rice University Religion Chair Jeffry J. Kripal. It will be published by Tarcher/Penguin in February of 2016.

I had a close encounter of the third kind in December of 1985. This was universally taken to be an encounter with aliens, and I became the media's poster boy for alien abduction. The fact that I had prefaced Communion with ""the enigmatic presence of the human mind winks back from the dark" was entirely ignored.

I do not understand what causes the abduction experience, but I do know that it is not presently identified and is in need of study, as is the whole area of what is generally called "the paranormal." This is why Jeff and I have written Super Natural. It is time to go beyond the millennia long debate about whether or not the paranormal is real and find out what it is.

This is why Tarcher is called Super Natural the most important book on the subject since Charles Fort published the Book of the Damned in 1919.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Snorkledorf on February 1, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book shows us a man, having apparently experienced both trauma and truly unexplainable events, trying his best to make sense of his life. We see a nearly heroic effort to forge a positive, or at least forward-looking, interpretation of events that seem almost hopelessly overwhelming.

Throughout the Communion series of books, Strieber's core thinking has been consistent:

* Something very strange has happened to me, and it seems to be ongoing.
* I did my due diligence in checking whether it's all simply a psychological problem, the most likely option. The tests say I'm totally stable, if more than a bit stressed out.
* If that's the case, then what really is going on? It certainly seems important in any number of ways.
* I'm a writer, so I'll write about it.
* It seems to be far more complex than "Aliens in space ships." Way too many pieces just don't match up with that 1940's-era judgment.
* Okay, then let's avoid drawing any conclusions that would force us to dismiss big chunks of the evidence. However comfortable it'd be to have premature "certainty," we should try to keep the questions open.
* In the meantime, I'll do my best to find what personal meaning I can from the experience, and share this with my readers.

In some ways "Solving..." is more of the same, and this is not a bad thing. It gives new views of events we've read about in previous books while expanding upon them from the perspective of a quarter-century of experience.

Yet it also reveals new experiences, along with childhood memories that the author has only recently been able to assemble into a clear narrative.
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67 of 74 people found the following review helpful By Bean on January 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"What would the world be like without mysteries? It is a claustrophobic and desperate idea." This statement closes out the first section of the book and presents a core contrast between humans and the visitors, the intelligence that may or may not be an alien one. Our universe if full of mysteries, but the visitors' one is not. They've figured everything out...except us.

I've been a reader of Whitley's books since I was very young, and I've always been interested in the story Communion presented. I can still remember the alien face peering out at me from paperbacks lining the checkout lane at Osco. Many people have forgotten how big that book actually was. Somehow that subjective, tightly constructed non-fiction narrative of possible alien contact broke the barrier of mass awareness, but didn't create a wave of hysteria. Many people took it at face value, and then simply forgot about.

My recommendation is if you read Communion, you have to read this book.

There was not a lot of context in Communion. It was simply there and then gone, with some minimalist speculation in the last section. Now Whitley's had 25 years to pull things into focus and the things he's seen and researched in the intervening time are at the highest levels of intrigue.

From possible government experiments on children headed up by ex-Nazis in the late 1940's all the way to interactions with spirits of the dead during visitor encounters, you're going to get quite a lot of material to work with here. For a book of 200 plus pages it's quite dense.

When I was reading Transformation this week, the follow up to Communion, a friend of mine arrived and I showed him the book. He remarked, "Oh yeah this guy, you know he's a CIA shill.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful By W. Christie on February 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've read all of Whitley Strieber's "encounter" books because he provides a depth of psychological material, revealing his own thought processes, fears and biases (unlike many books of this genre which simply reveal bizarre "facts" while bypassing the impacts on the so-called victim). However, unlike the title suggests, Whitley really offers no solution to the Communion Enigma. Instead, he seems to jump from one aspect of the UFO field to another, finally suggesting that it may be a paranormal event. However, so much of what precedes that conclusion seems to nullify it, e.g., radar confirmation of UFO activity and especially human mutilations (in other words, MURDER of human beings by unknown entities). One reviewer stated that this book suggests that we invoke and create these experiences ourselves. While I am very open to this idea, I truly doubt that the human beings who were found murdered and mutilated went out hunting or for a walk with this intent! What I got from the book is that this remains a great mystery to Whitley after all these years. The book summarizes many of his experiences that have previously been shared, but offers a few new ones, like the spooky NYC shop window where the little blue meanies were chasing and subduing a terrified human being. Whitley and his wife Ann run away (didn't he even consider calling in a police report if this was literally happening? Where is his sense of human decency?).

Perhaps as a tangent, I've been a listener to Whitley's UNKNOWN COUNTRY internet program called DREAMLAND. What saddens me is that Whitley continually makes promises he cannot deliver. Almost every weekly show is promoted by Whitley as the MOST IMPORTANT show ever done on DREAMLAND. Then I listen and wonder what all the hype was about.
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