After reading Dreamland: An Autobiography by Bob Lazar, I am more of a believer in Bob Lazar than ever before... he really might have worked at a site near Area 51 reverse engineering alien technology. Wild, huh?
That said, I don't believe Bob Lazar is the most talented writer of all-time. Dreamland probably won't win any literary awards. It had some typos. Okay, it had LOTS of typos!
But if Bob Lazar is who he says he is - a remarried 60-year-old man reflecting back on a double life as a photo business owner / government contractor working on alien tech - then why should he write like a poet?
Dreamland's plot is straightforward (and dry, at times). It follows Lazar's clandestine work at S4, a secret facility within Area 51, where he was tasked with reverse engineering alien tech, alongside an aloof partner and plenty of shadowy, intimidating government agents with spooky Men In Black vibes.
Storm Area 51-ers who want to "see them aliens" may be disappointed that Lazar doesn't go into much, if any detail, about the aliens from the Zeta Reticuli star system who (according to the top-secret briefings) piloted the ship he was hired to study. In fact, there is little to no information about UFOs or aliens in this book that can't already be dug up in an existing interview or article somewhere.
Still, what Dreamland does offer is drama... not "alien scifi drama," but human drama. Relatable human drama. Dreamland shows us what it might be like to work on an important and dangerous project but not be allowed to talk about it to anyone, including your spouse. Hint: it's lonely.
There were moments when I forgot I was reading an autobiography reluctantly written by a nerdy engineer type, and really got involved in the story. I especially enjoyed when Lazar would go on for paragraphs about how the ship's anti-gravity reactor worked, or how he thought it worked, I should say; I wanted to read much more about spaceship physics.
But those moments were few and far between. They also felt tossed over the fence by an editor. Lazar's retelling of his personal life is also kind of cold; he deconstructs it much like he would the parts of a spaceship. And there's the rub! What Dreamland lacks in edge-of-your-seat fantasy and soap opera, it makes up for in boring, and sometimes even sad, believably.
For those who've invested in Lazar's story so far (believers and skeptics alike), Dreamland is worthwhile. It provides a gentle review of the events, and and a somewhat surprising and sad lesson in the end.
If you're looking to "wake someone up" to the UFO phenomenon, however, this book may not be the way to do it. Newbies looking to learn about Lazar are better off watching director Jeremy Corbell's documentary Bob Lazar: Area 51 & Flying Saucers (currently on Netflix), or Corbell and Lazar's interview on the Joe Rogan podcast.