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Chariots of the Gods Mass Market Paperback – June 15, 1984

4.1 out of 5 stars 728 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English, German (translation) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Erich von Däniken is arguably the most widely read and most-copied nonfiction author in the world. He published his first (and best-known) book, Chariots of the Gods, in 1968. The worldwide best-seller and was followed by 32 more books, including Twilight of the Gods, History Is Wrong, Evidence of the Gods, and Odyssey of the Gods. His works have been translated into 28 languages and have sold more than 63 million copies. Several have also been made into films. Von Däniken's ideas have been the inspiration for a wide range of TV series, including the History Channel's hit Ancient Aliens. He lives in Switzerland but is an ever-present figure on the international lecture circuit.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley (June 15, 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425074811
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425074817
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.6 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (728 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,052 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I read Chariots of the Gods as well as several other Von Daniken works, and he never ceases to entertain me (with the exception of Miracles of the Gods - a horrid, poorly executed book). I find his "theories" thought-provoking, yet very weak at their base. Mr. Von Daniken has an irritating habit of jumping from subject to subject, stating his opinions quickly and with little supporting evidence, and then suddenly switching to another "mystery" to start the cycle over again. Even though he makes many compelling points, he never stays on the same subject long enough to fully support his beliefs.
If a golden amulet looks like a modern airplane, then it's an airplane. Period. If a stone carving looks like an astronaut, then it's an astronaut. Period. If a straight line drawn in the sand extends for the length of a modern runway, then it's a runway. Period. And this same style has gone on and on for years and through several books, with more on the way.
I take everything he says with a grain of salt. He is sooo quick to jump to (seemingly) reasonable conclusions that I can't help but be intrigued... but obviously I can't even call that he does "theorizing" since he never spends enough time on one piece of evidence to complete his arguments.
I look at his work as a starting point, rather than a finished product. If someone takes one of his ideas and runs with it, gathering collaborating evidence and building a more air-tight case for the "solution" presented in his works, then in my opinion Von Daniken has done his job. Unfortunately, I can't be sure Von Daniken shares this opinion. I think he raises important questions, yet his answers are too quick off the mark and ultimately unsatisfying to the discriminating reader.
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I've a strong interest in the "ancient astronauts" theory, and this is book is arguably the one that started the whole thing. But having just re-read it after many years, I was left feeling distinctly under-impressed. The book is rambling, disjointed, repetitive, and contains hundreds of unanswered questions. True, von Däniken claims that his purpose was to merely raise the questions rather than provide answers, but it does leave you feeling that you've only read half a book. The way he presents his theories is often sketchy and vague. He doesn't care to consider in any depth what the *purpose* of the extraterrestrial visitors might have been, he is content mainly to claim evidence of their presence. Some of his predictions, such as the human Mars landings, are way off the mark. Moreover, there are many ideas presented in the book but little actual science. His constant pointing out that the American space programme was for a long time based mainly on the work of Nazi scientists is, however, amusing.

The new introduction written by the author is almost laughable. Aside from attempting to riposte a few very specific criticisms of some of his claims, it adds very little to the book.

I'm giving this book 3 stars because of its significance - it set the ball rolling. But if you want a much more detailed, well-rounded, well-researched, thoughtful and better-written survey of our possible ET origins and links, including considerable coverage of the important Sumerian mythology, you'd do much better to read William Bramley's "The Gods of Eden".
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Chariots of the Gods is a book that has sold millions of copies since the 1970's. Like the 12th Planet(Zecharia Sitchin) it is bathed in controversy. This book challenges the notion that the ancients were visited by aliens and biblical accounts found in many ancient texts are simply primitive man describing alien encounters. Right there you know you are getting yourself onto one crazy ride. However, this is a ride everyone should take for a few reasons.

Chariots of the Gods is a book where Von Daniken gathered up multiple accounts of "gods" from Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Babylonia, Egypt, Sumeria etc ; and finding many similarities he theorized the possibility of our entire view of God(s) to be based on Alien Encounters. The book is a fascinating read that will leave you asking questions! As the reader you should be aware this is simply a theory just like Einstein's theory of relativity. However, much of the book is written as if Von Daniken is just hypothesizing the outcome of situations. There are plenty of times when he would ask questions and theorize the answer. It felt as if the author did his homework(evidence by the large bibliography) and then began to connect the dots to try and prove a point.

Reading this book in 2011, it is easy to now point out some flaws in his logic and reference material to disprove his theories, but keep in mind this book was written almost 40 years ago. Go back to an Earth Science text book from 1950 and you would laugh because "plate tectonics" didn't exist, so explanations for Earthquakes might seem a bit silly. In fact continental drift was considered a ridiculous notion! If we do not at least try to question other possible explanation for events, we may not ever find the TRUE solution.
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