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The Grays [Mass Market Paperback]

Whitley Strieber
2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 29 2007
We are not alone. Millions of people are confronting aliens that authorities say do not exist. Whitley Strieber--author of the legendary, #1 bestselling book Communion, which details his own close encounters--now returns to the riddle of aliens with The Grays.
A triumvirate of Grays, known as the Three Thieves, has occupied a small Kentucky town for decades--abducting its residents and manipulating fates and bloodlines in hopes of creating an ultra-intelligent human being. Nine-year-old Conner Callahan will face the ultimate terror as he struggles to understand who he has been bred to be and what he must do to save humanity.
Though the Grays have slowly begun to make themselves known, Colonel Michael Wilkes, the head of a select group of government and military officials that have been monitoring the aliens, will do anything in his power to keep them a secret. Wilkes will set in motion a sinister plan to ensure the survival of humanity,
but at what cost?
The fate of the human race lies with one woman, Lauren Glass. Her uncanny ability to communicate with the aliens and her relationship with the last remaining captive gray may be the only way to save humankind.

The Grays is a mind-bending journey behind the curtain of secrecy that surrounds the subject of aliens, written by the field's great master. If you've never so much as thought about the subject before, this book will make you think deeply, not only about the mystery of who the Grays are, but who exactly we are.

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From Publishers Weekly

Vocally, Lang and Vincent Price have a lot in common. While Price reveled in the spooky and sinister, Lang, though he packs a similar, possibly more extensive arsenal, does not hyperbolize, instead using his creep factor to corral the listener into the den of the writer and lets Strieber do the scaring. Strieber, who claimed in 1987's Communion to have been abducted by aliens (or "Grays"), parlays that experience into a yarn about the Grays' ultimate plan, to save themselves and mankind by breeding a human savior: nine-year-old Connor Callahan. The small hitch is that all humans, like Callahan, will be the subject of genetic manipulation. Enter Col. Michael Wilkes, steely government spook willing to kill most of mankind in order to eliminate the Grays. Lang shows great range, conveying each character's anxieties and emotion with élan. Even as the action and horror intensify, and the characters fight for the survival of mankind, Lang is cool as a cucumber-and that makes it all the scarier.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

In 1985, Strieber, then a top horror writer, author of The Wolfen 1978) and The Hunger (1981), had an alien-abduction experience. The book he wrote about it, Communion (1987), was so successful that his output of fiction dwindled in the 1990s as he expanded upon his biggest best-seller. Stillborn sequels to The Hunger emerged in 2001 and 2002, but The Grays is a quantum leap back to his fictional form, powered by his newer, nonfiction obsessions. In it aliens--the grays--have been with humanity for a good, long time, for excellent reasons. They've been helping humanity avoid their mistakes, which destroyed their emotions. Now, after a several-million-years journey, the rest of the grays, for whom those among us were pioneers with a purpose, are nearing Earth. Measures crucial to their success have been set in motion, most important among them, the creation of a human child of supernormal intelligence to receive the grays' advanced knowledge. Trouble is, hints of the child's existence had to be made to humans with authority; hence, the Roswell business. And hence, the development of rival factions within the top-secret military operation that guards the Roswell aliens. Strieber manages the plot built on those premises as a breakneck race to find the child and, depending on which faction the characters belong to, protect or destroy it. It's a terrific read, already blocked out like a screenplay for the major movie now in the works, marred only by a few treacly passages about the wonder of it all. Ray Olson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

2.0 out of 5 stars
2.0 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Underwhelming April 25 2011
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Considering who this book was written by, when I started it I expected nothing less than to have my mind completely blown....

However, before too long I found myself bored by hollow, cardboard characters, coincidences that didn't seem likely, and a dispassionate text that failed to reel me in like previous Strieber books had.

Due to the lack of any really good characters, and a plot that seemed (to me) to be at odds with what Whitley really believes, this book was a dull one that I had to plod through mechnically just to finish. It did however have many of the cornerstones of the UFO genre, such as Nordic aliens and floating anti-gravity triangle craft. Still, I doubt I'll ever pick it up again. I'll stick with Communion.

2 stars. Has some outstanding material scattered in the text, but as a whole, not a very enjoyable read.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing Aug. 2 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Rather than a thrilling guide to the greys based on Whitley "experiences" this is a cheesy fantasy novel where greys have a "personality' and form emotional "bonds" with a military lieutenant promoted overnight to full colonel because she is the only one in the world who can communicate by telepathy. A genius boy has to save the world before 2012 by working with the greys while top military brass committed to the greys destruction try to stop him and the lieutenant turned col aids the boy. Absolute crap.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Coming Soon To A Theater Near You!! Oct. 12 2006
I found this book to be a delightful read. Although fiction ( Communion based on real events), strieber still manages to base this new work of his off of real life encounters that people have had with aliens. In his book and movie Communion, they were based off of his experience mostly. The neat thing is, is that they are going to produce this book into a movie! Looking forward to the movie as well. Go to your book store and buy a copy of this one now!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.6 out of 5 stars  101 reviews
40 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scary and Satisfying Aug. 19 2006
By Will Bueche - Published on
The Grays is a thriller about a young military woman who is assigned to a peculiar and dangerous job, and a boy living in a small college town who is unfortunate enough to receive attention from both strange, sky-dwelling beings and from a military cabal. The loyalties of the young military woman are severely tested as matters of national security collide with matters of human survival.

With unique depictions of threats generated by an alien presence - threats fueled as much by human paranoia as by alien intention - this thriller's spy games are scary and satisfying on many levels. Said to be informed by the real life alien encounters of the author (written of in his 1987 NY Times best-selling book Communion), The Grays is also inspired by the author's passion for environmental responsibility. In an earlier novel he'd written about a terrible leader who tried to avert environmental apocalypse by euthenizing a third of the planet's population. A similar scenario is revisited in The Grays, as politicians conceive of ways to escape from a fate they fear - incorrectly - could end the human race entirely.

This is not a horror novel, though frights come steadily. The underlying horror in the novel is in how Strieber's characters find themselves trapped between the fear of the unknown and the fear of the known - and must make life or death choices in this "gray area". Recommended.
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Ride of Your Life! Aug. 27 2006
By thebinkle - Published on
Hold onto your seats, hats, whatever, because you will be up all night with this incredible book. Whitley Strieber, famed author of "The Wolfen," "The Hunger," "Communion," and co-author of the pivotal "The Coming Global Superstorm" will blow your mind with "The Grays." If you thought Spielberg's "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" was the ultimate tale of alien encounters and abductions, THINK AGAIN.

This story starts of with a bang and never lets up. The story of Dan and Katelyn, two children whose lives are forever entwined because of a joint childhood abduction and the birth of a very special son, become the focus of some very interested people, who have good and bad intentions for the boy named Connor. The pace never lets up for a second as we are introduced to the various extraterrestrials. Any previous ideas you had about who the grays are will be blown out of the water after you finish this book. These incredible beings are not just hear to probe us and take our genetic material. Far from it. You will, dare I say it, fall deeply in love with The Three Thieves.

So, put the coffee pot on, turn on your nighty-night light, draw the curtains, and prepare yourself for one hell of a ride. You WILL not be able to put this book down. Many people I know are already on their second and third readings!

Let me say one more thing. This book is listed as fiction. You will heartily disagree with that monikor when you close it.
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In Praise of The Grays Aug. 27 2006
By Thomas - Published on
Whitley Strieber puts it all together, and in doing so paints a MASTERPIECE OF FICTION on the canvass of his own first-hand, factual experiences--and those of millions of others.

Sometimes fiction can be a better vehicle for certain facts than even non-fiction--especially when "the facts" are unbelievably strange. And the facts about these enigmatic beings ARE unbelievably strange--visitors that have invaded our popular culture in recent years, and taken it by storm.

Visitors known collectively as "the grays."

The author of COMMUNION: A TRUE STORY, a number one New York Times bestseller, does it again in THE GRAYS--and you won't want to miss a page.

As only Whitley Strieber can, readers are taken step-by-step into the creepy horror of the grays' dark world, and in so doing shines new light on the human shadow that has fallen over our own world--a shadow many of us have just begun to perceive.

As THE GRAYS suggests, the only way the night of these two worlds--theirs and ours--can be lifted is by bringing these two races together--and the meeting place between them is a child, eleven year old Conner Callaghan, the product of what is best in both worlds.

THE GRAYS is a novel that develops at breakneck speed, and keeps readers thrilled throughout.

For those who are not yet familiar with the enigmatic grays, before this novel is over YOU WILL BE; for those who have already met them in the dark of night--face-to-face--you will "remember" in the vivid light of day. Hundreds of treasures hidden deep inside reality are planted in the pages of this book, eagerly waiting for readers to uncover.

But first you need to open "the cover."

Highly recommended.
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast and fascinating Aug. 29 2006
By George A. Ramos - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Initially expecting a sci-fi cliche with heavy doses of paranoia, this book blew my mind with it's absolutely fascinating ideas. The chapters come fast and furious, and yet each one has a small gem of insight, one that would cause me to shut the book and think about what just happened.

Why do the characters react the way they do? Sometimes afraid, sometimes brilliant, sometimes mindless animals, I realized these are fully-fleshed, real characters that behave the way real people do. Mr. Strieber's insight into human behavior is masterful and lends a heavy realism to the book.

The scenes involving non-humans are both terrifying and mind-blowing. The pages flew by as I was riveted by these scenes, captivated by one surprise after another. I've never read anything like this before, particularly the pages that delve into mind of the non-humans.

The book reads like a spy thriller, though one with a beating, human heart at its core. The book is short, and the large cast of characters barely have enough time to process what's happening, swept away by events and revelations the same way the reader is torn from the mundane by this high-energy dynamo of a novel.

Believer in UFO lore or not, you'll love this book if you love fiction. It's worth the few sleepless nights you'll devote to it.
12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Alien -ated Fan July 10 2007
By Easyduzit - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Let me start out by saying that I'm really not sold one way or the other on alien abductions. I believe they are possible, but nothing I've read or seen has convinced me to either viewpoint. So I keep an open mind.

I've read several of Whitley Streiber's abduction books, and I believe, at the very least, that Mr. Streiber believes what he's saying about visitors from another planet (or dimension). With that said, I picked up The Greys expecting to find a fictionalized version of what the author believes is really going on concerning alien visitors.

What I got was a poorly thought out story,filled with difficult to believe actions, and characters who were highly one dimensional.

Spoiler alert: I am going to discuss some events from the story, so if you haven't read the story, and plan to, you might want to skip this part:

There are so many absurd events that take place in what otherwise might have been a fine story, I can't help but feel a vague sense of disappointment! Why did the villain, Mike, go to such amazingly elaborate lengths to have connor killed. Why not just sneak up and give him 2 in the back of the head. If the future of mankind depends on his death, shoot him and be done with it! On the other side of the conflict, if Connor was so important to the Grays, why did they let Mike roam around unchecked. Implant him, use mind control, have him commit suicide, and BE DONE WITH IT! Come on, this is a race that's millions of years old and super intelligent. They are also supposed to be devoid of emotions, so it can't be guilt that's stopping them!
Some of the other actions the grays take strike me as slightly retarded. Not what you'd expect from an alien race millions of years ahead of us. One example is the fire at the silo in Wilton. Why did one of the 3 thieves have to drop himself on the roof to try to destroy the antenna transmitting the signal to all the pre-programmed assassins If they are so advanced, why couldn't they destroy it with some weapon, or the device they use to levitate people, or some form of their higher technology? It just smacks of a poorly thought out plot contrivance. The problem with this is that the events that followed seemed forced and fairly unbelieveable because of it.

Things like that permeate this story. Like the member of the trust who hijacks the TR and uses it, and a program code, to redirect the scalar weapon to destroy the President and all the Senators in Washington. I was in the Navy for a time, and one thing I learned is that really dangerous weapons (like nuclear missiles) must be triggered by at least 2 people, to prevent just such a disaster from taking place. An invisible ship zapping the White House with an earthquake inducing ray is difficult enough to swallow, but expecting the readers to believe the fact that he did it without overcoming any restrictions other than inputting a code number is an insult to our intelligence.

This leads to the ultimate question of the whole story. If Connor and his "super intelligence" was so crucial to the survival of the Gray race, why was he the only one. If I were the Grays, I'd be pumping Connors out by the dozens. Even mega geniuses can die from an accident or illness. If it takes a triad of aliens to do something worthwhile, why didn't they think to make their uber-humans work in threes just like they do? It doesn't sound like a plan designed by a race of superior intelligence to me.

Needless to say, I was let down by this story. Parts of it were OK,which is why I gave it the 2nd star, but I really expected more from a writer of Mr. Streiber's caliber. It did nothing to advance the debate about aliens among us, and it disappointed me as a work of fiction.
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