Picks and Pans Review: Letters to E.t.

updated 07/11/1983 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/11/1983 AT 01:00 AM EDT

introduction by Steven Spielberg

In Spielberg's introduction, he urges his extraterrestrial film creation to "write when you find work." The fact is that E., if we may be so familiar, can surely afford a life of leisure by now. Certainly he must have time to peruse his fan mail, of which the samples herein are remarkable. Some are truly touching: The mother of a 20-year-old autistic man tells how the film made her son interested in something outside himself for the first time. Others are funny, such as one that says, "Thanks for not dying." Some are amusing and perplexing at once, like the one from a woman who writes, "Being a recent widow and an alien I understand you completely." The book is shamefully—and, it would seem, needlessly—padded with photographs of E.T; the space could have been better used reprinting more of the 35,000 E.T. letters Spielberg, Universal Studios and fan clubs have received. Joining an E.T. fan club costs $6. E.T., phone your accountant. (Putnam's, $9.95)

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