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Communion: A True Story

(Communion #1)

3.50  ·  Rating details ·  5,375 ratings  ·  544 reviews
On December 26, 1985, at a secluded cabin in upstate New York, Whitley Strieber went skiing with his wife and son, ate Christmas dinner leftovers, and went to bed early.

Six hours later, he found himself suddenly awake...and forever changed.

Thus begins the most astonishing true-life odyssey ever recorded -- one man's riveting account of his extraordinary experiences with vi
Paperback, 320 pages
Published February 1st 1988 by Avon (first published January 1st 1987)
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Average rating 3.50  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,375 ratings  ·  544 reviews

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Oct 12, 2008 rated it did not like it
This book was stupider than a circular firing squad.
Aug 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
On vacation in Martha's Vineyard, this book had me screaming in my sleep, nightly. My sleeping companion disliked being awoken in this manner in the dead of night. I had to stop reading it until the vacation was over. Shall we say it touched a nerve... ...more
Ethan Miller
Nov 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I have never read an Abduction/ UFO study book before. I picked this book up at a record shop on tour on the east coast this year. It's been out for a long time and I remember what a splash it made upon its initial release. I also used to listen to Strieber's radio show in Santa Cruz on AM while delivering pizza's around town on Saturday nights. Communion was so much more than i expected. For one, Strieber is coming to this book as a writing talent so the book reads very eloquently, like that of ...more
Erik Graff
Sep 05, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: altered states of consciousness fans
Recommended to Erik by: Michael Miley
Shelves: biography
Mike Miley told me of this book when it came out in 1987. I was suspicious, having known its author as the source of The Hunger and Wolfen, two decent horror movies based on novels by him. This skepticism was reinforced shortly thereafter by the reading of a review of the book by science fiction writer Samuel Delany in The Nation. Delany, at some length and with considerable heat, accused Strieber of fraud. In consequence, I began to look for and read Strieber's novels, planning to obtain Commun ...more
John Read
Jan 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
When my nephew was about ten years old, he insists he was visited by aliens. He says he woke up in the middle of the night with a bright orb coming through his bedroom window. Then nothing. The next thing he remembers is being in his parents bedroom trying to wake them up to warn them - but nothing would wake them. Next morning, the foot of his bed and bedroom floor were drenched. His mother asked him for an explanation and he told her the events of the previous night. Naturally she didn't belie ...more
Jan 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Skeptics and believers
I am almost tired of people reading this book expecting it to be 100% biographical in nature. Streiber himself has been clear that he is not totaly sure what it is really about. I always read it taking the visitors out of the equation and looking at Streibers subsequent examination of himself, and his life.

I also believe it is wrong for anyone to claim it to be total B.S., as we have to face the one fact; we can not prove it to be true or false. This is the underlining problem for the hardcore
May 19, 2021 rated it really liked it
Very few books scare me. This was one of them. I'm "agnostic" when it comes to believing in aliens, but I love entertaining the idea. This book had me questioning everything from childhood memories to a "sighting" I experienced when I was younger. I'm still on the fence, but as Mulder so passionately declared, "I want to believe." ...more
Angus McKeogh
May 10, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book for two reasons. I believed I had previously read it as a teenager, and Texas Monthly published an article at some point stating that The Secret School is one of the ten best reads by a Texas author written in the last 100 years. Unfortunately The Secret School is book 4 or 5 in this series so I thought I'd read it from the start.

I quickly figured out I'd never have read this book as a teenager because it's monotonously boring. It's akin to reading the transcript of The Iran-Con
Aug 27, 2012 rated it liked it
Did aliens abduct Whitley Streiber in 1984? Are the "visitors" as he calls them from another planet, another dimension, from somewhere deep in the human psyche? And why are they here? These are the questions Streiber raises in his book, probably the all-time definitive book about alien abduction. Interesting though the questions may be, unfortunately he doesn't provide many answers.

The questions you will be asking yourself while reading it are more along the lines of : Is this guy totally crazy
Debbie Camberg
Apr 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Having personally witnessed 3 UFO sightings from the mid 60's, to the last one in August of 1970, his story both reminds me (and frightens me) of how close I was to my 3rd UFO sighting!

Mom and I both saw the first 2 UFO's while dad was driving. I spotted them and then asked mom if she saw it too, and she did.(The first one was near the cliffs (actually hiding above them at times) outside of Warm Springs, Oregon on a clear blue sky day. It was silver and reflecting the sun. We could see it very
Jim Mcvean
Nov 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Sometimes you read a book that changes your life. Was it a change for the better or worse I almost hear you cry?
I don't know
I read this book many years ago at the tender age of 21. The thing that initially drew me to it was the cover art...the typical alien head...

I devour the book in a couple of days and during the read I got what can only be described as a Flashback
Suddenly I remembered being with a pal at age 11ish standing on an Orkney hilltop in the night watching huge glowing red orbs pass
Aug 29, 2007 rated it did not like it
This book scared the pants off me when I was ten.
Jul 16, 2008 rated it did not like it
This book totally freaked me out, and I couldn't finish it. When I read it I was living in Austin which is where Whitley Streiber was living when he claims these events happened. I woke up in the middle of the night for weeks seeing aliens in my bedroom. ...more
Mar 25, 2019 rated it liked it
My cousin who is an oddity had this book at a family reunion about 7 years ago. Myself and my brothers asked him about it because we are avid readers and were interested. His copy was a hardcover and he had removed the dust jacket probably at the request of his mother so all we actually saw was a white book with the word "Communion" on the side. He looked us dead in the eyes individually and said "it's not the communion you're thinking" and walked away with his book to hide under a tree.

Well Mr
Nov 28, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfic
Honestly, I don't do the whole aliens thing at all, but the cover of this book used to freak me out as a kid (and a bit residually as an adult) so I decided to see what was inside.

Alright, about fifty pages into this book I started to realize what direction this book was heading in. The author clearly believed that what he experienced was real and from there made a concerted effort to present facts and statements to support his belief rather than to draw objective conclusions, which is precisely
Jan 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Regardless of your personal beliefs about aliens, this book is well written, well paced and quite riveting. Spooky.
Rachel Bea
Overall I thought this was a compelling read. If you take what he writes to be true, then this is a pretty scary book. After reading his descriptions, hypnosis transcripts and polygraph results, I'm definitely convinced that something happened to him and his family.

Where the book lost me was in the odd discussions of ancient gods and reports of "visitors" throughout the ages, and some of the claims from the colloquy of abductees. I can pretty much believe that some people have been visited/abdu
J.H. Moncrieff
Feb 28, 2019 added it
Shelves: dnf
Couldn't finish it. Life is too short. ...more
Apr 10, 2010 rated it it was ok
Communion played a role in my life even before I read it. I have a vivid memory of a group of spandex-clad women gathered in my mother’s aerobics class, discussing Whitley Strieber’s supposed true story of alien abduction. One woman related some especially dreadful sequences in between sips from a Who Framed Roger Rabbit cup. After overhearing this, my seven-year-old brain seethed with nightmares for months afterward. Later on, I happened upon a paperback copy of the book among my dad’s collecti ...more
May 30, 2013 rated it it was ok
World-building inspiration fuel, as pretty much every UFO-esque book I've picked up has turned out to be. Had to read this one because I usually seek out the ones that combine the idea of fae and religion and UFOs, and I thought this was the nuts-and-bolts aliens type of book.

It's not. Actually, I always thought the majority of UFO-type books were all about physical beings from outer space. I don't think I've read one yet that is, though. Granted, I've purposefully gone for the ones that combine
Benjamin Atkinson
If I had felt this supposedly true alien abduction story was in any way factual, then I would have given it five stars. Whitley Strieber is B-level horror and sf author and has been for many years before and after "the event." Communion is an extremely frightening and exciting novel. It sucked me in from page one and I did not put it down until the last page. I feel like a little bit of a jerk, by calling him out like this but, I have spent a lot of time researching credible paranormal events, a ...more
Bryce Holt
Jan 26, 2011 rated it did not like it
This is one of those embarrassingly bad books where the author begins the book with a repetitious, "No, guys, I am so seriously-serious. I'm not lying about this!" and you're like, "Yes you are." It astonishes me that so many people from the late-80's were duped into believing this knucklehead! The worst thing for me is that I want to believe, but guys and books like this are what steal away any belief in it. So sad... ...more
Magic Frigren
This is a classic for ufo lore nerds 👽 I am kind of sceptical about the truth behind this one but… thinking about how it could be true gives me chills and that creates a good and spooky reading experience at the least 🖤
This book is difficult to rate because I am not sure how much Strieber is telling his initial "alien contact" experiences the way they happened to him, or how he has ended up remembering them after gaving gone into hypnotherapy and discussed the subject with other contactees. You can tell that the author is a skilled horror/suspense novelist, whom I already know from his unconventional werewolf novel "The Wolfen": "Communion" is structured more like a novel with a clear narrative, than like most ...more
Jun 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This book appears to be dismissed outright by many skeptics on the sole basis of the account being outlandish. It certainly is a remarkable story -- a man who claims he was abducted by little grey men he calls visitors. But on the surface, the moon landing is an impossibility, too.

The fact is, I've yet to see a convincing and thorough debunking of the story presented in Communion, and I believe any skeptic who wants to call Whitley Strieber crazy owes it to the man to point out where his story f
Apr 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: aliens
A very thought-provoking journal of not only Whitley's experiences, but the insights these gave him. I thought it was interesting how a bunch of the reading I've done recently kind of led up to this. For instance, Whitley mentioned Irish Fairy Tales to describe how the 'visitors' may have been viewed in earlier times, Also, the visitors warned Whitley about the hole in the ozone layer, and how the UV light would suppress immune systems, and according to him, this was not known when he was inform ...more
Feb 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Scary as hell! I read this book with the thought that it might be interesting because there is a film based on the book. I also felt that perhaps it was a tale that had been woven of partial truths. However, I walked away shaken by the reality I gleaned from the pages of Communion. Some readers may not rate this book quite as high. After all it's not a work of literary genius but it kept me glued to the story and most of all I rated 5 stars because I think folks should take notice of this story! ...more
Apr 16, 2008 rated it did not like it
Shelves: nonfiction
While I doubted this to be"the most ashtonishing true-life odyssey ever recorded - one man's riveting account of his extraordinary experiences with visitors from 'elsewhere'..." , I expected to enjoy the story better than I did.
Mr. Strieber's 'encounters' where a bit out-there, even for this "open to ET's" mind of mine! I just couldn't seriously entertain the tale Strieber was telling; the 'aliens' he describes are straight out of a B-Horror film. It was, however, a New York Times #1 bestseller
Sep 15, 2010 rated it really liked it
This book gave me nightmares for years! I slept with the light on for months. I had to keep the book hidden under my bed because the picture on the cover scared me. The part about the white owls looking in his bedroom window and the white deer on the side of the road haunt me years later. I don't know what to make of this "true" account, but if aliens are really abducting people at night, there is no sense in worrying about it--you have no control. I am curious if he is still being abducted? Has ...more
Feb 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Probably the best first hand account (with supplemental information for fact-checking) of the author's encounters with a UFO and with missing time. The author is also a fiction writer, so the book reads like a thriller. There's nothing definitive here. Instead, it allows the reader to step into the mindset of someone experiencing something they don't understand. There fear is palpable as he describes his family's incidents-- invasive and disorienting, one can understand the paranoia that ensues. ...more
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American writer best known for his novels The Wolfen,The Hunger and Warday and for Communion, a non-fiction description of his experiences with apparent alien contact. He has recently made significant advances in understanding this phenomenon, and has published his new discoveries in Solving the Communion Enigma.

Strieber also co-authored The Coming Global Superstorm with Art Bell, which inspired t

Other books in the series

Communion (6 books)
  • Transformation: The Breakthrough
  • Breakthrough: The Next Step
  • The Secret School: Preparation for Contact
  • Confirmation: The Hard Evidence of Aliens Among Us
  • Solving the Communion Enigma: What Is to Come

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