Book Praises and Reviews
An imaginative tale about an equally imaginative protagonist.
— Entertainment Weekly
A thrilling romp through the domain of aliens and spacecraft, Halperin’s highly entertaining coming-of-age tale poses questions about the real and imagined and suggests that fusing the two might be the only way to survive adolescence.
Halperin’s gripping debut is less about aliens than alienation. … This heartbreaking coming-of-age story of a boy losing and finding his way in this and other worlds will resonate with many readers.
— Publishers Weekly
[A]n enchantment from beginning to end, a coming-of-age story that is also a kind of whodunit and, above all, an eerie adventure tale set in the subculture of flying saucers and space creatures.
— Jonathan Kirsch, JewishJournal.com
Intricate and subversive … a captivating, wildly idiosyncratic book, a rare mashup of genre fiction and high-flying myth that lingers in the mind and invites rereading.
— Stuart Schoffman, Jewish Daily Forward
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, author of An Instance of the Fingerpost
Ambitious and wildly creative … a fascinating alchemy of fantasy, autobiography and the power of imagination.
— Glenn McDonald, Raleigh News & Observer
One of those rare reads that takes advantage of the wildest things science fiction can do in order to tell a human, mundane–and wonderful–story.
— Richard Dansky, Bull Spec
It is a wonderful depiction of growing up; we must grow old and die in our fantasy worlds if we are going to be able to live in the real one. ‘Journal’ captures the poignancy of that regret.
— Stefan Melnyk, Washington Square News
A novel about the power and emergence of new myths … about our relationship with the mystery of death … and a touching reflection on the painful rewards of awakening to the beauty of our mortality.
— David Metcalfe, TheRevealer.org
Mr. Halperin … has more in mind than the exploits of a teenager, however precocious and imaginative. … [His] novel is as much a philosophic treatise as it is a voyage through fantastical worlds.
— Bill Eichenberger, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
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
Journal of a UFO Investigator is the story of a quest, for knowledge and self-knowledge, for growth and the secrets hidden behind the everyday, the strangeness lurking within the familiar. Most of all it is an exploration of the mystery of love, a story you will not be able to put down or forget.
— Robert Morgan, author of Gap Creek
A wild ride—phantasmagoric, paranoiac, full of lust and insecurity, misplaced affection, and fear of closeness—exactly the mind of the teenage boy David Halperin is writing about.
— Joanne Greenberg, author of I Never Promised You a Rose Garden
A compelling reimagining of the myth of UFOs—flying saucers, Men in Black, Area 51—intertwined with the deepest longings of a teenage boy. Journal of a UFO Investigator flies out of this world and into the mysteries of inner space. Read it and you will know we are not alone.
— Keith Donohue, author of The Stolen Child
A terrific and boldly imagined literary novel that moves effortlessly and hauntingly from the ordinary, tragedy-touched everyday to the fantastic and sinister. David Halperin uncannily explores how faith, illusion, and the power of myth—both in ancient and modern manifestations—can sustain us in the struggle to understand ourselves and the circumstances of fate.
— Aryeh Lev Stollman, author of The Far Euphrates
The novel races along at a breakneck pace, revelation after revelation coming in a landslide of stunning moments and bittersweet epiphanies. We’re hurtling through a metaphor … glimpsing at the edges of a thing that only when we’ve put the book down will we be able to see the shape of. … In other words, marvelously well done.
— Drew Williams, Little Professor Book Center
A coming-of-age story that calls into question the boundaries between reality and fantasy. Nicole Geismann, editor at Goldmann: ‘A wonderfully original novel about the power of fantasy, and, beyond that, how young Danny Shapiro eventually can cope with reality with the help of his dreams. Poignant, heartwarming, and making such a powerful impression that after reading it we know once more how helpful it can be every now and then to dream a little.
—BuchMarkt (Germany), August 2012
An unusual, psychologically profound novel.
–Christina Liebeck, Media-Mania
A marvelous book filled with mythology, fantasy and science-fiction … carries conviction with its wonderful, fanciful, and extremely gripping emotion-filled story.
— Belle’s Leseinsel
I might have laughed if someone had told me that it was possible to write an enthralling and deeply sad meditation on adolescence and Judaism in the guise of a novel that includes futuristic spacecraft, bug-eyed aliens, and conspiracy theories, but Journal of a UFO Investigator is that book.
— Marnie Colton, BookBrowse.com