This is a fascinating look at the way a phenomenon can take hold of the public imagination. It tells the story of the crop circles in the order in which they happened and then reveals the truth of the matter. It's a history of the crop watchers rather than of the circles themselves - who was involved, what their theories were and how they changed to accomodate the development of the circles. When one was discovered that read "we are not alone" you would think it might have given the game away, but no........... This is a must have book if you have any common sense at all!
Jim Schnabel is an acknowledged sceptic of all things not established in stone. Often his analysis and investigative skills still make a worthwhile read. Here, however, you get the impression that he was already riding a steamroller through the topic before setting his mind to the task. Don't get me wrong~the sooner farmers start taking legal action against those responsible for environmental vandalism the better. Then we can see what, if anything, there is to investigate. Jimmo too one-sided on this one.
Round in Circles is unique among its cousins in the paranormal bookshelf. It isn't a gushing, poorly written, mystic-centered account of crop circles. Nor is it a more-rational-than-thou attack on alien-mongers. Instead, Schnabel shines a light on the people lurking in the shadows of the crop-circle story: the crop-circle experts. Some are well known in UFOlogy and the paranormal. Most though made their names with the advent of crop circles. And, as the story unfolds, it is where the tragedy and humour lies. Schnabel makes it blatantly clear by the end of the book that the crop - circles are quite simply (and simple) hoaxes. Schnabel even tracks down the hoaxers themselves (and they are many). He learns the secrets - which are neither particularly ingenious nor technical. Before he himself realizes it, Schnabel becomes hopelessly addicted to crop circle creating itself. The reporter becomes a part of his own story. And a funny story it is too. Lots of laugh out loud bit! s. Much grinning by the reader.
This book, which received rave reviews in England when it was first published by Penguin (and later got a plug from Carl Sagan), is about the crop circles PEOPLE even more than it is about the crop circles themselves. It is a compelling, funny, and ultimately touching portrait of human beings entranced by a genuine modern mystery.