Review: Whitley Strieber's "The Grays"

Post date: Nov 1, 2012 10:30:32 PM

I've been reading a lot of science fiction lately. My renewed interest in reading sci-fi reflects my writing interests, as I am moving away from pure mystery and suspense to more futuristic and dystopian genres. So I recently picked up an audio version of Whitley Strieber's "The Grays."

I was a big fan of Strieber's "Communion" books, but I have never read any of his ficition. This book, though not new, looked like a good bet, considering my interests in UFOs. That interest stems from my belief that, as Shakespeare wrote, " There is more between heaven and earth than is dreamt of in your philosophy."

In this work of fiction, Strieber takes the whole of UFO lore and wraps it up in a story about a dying race of aliens and a dying earth. Grays (both short and tall), Nordic aliens, black triangles, glowing orbs, abuctions and implants -- Strieber has it all. For good measure, he throws in a group of corrupt corporate leaders called "The Trust" who wish to hasten the end of the human race so they can rebuild it in their own DNA image.

Streiber is an elegant and colorful writer, and his characters are believable and sympathetic. I thoroughly enjoyed the book until the climatic end. I felt it was heavy handed and overdone. The idea that a renegade government operator could singlehandedly turn an entire town into a pack of violent, mindless zombies, or the sight of a corporate demigod flying an invisible airship down Pennsylvania Avenue wreaking devastion on Washington, DC -- well, it strained even my willing suspension of disbelief.

Fortunately, Strieber made up for it with his epilogue. If he hadn't, I would have only given this three stars. Instead, I give four. ****