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The Grays Mass Market Paperback – May 29, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
Vocally, Lang and Vincent Price have a lot in common. While Price reveled in the spooky and sinister, Lang, though he packs a similar, possibly more extensive arsenal, does not hyperbolize, instead using his creep factor to corral the listener into the den of the writer and lets Strieber do the scaring. Strieber, who claimed in 1987's Communion to have been abducted by aliens (or "Grays"), parlays that experience into a yarn about the Grays' ultimate plan, to save themselves and mankind by breeding a human savior: nine-year-old Connor Callahan. The small hitch is that all humans, like Callahan, will be the subject of genetic manipulation. Enter Col. Michael Wilkes, steely government spook willing to kill most of mankind in order to eliminate the Grays. Lang shows great range, conveying each character's anxieties and emotion with élan. Even as the action and horror intensify, and the characters fight for the survival of mankind, Lang is cool as a cucumber-and that makes it all the scarier.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Library Binding edition.
In 1985, Strieber, then a top horror writer, author of The Wolfen 1978) and The Hunger (1981), had an alien-abduction experience. The book he wrote about it, Communion (1987), was so successful that his output of fiction dwindled in the 1990s as he expanded upon his biggest best-seller. Stillborn sequels to The Hunger emerged in 2001 and 2002, but The Grays is a quantum leap back to his fictional form, powered by his newer, nonfiction obsessions. In it aliens--the grays--have been with humanity for a good, long time, for excellent reasons. They've been helping humanity avoid their mistakes, which destroyed their emotions. Now, after a several-million-years journey, the rest of the grays, for whom those among us were pioneers with a purpose, are nearing Earth. Measures crucial to their success have been set in motion, most important among them, the creation of a human child of supernormal intelligence to receive the grays' advanced knowledge. Trouble is, hints of the child's existence had to be made to humans with authority; hence, the Roswell business. And hence, the development of rival factions within the top-secret military operation that guards the Roswell aliens. Strieber manages the plot built on those premises as a breakneck race to find the child and, depending on which faction the characters belong to, protect or destroy it. It's a terrific read, already blocked out like a screenplay for the major movie now in the works, marred only by a few treacly passages about the wonder of it all. Ray Olson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Library Binding edition.
Top customer reviews
There is no doubt Whitley Strieber is a good SCIENCE FICTION writer and I just finished reading this 371 paperback (The Grays: a science fiction novel) and found it to be an interesting story about the space aliens abducting humans and doing experiments on them. In the tale the Grays are abducting people and our Government has allowed it for many years. This book is organized into nine parts covering the following topics: Night flyers, the three thieves, the secret of the grays, the hanged man, the ministers of death, child of hallows, lost land, secret soldiers, and a child is dying.
In conclusion, I did find this book to be an enjoyable read; however, keep in mind this is a “SCIENCE FICTION NOVEL” based upon the mythology of alien abduction. A lot of the material in this book is taken from real similar reported incidents concerning the UFO phenomena over the years. If you like a good science fiction tale you should check out this book.
Rating: 4 Stars. Joseph J. Truncale (Author: Pro-Systems Combatives Vol. 1,2).
i have read many books in my life that are about things i know, that are conflicting and disappointing because they do not serve the subject well, or use it as an excuse for writing what in not otherwise a particularly good book.
whitley does not cheat us. he gives us a good book with just enough suspense, and nothing stupid.
In short, it is an exciting, brilliantly creative fictional story story about a trio of Grays who manipulate several families (regardless of their feelings) in order to shape the future and ensure that certain things fall in line in order to accomplish their agenda.
"The Grays" is a gripping novel with clearly defined good guys and bad guys. Ultimately, the grays, themselves, turn out to be good guys - and we root for them in the end. I won't say give away ending of the story, except to say that it is a powerful climax of action. I was glued to the book until well after 1AM, the night I finished it.
Having read much of Strieber's non-fiction work, I could see his views reflected throughout The Grays. It did a great job of capturing the UFO abduction phenomenon, as he has experienced it. I have heard similar things from other UFO abductees. You get the sense of fear and menace from the phenomenon, that the main characters experienced as children.
What I missed about it is the same thing that I miss in nearly every UFO-related fiction story. And this is that the book "solves the problem." It tells us who the grays are, why they are here, and what our relationship with them is. One doesn't get the sense of ambiguity that seems to pervade the UFO/abduction phenomenon. In this way, it misses the sense of "mirage" and logical paradox. I believe that to truly capture the sense of the UFO phenomenon, it would need to leave the reader hanging - wondering just what the main character experienced. So far, the only work of fiction I've seen that captures this ambiguity is "The X Files."
Strieber indicates in his website "UnknownCountry.com" that he wrote The Grays to trigger abductees' memories of their experiences. It will be interesting to hear from many of them, to see whether it succeeded in doing this.
I also thought that his portrayal of the coverup - the global conspiracy, etc... seemed a bit simplistic. I didn't get the feeling of this vast conspiracy within the deepest recesses of the government and military that arises from reading Richard Dolan's "UFOs and the National Security State." I more got the sense of a few crooks, in highly placed circles in the government. However, The Grays does give you the sense of interaction between the military and UFO abductees. So in that sense, it does a pretty good job.
In summary, I recommend the book because it is a great novel. I also recommend it because it is fascinating and action-packed veiw of the phenomenon through the eyes of the most prominent of UFO abductees, Whitley Strieber. It will take it's place as one of the finest of UFO fiction.