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Majestic by Whitley Strieber
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Majestic is Whitley Strieber’s historical thriller about the events in Roswell in 1947 and the creation of the alleged secret intelligence organization called Majestic. The novel follows discredited journalist Nicholas A Duke as he dutifully, if not somewhat skeptically at first, informs the public of what really happened when Mac Brazel stumbled across the strange debris while working the ranch for which he was foreman.

As Duke records the confessions or chronicle of Wilfred Stone, former director of Majestic, as he quietly dies of cancer in his home, Duke becomes angry with Stone for his years of deception, but this slowly turns to compassion as the man recalls the events that happened to him since his childhood. Events that deliberately entwined his life with the unknown agenda of the others for which he ultimately had no say – the reader develops a sense that Stone was groomed to be where he was. Duke begins to develop a grudging respect for Stone as he realizes the strength of the man’s character that helped him survive a lifetime of encounters with these unknown and totally alien beings.

In Stone’s story we read the underlying events that Whitley Strieber alleged happened to him, which he has reported elsewhere in such books as Communion and Transformation. Streiber’s take on his experience with what he terms the “intelligent unknown” is a hair raising and surreal combination of terror and the spiritual. Rather than seeing these unknown beings as evil, Streiber seems to accept that the others are here to help us even as their actions are often traumatic and difficult to accept as benevolent.

This almost New Age spiritual take has often caused him to be at odds with researchers such as the late Budd Hopkins, who was motivated primarily out of compassion for expriencers, especially in the later half of his somewhat dubious career. But, regardless of where you fall in terms of accepting or rejecting such realities Strieber is still one of the great practioners of thriller fiction writing today. Majestic is no exception. This book will cause the tiny hairs on your arms and the back of your neck to rise from beginning to end.

Streiber states in his introduction that his intent is to use fiction to tell the true story of what happened in Roswell in an attempt to come to terms and even understand what may really be happening. As such he does a great job of blending history with fiction. Changing names of important characters in order to take some fictional liberties -Brazel’s name is changed as is Major Jessie Marcel (Major Grey in the Book), but many historical figures i.e. Truman, General Ramey, remain – in order to take the story in the direction he needs it to go.

Majestic is a truly spooky tale. The author, like any great writer of thrillers, knows how to maintain enough of the mystery to leave the reader guessing when they reach the final word on the last page. This is a satisfying read.

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