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Almost fifteen years ago, the first half of Communion nearly terrified the adolescence right out of me.  A month ago, I thought it would be a good idea to revisit it.  Although, the first half still kind of freaks me out, what I kept noticing were the logical flaws and the overbearing attempts to persuade the reader of its factuality.

"But why do I need these absurd stories?  They are not lies; when I tell them, I myself believe them.  I don’t lie.  Perhaps I tell them to myself when I tell them to others, so that I can hide from myself whatever has made me a refugee in my own life."

Ah, so if you tell yourself a story enough to believe it, it is no longer a lie?  Later, in Appendix II, Strieber recounts the results of his polygraph test:  

13.  Did you ever lie to anyone in a buisiness venture prior to 1984?

No.  (Evaluated as possibly untrue.  A correct response.  I’ve been in business for twenty years and I’m not sure I haven’t lied occasionally.)

Am I picking nits here?  Possibly, but "I don’t lie" is one hell of a strong statement, which, as shown in the polygraph, isn’t quite as true as he initially would have us believe.  

Strieber claims to be agnostic towards the idea of aliens, yet his website is full of implications that these and other various mystical stories and conspiracy theories are indeed real.  >

It should also be noted that Strieber is a horror writer by trade, and in that respect, Communion is a pretty good novel.  Is it true?  I remain doubtful, but that does not mean I completely disregard the possibility of life existing outside the Earth’s atmosphere.  It is, after all, an awfully big universe.

A friend of mine used to say that the definition of an asshole is someone who believes his or her own lies.  Perhaps asshole is the wrong word here, considering Strieber’s claims, ‘mooncalf‘ might be more appropriate.  ReadCommunion and make up your own mind.

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About Chris Webb