Monday, February 14, 2011

Journal of a UFO Investigator by David Halperin

It is 1963 and Danny Shapiro, who lives in the suburbs of Philadelphia, is thirteen and different. He wears glasses. He's into UFOs. He's Jewish in a mostly gentile environment. His father is distant and resentful and his mother is dying. She has been dying, in fact, since Danny was born; he's even been told that his birth so badly exacerbated her cardiac condition as to wreck her health forever. That's a big burden for a kid to carry, and it's no wonder he escapes into his UFO investigations. 

Danny meets a group of kids, slightly older than he, who call themselves the Super Science Society (SSS). These young people--Julian, Tom, and the lovely and sexually precocious Rochelle--know all the same source material that Danny's been reading, books about men in black and alien abduction, but they seem to be privy to the stories behind the stories, as well. He is drawn into their world which, eventually, leads to a road trip and, finally Danny's own alien abduction.

Or is Danny just a sad, lonely kid, living a fantasy life so rich that the recording of it helps to keep the awful events of his real life at bay? As one reads Danny's journals, written three years later, in 1966, clarity ebbs and flows, as events become more outrageous and horrifying in the journal but Danny's home life intrudes more and more often. 

With Journal of a UFO Investigator David Halperin has given us an exciting adventure tale and a poignant coming-of-age story presented through the scribblings of one troubled--but ultimately, it seems, okay--boy. Halperin marvelously captures the voice of a boy who is precocious intellectually but helplessly behind socially, and his longing for friends who get him and a girl who will love him.

Disclosure: In accordance with new FTC guidelines for bloggers I must let you know that I received a free review copy of this title.  My reviews are just that: reviews.  They are not endorsements, nor am I ever compensated for posting my opinion.  I am, however, an Amazon affiliate, which means that if you make a purchase from Amazon after clicking through a link on my site--even if you don't buy a title to which I've linked!--I will receive a small commission.


entered 02/16/11 


bookspersonally said...

This sounds so interesting! I might not have heard about it otherwise, thanks.

Rabid Fox said...

Found this via Cym Lowell's blog.

This book sounds like I might like it. The title is catchy, that's for sure. Nice review.

Elizabeth said...

Stopping by from Cym Lowell's Book Party.

Stop by my blog to see the "teaser" post for a blog hop giveaway.

Details will be posted on Saturday.