UFO UpDates
A mailing list for the study of UFO-related phenomena
'Its All Here In Black & White'
Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2007 > Jan > Jan 17

'I Know Why the Aliens Don't Land' By Jeremy Vaeni

From: Daniel Brenton <daniel_brenton.nul>
Date: Wed, 17 Jan 2007 4:20:29 -0800
Fwd Date: Wed, 17 Jan 2007 09:02:03 -0500
Subject: 'I Know Why the Aliens Don't Land' By Jeremy Vaeni

A Review

Jeremy Vaeni's I Know Why the Aliens Don't Land! is a sprawling
book that sucks us in, then teases, frustrates, and finally
delivers in it's own way. As a recent addition to the growing
body of alien abduction literature, Vaeni's very personal
observations are probably the clearest answers to the phenomenon
in memory.

Did I like the book?


Would I recommend the book?


[Uh oh. He has to think about it.]

If I were Roger Ebert, given a choice between a 'thumbs-up' and
a 'thumbs-down', I'd definitely choose 'thumbs-left'.

Why? - It depends on what you want out of the book.

If you're looking for quick answers and a linear narrative,
numerous hair raising events, surgical extractions of implants,
and analytical discussions on what those little guys are doing
invading our homes and bodies, you're going to be disappointed.

But if you want a meaningful answer as to what those little guys
are doing invading our homes and bodies, you'll get it, as Lt.
Colonel Philip Corso would say, if you can take it.

Vaeni's style is quirky and engaging, and restlessly jumps from
one expositional form to another, making his points in the style
he deems best suited for the moment. The 'spine' of the book is
the use of an ongoing interview - a device employed by no less
than Aristotle in his Dialogues - between a "Norm De Plume" and
himself. Beyond this, the book is a kaleidoscope of prose
techniques, including news clippings, poems, and both first and
third person narratives. Though not born of blogging and the
internet, his style suits the blogosphere well - quick, punchy,
and irreverent.

We get to know Vaeni in candid - even explicit - detail. He
engages us quickly. We get to know and care about him, and
because of this we are willing to follow down the twists and
turns of his story.

The payoff of the book is long in coming, and this reader found
this distracting. Though enjoined in the author's introduction
to not read but to experience the book, I began to find the
teasing detours and the crazy quilt of the prose a bit tedious.
Hitting Chapter 11 and confronted with the title "time out for
song, poem, story, and ranting" (page 50) I lost patience with
it and jumped to the end of the book and skimmed back to find an
unwavering discussion on the subject of aliens pick up at
Chapter 53, page 310 out of the book's 381.

And yet, I went back to read the rest.

What at first blush appear to be long digressions on unrelated
matters - his emotionally torturous love life as a high school
student and young adult, coming to (and living through the
culture shock) of New York City, a very long narrative about his
career at Nickelodeon studios and an intensely frustrating
affair - give us context, helps us understand the paradoxical
nature of Vaeni's struggles, and adds to the overall ambience.
(I will never be able to think about Nickelodeon as anything
other than a corporate political nightmare again.) These same
needs could probably have been fulfilled more quickly, and
possibly more effectively - the fiction writer in me would
wanted to have seen a more linear narrative, demonstrating the
interplay between the personal events of his life and the
paranormal ones. One could argue these tangents help exposition
the human condition, one of the overall points of the book, but
can't help but feel like uncorrelated - albeit absorbing -

Despite the book's flaws, it is an engaging book for two reasons

Vaeni is an excellent writer. He engages, he plays, he doesn't
rest. The vitality of his prose never flags. He has understood
the painfully obvious fundamental (and all-too-frequently
ignored) rule of writing: a writer's work needs to be

Beyond this, the real strength of I Know Why the Aliens Don't
Land! is the personality and 'personableness' of the narrator.
It comes through clearly. We know Jeremy Vaeni, we care about
him, and because we care about him we forgive him his excesses
and listen to his wisdom when he finally offers it.

Last year Vaeni completed and debuted a seriously low-budget -
make that 'gonzo' - documentary: No One's Watching: An Alien
Abductee's Story. I have not located any distribution of it yet,
but I think I'd enjoy seeing it - even if I had to fast forward
to the end for a while.

I Know Why the Aliens Don't Land! is available through
Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble and as an eBook through Filament

- Daniel

(c) 2007, by Daniel Brenton. All Rights Reserved.

The Meaning of Existence (and all that):
The Odd Little Universe of Daniel Brenton

[ Next Message | Previous Message | This Day's Messages ]
This Month's Index |

UFO UpDates Main Index

UFO UpDates - Toronto - Operated by Errol Bruce-Knapp

Archive programming by Glenn Campbell at Glenn-Campbell.com