Tuesday, March 01, 2011

"Journal of a UFO Investigator" is a Poignant Story of Growing Up

Journal of a UFO Investigator

By Stefan Melnyk
Washington Square News

     Few novels are as deeply entrenched in adolescent fantasy as "Journal of a UFO Investigator." Most authors consciously resist imitating the narratives we dream up for ourselves as kids. That David Halperin remembers and happily applies these structures is one of the chief delights of his new novel.

The story centers around a Jewish teenager growing up in the '60s named Danny Shapiro, whose fascination with UFOs is both his greatest eccentricity and his most dependable comfort. When he stumbles across a conspiracy of fellow UFO investigators, including beautiful seductress Rochelle, Danny tumbles into a world filled with intrigue, sex and menacing villains.

"Journal's" logic is intentionally riddled with gaping holes and omissions. Halperin embraces the classic trope in which kids are somehow the only ones able to save the world, despite this having never been the case at any point in recorded history. The novel serves as both an example of, and a comment on, these dreamy tendencies.

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