Strieber's Aliens, A World Apart
By Allen Appel
The Washington Post
November 17, 1989, p. D4
Whitley Strieber's last two books were nonfiction accounts
of his abduction and maltreatment by alien invaders. That's aliens, as in
flying saucers. Both books received a skeptical critical reception. Both
sold in the millions. In "Majestic," which is fiction, Strieber
has used this supposedly personal experience to great effect. Combining
meticulous research, vivid characters, an engrossing mystery and convincing
documentation, Strieber has come up with an intriguing, intelligent, exciting
Strieber's tale is told through the eyes of several narrators. There is newspaper reporter Nicholas Duke, who stumbles upon the story, and the man he finds to tell it, Wilfred Stone. Stone is old and dying of cancer after a lifetime of intrigue within the highest levels of our country's most secret agencies.
This part of the story can be taken any way you like. It is the rich detail, the impeccable research and Strieber's excellent writing, his deft touch with every creepy detail that makes the book so compelling. We may wish that Strieber would stop insisting that the creatures are real, but that's our problem more than it is his. Dwelling on it is like wishing that Bob Dylan had never gone electric, or that Pee-wee Herman would slip out of character just once. Whatever the reason, however he's done it, Whitley Strieber has given us an engrossing, exciting novel. Better to read and enjoy the book than to judge the man.
© 1990 The Washington Post