THE SILLY SEASON by Susan Holtzer


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In an uncanny echo of Ann Arbor’s real-life 1966 UFO sightings (sorry, make that alleged sightings; the explanation that went into the history books was swamp gas), mysterious lights have once again appeared over the University of Michigan campus. A spaceship? A landing module? A hoax? Another dose of swamp gas? Zoe Kaplan, who’s barely staying awake as summer sports editor for the Michigan Daily (published only once a week over the summer term), is delighted when her eyewitness account of the sighting, duly reported in the Daily, catapults her to overnight celebrity and a slot as an Associated Press stringer. Charged with gathering reactions from all concerned parties, Zoe luxuriates in a priceless bevy of loonies. There’s Jarvis McCray, of the Agency for Research on Alien Activity; New Age softie Maddalena Maestra, who thinks the aliens just want to be our buddies; alarmist author Rudy Giambra, who thinks their designs are a lot more sinister; debunking UFO Antichrist Prof. Conrad DeLeeuw; and his Ann Arbor colleague UFOlogist Prof. Thomas Edison Stempel, who’s doing his best to hold himself above the fray while poking his nose into every possible corner of it. The zany crew of true believers, which also includes anti-government conspiracy mavens and authors of UFO do’s and don’t’s, is such a perfect target for Holtzer’s ridicule that it’s a shame when one of them has to get killed, appearing only slightly less ridiculous in the process. Forget the killing, briskly solved by Lt. Karl Anneke (Black Diamond, 1997) en route to the nuptial altar, and enjoy the priceless blather of the terminally alien-struck in this aptly titled diversion.

Pub Date: Feb. 5th, 1999
ISBN: 0-312-20010-2
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Dunne/St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 1998


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