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Publisher's Summary

This real-life The X-Files and Close Encounters of the Third Kind tells the true story of a computer programmer who tracks paranormal events along a 3,000-mile stretch through the heart of America and is drawn deeper and deeper into a vast conspiracy.

Like Agent Mulder of The X-Files, computer programmer and sheriff's deputy Zukowski is obsessed with tracking down UFO reports in Colorado. He takes the family with him on weekend trips to look for evidence of aliens. But this innocent hobby takes on a sinister urgency when Zukowski learns of mutilated livestock and sees the bodies of dead horses and cattle - whose exsanguination is inexplicable by any known human or animal means.

Along an expanse of land stretching across the southern borders of Utah, Colorado, and Kansas, Zukowski discovers multiple bizarre incidences of mutilations and suddenly realizes that they cluster around the 37th parallel, or "UFO Highway". So begins an extraordinary and fascinating journey from El Paso and Rush, Colorado, to a mysterious space studies company and MUFON; from Roswell and Area 51 to the Pentagon and beyond; to underground secret military caverns and Indian sacred sites; beneath strange, unexplained lights in the sky; and into corporations that obstruct and try to take over investigations.

Inspiring and terrifying, this true story will keep you up at night, staring at the sky and wondering if we really are alone and what could happen next.

©2016 Ben Mezrich (P)2016 Simon & Schuster

What listeners say about The 37th Parallel

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
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    139
  • 4 Stars
    100
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    84
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    44
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    40
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  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    88
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    72
  • 2 Stars
    33
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    27
Story
  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    133
  • 4 Stars
    81
  • 3 Stars
    73
  • 2 Stars
    42
  • 1 Stars
    43

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Misleading Title and Marketing But Still Good

Any additional comments?

I understand the low average rating for this book. Everything about the marketing of this book, from the title to the book description, is misleading.

Before I go further, full-disclosure: I'm a non-believer. I'm persuadable, but as of this moment I do not believe aliens are currently visiting earth. To borrow a line (from Carl Sagan, I think): extraordinarily claims require extraordinary evidence. I have yet to see convincing evidence. That doesn't mean it doesn't exist, and I get that. I read books like this because I enjoy the idea that visitation might be something that's happening.

Back to the book: It's certainly an exploration of the ufo phenomenon but's not a book about the UFO highway. It's a book about the tension between believers and non-believers; the tension between fringe and mainstream science; the tension within families as a father spends increasingly more financial and time resources pursuing his investigations of UFO phenomenon; it's a sample history of sightings; insane cattle mutilations and some scary corporate and G-Men types.

Mezrich creates a compelling narrative, and while it's not Truman Capote, this is a book of solid, if not dazzling, craftsmanship.

On it's own terms, this is not a 1-star book. I understand that people are upset because they expected Mezrich to offer evidence in the case to prove the existence of UFOs. That doesn't happen. There are no conclusions drawn in this book. It is not a book about UFOs, or the UFO highway, it's a book about UFO investigators, from a mainstream author who is in no way dismissive of his subject.

Is it fair to flame a book because it doesn't match a reader's expectations? Maybe. But I've read 1-star books, and this is no 1-star book.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Don't listen to the negative reviews!

What made the experience of listening to The 37th Parallel the most enjoyable?

Inside perspective without too much unnecessary drama.

What did you like best about this story?

The balance of Naive American stories come-to-life by non-native ranchers and citizens. And the list of longitude/latitudes of incidents.

Which scene was your favorite?

Chapter 19. Hands down chapter 19. Rarely does this type of book touch on Native American Skin Walkers. Specifically Ute and Nez Perce.

If you could give The 37th Parallel a new subtitle, what would it be?

A calaboration of scientifically researched experiences along North America's UFO Highway

Any additional comments?

I can't wait to re-read, and listen again on my next road trip through these areas of rural NM, CO, AZ!

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

I thought it was a study or documentary

Bought it expecting a study or documentary instead I got a novelised account of the life of someone that felt 99% fiction. Not at all what I expected or hoped for.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

his Ted talk left more to be desired

I thought I was going to listen to some reportage on interesting cases based on how the author presented himself in a ted talk but instead it was just overly dramatized narrative. "Hell, I just wanted to hear some good alien arguments.."

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Unfinished story

It appears that the author has left the story unfinished. Basically by the time he is done retelling the standard UFO stories blended into the life of the main character, and the listener expects some revelation or a surprise, the story ends unexpectedly.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Uninspired reading, lame ending

While the content is interesting to me, I have to say the end left me feeling empty and almost cheated. If I thought it possible to get a refund I might try. Instead I'll just warn you off. Dissatisfied cone, OUT.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Good story but too much unnecessary detail

The tale of Chuck's investigation and his descent into the UFO rabbit hole and how it affected his life is very intriguing, but the book could have been half as long and still conveyed the same story. It seemed as though much of the descriptive details in the book were superfluous and not very helpful towards the narrative. I would assume that the majority of readers are interested in the nitty gritty investigation of what actually took place (not much) and not the overly descriptive recounting of events the author obviously did not observe first-hand. It really discredits the authenticity of his whole spiel. Also, nothing ridiculously fascinating or mind blowing is ever revealed and it has a terrible ending which I guess was supposed to be a big build up, but spoiler: it's in the title. Zukowski finally notices the connection to the 37th parallel. And that is the first and only mention of it in the book. At the end. 🤔
Anyway, I read this because of the Mysterious Universe podcast and if you're into aliens, bigfoot, and the like, check them out because that podcast is bananas.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Kind of Wanders

So there really is no central plot to this book other than the main character has noticed that lots of unsolved "paranormal" events have been reported happening at 37 degrees of north latitude (+/- 1 degree or so). Might be some significance there; might not. The author never really even looks, just basically repeats this assertion by the main character as the "conclusion" to a book that wanders from one paranormal investigation event to another.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • RP
  • 09-13-17

cmon Ben pay a professional to narate! please do

really enjoyed this story and your other books. You didn't act in the movies that were made from your stories so why narration? Go ahead and hire professional so there's some custo to the great story

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

The ending to this book almost negates the whole thing.

I feel as if I was with a chick and right before I'm about to finish, she gets up, puts on her clothes and leaves without saying a word. It completely betrays what the rest of the book was setting up for, and makes me question any validity it might of had. I cant believe the guy this book is about approved it because the sensationalized ending seems counterintuitive to what he's supposedly trying to do with providing scientific analysis of the subject matter.

Other than the ending, which is the only reason I gave it two stars overall, the book is very well presented, written, and narrated. I've yet to try to verify all the instances given within it, but if true it offers an interesting perspective on the UFO phenomena and associated matters.

1 person found this helpful