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Extended Audio Sample Journal of a UFO Investigator: A Novel Audiobook, by David Halperin Click for printable size audiobook cover
2.59 out of 52.59 out of 52.59 out of 52.59 out of 52.59 out of 5 2.59 (22 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: David Halperin Narrator: Sean Runnette Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2011 ISBN: 9781470800680
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This sparkling debut novel, set against the backdrop of the troubled 1960s, is a coming-of-age story that weaves together a compelling psychological drama and vivid outer-space fantasy.

Danny Shapiro is an isolated teenager living with a dying mother, a hostile father, and no friends. To cope with these circumstances, Danny forges a reality of his own, which includes the sinister “Three Men in Black,” mysterious lake creatures with insect-like carapaces, a beautiful young seductress and thief, with whom Danny falls in love, and an alien-human love child who—if only Danny can keep her alive—will redeem the planet. Danny’s fictional world blends so seamlessly with his day-to-day life that profound questions about what is real and what is not, what is possible and what is imagined, begin to arise. As the hero in his alien landscape, he finds the strength to deal with his own life and to stand up to demons both real and imagined. Told with heart and intellect, Journal of a UFO Investigator calls to mind the works of Michael Chabon and Jonathan Lethem.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Journal of a UFO Investigator is a remarkable book. Part science fiction, part novel of growing up, part surrealist voyage into the imagination, it is a disconcerting and satisfying experience.”

    Iain Pears, New York Times bestselling author

  • “What’s in this book? What isn’t? History, mystery—even aliens, for God’s sake. The most compelling and original coming-of-age story I’ve read in a long time.”

    Daniel Wallace, author of Big Fish

  • “Posing existential questions throughout, this book will appeal to readers of SF as well as general fiction readers.”

    Library Journal

  • “A thrilling romp through the domain of aliens and spacecraft, Halperin’s highly entertaining coming-of-age tale poses questions about the real and the imagined and suggests that fusing the two might be the only way to survive adolescence.”

    Booklist

  • “An adolescent boy copes with his religious heritage and personal demons through a staggeringly lush fantasy life.”

    Kirkus Reviews

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carrie Marcotte | 2/7/2014

    " This is a novel which, on the surface, seems like a coming-of-age story with an interesting twist. Below that surface, is a complex novel in which the same young person uses fantasy as an escape from the troubles in his life. At first, the crossing between what was real and what was the fantasy was quite blurred and you are not really sure of which. You are also never really sure which of the characters are real or imaginary. Quite a smartly-written novel. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Valerie | 1/31/2014

    " What a marvel-ous book - a book full of marvels,blending a coming-of-age story with UFO-logy with speculative fiction - fluidly, gracefully, and with a deep heart for the pains of adolescence. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Andy | 1/21/2014

    " This is not a book to be messed with. It is weird, uncomfortable, and mildly disturbing, everything that I usually love about reading, but this book missed the mark by a lot. I think that I really lost interest with the book when the protagonist was abducted and spent 100+ pages aboard an alien aircraft... just bizarre and not in a good way. Choose wisely here readers... this book is one step away from an one star from me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Skye | 1/11/2014

    " It jumps around A LOT. There are just random sexual things that pop up out of the blue. It gets pretty confusing and I had to constantly go back and make sure I wasn't high and missed something. The end really ties it all together somewhat well. It's good for what it is. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Gerry LaFemina | 1/3/2014

    " You know, the book looks great, it looks fun, but really the two strains of the narrative are so disconnected--Danny's fantasy life gets the bulk of the story, but it's too far etched even for geek-boy fantasy, and the reality narrative of Danny's life (that which will make his fantasy that much more interesting) gets short shrift. To add to this problem, the prose is utilitarian which just left me glossing pages. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amy | 12/25/2013

    " This book was described as "Part science fiction, part novel of growing up, part surrealist voyage into the imagination..." It was a little intense and I am not much of a sci-fi reader (especially UFO based sci-fi). I did like the way Halperin tapped into his main characters isolation. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 April | 12/9/2013

    " Sometimes confusing, but truly an amazing book. It really makes you think. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Janie Hepler | 11/1/2013

    " Really not what I was expecting, and I was a little disappointed. Otherwise a decent read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mary | 1/31/2013

    " This book reminded me of the Blind Assassin, because there are 2 books here. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Chelsea | 1/21/2013

    " I originally thought this book was a collection of stories told by a person but it turned out it was not. Unfortunately I do not see the point of giving it a good review because I did not care for it very much. The ending could have been better but at least I finished it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Aaron | 11/14/2012

    " A deeply strange book, based in the gloriously odd saucer writings of the 40s and 50s. It lost me around 2/3 of the way through and grabbed me back at the very end. I'd like to read it again some time, as I think it would stand several readings. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jenny | 9/12/2012

    " This was just too weird for me... I was really enjoying it in the beginning and then it went in a totally bizarre direction that I just didn't get. I am sure there was a lot of hidden meaning there somewhere. I just didn't get it. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Valerie McNamee Earl | 7/11/2012

    " I can not even describe this. Not at all what I had expected, or hoped for. Ick, ick, ick. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Aimee Smith | 7/9/2012

    " Entertaining story about an oddball sixteen-year-old kid. I related to the main character, which for me is always a plus in any book. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Frank | 7/1/2012

    " Took forever to finish this book. I didn't enjoy it at all. The narrative jumps all over the place and is confusing at first, but by the end, I knew where it was going but just didn't care. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Angie | 2/17/2012

    " This book made no sense. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Shannon | 11/15/2011

    " Interesting, but not pieced together very coherently. I liked the multi-level events, but was still left a little lost in places as to what was real, what was allusion and what was fantasy. It reads a bit like an historical novel documenting early UFO investigations. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Carrie | 11/14/2011

    " Unlike "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jenny | 6/20/2011

    " This was just too weird for me... I was really enjoying it in the beginning and then it went in a totally bizarre direction that I just didn't get. I am sure there was a lot of hidden meaning there somewhere. I just didn't get it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Aimee | 4/26/2011

    " Entertaining story about an oddball sixteen-year-old kid. I related to the main character, which for me is always a plus in any book. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Chelsea | 4/19/2011

    " I originally thought this book was a collection of stories told by a person but it turned out it was not. Unfortunately I do not see the point of giving it a good review because I did not care for it very much. The ending could have been better but at least I finished it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amy | 2/21/2011

    " This book was described as "Part science fiction, part novel of growing up, part surrealist voyage into the imagination..." It was a little intense and I am not much of a sci-fi reader (especially UFO based sci-fi). I did like the way Halperin tapped into his main characters isolation. "

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About the Author
Author David Halperin

DAVID HALPERIN was professor emeritus of religious studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He is the author of many nonfiction books and articles about myth and religion.

About the Narrator

Sean Runnette, an Earphones Award–winning narrator, has also directed and produced more than two hundred audiobooks, including several Audie Award winners. He is a member of the American Repertory Theater company and has toured the United States and internationally with ART and Mabou Mines. His television and film appearances include Two If by Sea, Cop Land, Sex and the City, Law & Order, the award-winning film Easter, and numerous commercials.