Warday
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Warday

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3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  1,287 ratings  ·  74 reviews
The unthinkable happened five years ago and now two writers have set out to find what's left of America.

New York, Washington D.C., San Antonio, and parts of the Central and Western states are gone, and famine, epidemics, border wars, and radiation diseases have devastated the countryside in between.

It was a "limited" nuclear war, just a 36-minute exchange of missiles that...more
Paperback, 515 pages
Published April 2nd 1985 by Warner Books Inc. (first published January 1st 1983)
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Raegan Butcher
WARDAY is the literary equivalent of a Peter Watkins film. Indeed what it most closely resembles is his brilliant 1965 "documentary" THE WAR GAME. What the writers of WARDAY share with Watkins is a wholly original concept for dealing with a work of art that depicts the possible effects of a nuclear war: treat it like a documentary about the dread event--as if the nuclear war HAD occurred. The scenarios (spun out and supported by a ton of research)of what occurs after a "limited" nuclear war( jus...more
Elizabeth
This book should be required reading for all Americans, and maybe for everyone worldwide.

It takes place a few years after Russia, panicked at being outdistanced in technology, has dropped a few nuclear bombs on the US. Naturally, we retaliated, so the government, and indeed the entire infrastructure of both countries are gone.

In this book, the two authors write as if they were writing a nonfiction story in a world where this has actually happened. They decide to travel together around the countr...more
Joy
On Warday in 1985, the Soviets bomb the hell out of the US, completely obliterating DC, New York, and other major cities (LA becomes the new US capitol). Concurrent with the nuclear attack, the Soviets let loose a technology that destroys most advanced electronics, effectively disabling the US communications infrastructure and isolating the various regions of the country. The book attempts to predict what might happen in the wake of such an event-- chaos, hunger, plague, fallout...Four years fol...more
Erik Graff
Mar 24, 2012 Erik Graff rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Kunetka/Strieber fans
Recommended to Erik by: Michael Miley
Shelves: sf
Starting in the late eighties I began to exchange visits with my old friend and former roommate, Mike Miley, now a resident of Sonoma, California. Michael, always entranced by what he calls "high weirdness", had introduced me to Streiber's supposedly autobiographical Communion ('87), an account of what might be interpreted as encounters with extraterrestrials. I didn't read it, still haven't, but did see the movie based upon it and endeavored to read some of Strieber's other books in order to se...more
Janet Brand
I read this a few years after it originally came out in the 80's and just finished it again. This is one of those books that lives better in memory than it does in the rereading. It has a lot going for it in some aspects. It certainly makes one think about the consequences of a "limited" nuclear war would be. We all tend to think of it as something that would happen and life would either 1) move on just fine other than in the areas hit or 2) that we would cease to exist. This book covers the mos...more
Dan Kenkel
Finally finished this book. This is the second time I've read the book. It was so much better 20+ years ago.
Allen Garvin
Interesting story of a post-apocalyptic America, set after the USSR launched a pre-emptive attack just as the US was deploying a missile defense shield, a la Star Wars/SDI. California was spared, but the rest of the US suffered a devastating blow that destroyed much of every major city. It's worth noting this was written just before the Nuclear Winter hypothesis was published, so there was no world-wide climate change from the attack. The US responded with attacks against the USSR, but Europe, a...more
Kriston
Oct 11, 2011 Kriston rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: nobody
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mary Overton
Two journalists take a working road-trip, Studs Terkel style, across post-nuclear-war America.

From "Interview - Terry Burford, Midwife and Witch":

"I'm working toward delivering a baby a day. Right now I do about three or four a week. At the moment I've got fifty-eight patients in the midwifery and about two hundred in my general practice. I've got thirty psychiatric patients divided into four groups...." pg. 385

"... and then it's time to meet one of my psychotherapy groups. Since Warday the numb...more
Brian Melendez
Two journalists, childhood friends both in real life and in the book, journey across an America that has been partly but not totally devastated by a limited nuclear attack. Some regions are uninhabitable, most have reverted to a plague-ridden substistence economy, and a few--like California--are thriving. But the concept of American nationhood has broken down: California and other "haves" have erected police states with strict barriers that keep the "have-nots" off their territory. The Mexican-A...more
Antony Castellano
The unthinkable happened five years ago and now two writers have set out to find what's left of America.

New York, Washington D.C., San Antonio, and parts of the Central and Western states are gone, and famine, epidemics, border wars and radiation diseases have devastated the countryside in between.

It was a "limited" nuclear war, just a 36-minute exchange of missiles that abruptly ended when the superpowers' communication systems broke down. But Warday destroyed much of civilization.

Whitley Strie...more
Schnaucl
This was a very interesting book. It was originally published in the mid 1980's during the Cold War.

The premise is that when the US decide to implement what is now known as the Star Wars program (not the name in the book) the Russians were so spooked they launched a preemptive nuclear war. They also detonated EMPs that were far more powerful than any shielding the US had in place.

This is the story of two men who decide to traverse America five years after the bombs fell to record the war's impa...more
Monique
Very believable story about a nuclear war between Russia and the US that lasted a day in 1988 and that annihilated New York, Washington, and some military bases in Wyoming, the Dakotas and a few others.

The 2 protagonists decide to travel across the US five years after the war to document the aftermath of the war. Part novel part documentary style, the inetrviews and the observations are spot on and keep the story relevant even though it was written in the 1980s.

Interesting read.
Mark C. Jackson
I enjoyed this book more than I originally thought I would. It was a difficult start, but once I got past the introduction and first chapter, I found it very interesting. The book took me back to an era during the Cold War; memories of the fears of not if, but when a nuclear war with the Soviets would start. Times were tense, and preparations and planning were always at the forefront of one's mind. I felt as if this book not only took me back to those times and memories, but also projected me al...more
Kyle Worlitz
This is one of my favorite post-apocalyptic novels. A man who has received a fatal dose of radiation in a nuclear war chooses to use the time he has left to travel and chronicle the new face of the United States after total catastrophe.

Reading it in 2014, much it seems implausible in its Cold War simplicity, but Strieber is compelling originator of ideas. If the prose is only fair, the ideas are great. Worth a read.
Michael Airhart
Warday offers what, in 1984, counted as an optimistic view of life after a nuclear war in which only 50 million Americans die and half of the United States are, at first glance, spared destruction.

Strieber is better-known for his horror novels and his alleged UFO experience, but he and his co-writer James Kunetka effectively combine autobiographical reflection and fiction. Writing as alternate-reality versions of themselves, the authors explore what post-war survival entails for their families a...more
Jak
An interesting take on the post-nuclear theme in that the devastation by the nukes is only partial. Due to systemic failure in the USSR weapons program only New York, Washington and San Antonio, Texas get obliterated while the rest of the country avoid direct strikes but suffer problems due to fall out etc and EMPs.

The book takes place some five years after Warday as a pair if friends, who are respectively a journalist and author, decide they must write a book about Warday and how America has c...more
Dalleer
Well, this one was made in the 1980's so naturally the apocalyptic nuclear destruction scenario in it largely reflects the decade's fears and so. It also includes some fairly provocative stuff especially for the American reader, but that I would see to be the point of the book, at least partly.

It is decent enough in terms of story and depiction of the events and characters, although in certain parts the story elements seem too far-fetched at least for current standards. Although, to me it does...more
Donna Gardner Liljegren
This book is out of print, so I was lucky to find a used copy. While the story is a bit dated, it's easy to see how this served as a model for Max Brooks' World War Z. And it still has lessons to teach, even if I think it's entirely too optimistic.
Major Faversham
Considering this was first published in 1984 while the Cold War was simmering and President Reagan was talking about "Star Wars" Defense, it made a great impact on me then. The manner in which Whitley Strieber and James Kunetka (who co-authored the book) approach the subject matter is chilling. They extrapolated what could have happened in a very believable style.

I had just finished being trained as a Nuclear Biological Chemical specialist at Ft. McClellan, Alabama. Having just learned how to p...more
Charlene
I read this book when it was first published and have never forgotten it. Found it again recently and sadly must say that it's message is still true in today's world. How awful life would be to survive even a limited nuclear exchange - if you didn't die in the initial blast or from the fallout afterwards, you'd have to deal with contaminated water, soil, food stuffs or lack of food, and the diseases that would come. If apocalyptic stories are on your list, this is one that will give you pause to...more
Pat
This book should be a requirement for everyone leaving high school/university. It chronicles what happens to a society (the US in this instance) after an EMP burst, and how society degenerates and rebuilds itself. The really striking thing about the book is the stark reality it portrays about the every-day things we take for granted and what happens when these things disappear. What happens when there's no electricity, no heat, no food on the supermarket shelf? What happens when a person is so h...more
Randall Addis
Read this years ago. Couldn't finish it when I was a kid, scary book. I think I did read it later on though.
Nicole
A real masterpiece: an incredibly realistic novel set in a post-nuclear war America. I'd very highly recommend it to anyone interested in the effects of nuclear warfare. Whitley Strieber and James Kunetka write the book through the eyes of two journalists journeying across what is left of the United States. The book comes with maps, charts, reports, & figures for a sense of authenticity and reads easily. The best part is the book is hardly outdated despite its age; the nuclear threat still e...more
Katie
Hard to find this book, but it was interesting. A unique take on post-apocalyptic fiction.
Tracey
Read this way back when it first came out. Since I've been doing a bunch of apocalyptic fiction recently, thought I'd see how it holds up. Parts are a little trip down nostalgia lane, with the talk of 80s technology, and the names of companies that haven't existed in years.

OK, finished now. I got really sad during the part about New York City, with the constant references to salvaging the World Trade Center. It was worth re-reading to remember how we thought the world would end, back in the 80s.
Jessica Elizabeth
I have read this book 3 times over the past 10 years and through many forced cullings on my collection this book remains to be read again and again. Great writng style jumping from conversational, journalistic to first person novel with ease. The layout of sprinkling 'government reports and statistics' give the reader the chance to calibrate between the different styles nicely and makes you stop 1/2 way through check out your window to make sure your world still exists!
Dan Perkins
A good, and interesting read. However, at times it feels a little like too much of the same thing over and over.
Carol
This is a graphic portrayal of a limited nuclear strike on American soil, as told from the perspectives of two journalists,one in New York and one in Texas, who survived the initial attack and subsequently trek across the post-war United States. Tons of charts, figures, and maps bring a terrifying realism to the novel.Two authors take turns writing their about their experience. A great page turner!
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American writer best known for his horror novels The Wolfen and The Hunger and for Communion, a non-fiction description of his experiences with apparent alien contact. He has recently made significant advances in understanding this phenomenon, and has published his new discoveries in Solving the Communion Enigma.

Strieber also co-authored The Coming Global Superstorm with Art Bell, which inspired t...more
More about Whitley Strieber...
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