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3.78  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,886 Ratings  ·  115 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
Paperback, 515 pages
Published April 2nd 1985 by Warner Books Inc. (first published January 1st 1983)
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11811 (Eleven)
Aug 12, 2015 11811 (Eleven) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-book-blast
A first person tour of America post-nuclear exchange with the USSR. This is dated material, obviously, but those days are still clear in my memory and it was refreshingly different from most of the post-apocalyptic literature out there today. Because the nuclear war was limited, it's not quite an end of the world scenario - more like the world just got really fucked up but has every intention to survive and rebuild with a realistic capability to do so. No zombies.

The first person journalistic ap
Raegan Butcher
Jan 27, 2014 Raegan Butcher rated it liked it
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
Feb 23, 2009 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 30, 2011 Joy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
This was an experience! I thought this was just like any other post apocalyptic book, but it's not. This is told like a documentary and I found it was such a unique way to tell the story but I didn't enjoy it that much. I think it was because I was expecting something totally different and was a little disappointed.

The story is told by 2 writers who travel the US a few years after Warday, to document what life is like now. The idea behind the story is amazing but I just found parts to be tellin
Nov 08, 2015 Kriston rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: nobody
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Erik Graff
Mar 24, 2012 Erik Graff rated it really liked it  ·  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
Jeff Swystun
Jan 22, 2016 Jeff Swystun rated it really liked it
Kudos to the authors for an inventive premise especially since it was first published in 1984. The novel begins with Strieber's (fictional, of course) account of a nuclear attack on New York City in 1988. So it projects ahead though that has little bearing on readers now...I just found it interesting. Within the novel, it projects ahead further when the co-authors fictionally set out to explore the realities of America's shattered system, culture and landscape five years after the bombs hit. We ...more
Aug 03, 2015 Sheila rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi, audiobooks
Disclaimer: I was provided this audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator in exchange for an unbiased review via AudiobookBlast dot com

I liked the idea behind this book. Two writers, one a journalist and the other a former novelist, travel and document the US roughly a decade after a nuclear war. Think World War Z with bombs instead of zombies (yes, I know this book far predates World War Z, so if there was any cross-contamination, it went the other way). Written in the ear
Aug 08, 2014 Monique rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
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.
Aug 04, 2015 Kingsley rated it really liked it
Five years after a nuclear war devastates the USA and USSR two journalists travel across country collecting stories and documentation providing a 'state of the nation' documentary. The book is told in a sort of memoir / documentary style. An oral history of life post war. The book is written in such a way that it falls into a strange fictional non-fiction category. The two journalists in the book are the two authors of the book, basically placing themselves as the main 'characters' of the book; ...more
Lee Guthrie
Sep 04, 2015 Lee Guthrie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
War Day pre-dates World War Z by a few decades, but both books are written in a similar style. War Day is structured as a collection of interviews with survivors of a limited nuclear exchange that occurred between the US and Russia sometime in the late 1980's.

The main characters, fictional avatars of the real-life author duo, travel across an America that has split into a handful of city-states and territories, from the almost paradise of California to the eternal salvage and reconstruction in
Michael Flanagan
Sep 28, 2015 Michael Flanagan rated it it was ok
I do love a good story based around a Nuclear War, especially one written during the Cold War. Maybe I should go and see shrink about this, but there is nothing like a book written during the paranoia and fear of the Cold War. So it was with great anticipation I opened this NY best seller written in the mid 80's.

I tried very hard to get into this tale of a limited Nuclear exchange between the USA and USSR but to no avail. The narrative is very promising with two Journalist traveling across the P
Janet Brand
Jan 13, 2014 Janet Brand rated it liked it
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
Feb 14, 2016 Deedra rated it it was amazing
This was a really good book!I listened to the Audible version. Kevin Pierce does a fine job with the materials narration.Warday is an apocolyptic adventure through a landscape that is so familiar to most of us.It was very relevant and rather creepy listening to the stories of devastation caused by an act of terror,yet that phrase was not in the book.The Russians drop bombs of varying sorts on different parts of the USA on 10/28/88.This knocks out all electricity and kills thousands of people and ...more
Ryan H
Jul 31, 2015 Ryan H rated it liked it
I received this audiobook free from the author narrator or publisher in exchange for an unbiased review the audiobook

I really enjoyed the premise and the idea of this audiobook as well it takes place in a very very vulnerable era on time. My only criticism of the book is that the narrator sometimes had a lack of distinction between characters voices making it hard to follow. On the other hand the narrator worked well with the written word bringing the fifth landscapes and post-apocaly
Dan Kenkel
Jul 20, 2010 Dan Kenkel rated it it was ok
Finally finished this book. This is the second time I've read the book. It was so much better 20+ years ago.
Jun 01, 2015 Mylinda rated it really liked it
Written in approx. 1983, looking forward to a limited nuclear war that occurred in 1988, and set in the aftermath, approx. 1993. Interesting to look back at the time. Their is a section talking about the deconstruction and scrapping of buildings in Manhattan. The portion talking about dismantling the WTC was sad and sweet to me. Poignant, perhaps, is the word I want.

Anyway, an interesting book, reminded me a great deal of "World War Z" in the way it was organized and presented, as a series of in
Brett Thomasson
May 10, 2016 Brett Thomasson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Whitley Strieber and James Kunetka's first collaboration was the 1984 post-apocalyptic novel Warday. Set five years after a limited nuclear exchange between the United States and the Soviet Union, it describes conditions around the country via journal-like entries from the authors and interviews with people representing the changed features of the post-war society.

The "limited" nature of the exchange meant that only parts of the U.S. were destroyed by missiles -- but much of the rest of the coun
Oct 18, 2015 Nannette rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobooks
War Day is a post nuclear apocalypse written in the early 1980’s that I found strangely relevant in 2015. The premise of War Day is that there has been a nuclear war between the United States and the USSR (remember 1980’s). What is different about this war is it was very limited. Only a few areas of the USA are actually hit. No countries have nuclear hits other than the USA or USSR. Every country though feels the political and economic balance change drastically.

The two main characters, who are
Allen Garvin
Apr 28, 2009 Allen Garvin rated it liked it
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
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
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
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
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
Aug 26, 2015 Deborah rated it liked it
This started out very depressing and didn't get any better. The narrator did a great job and I usually love listening to him but this book is written like a diary and even his wonderful voice couldn't hold my attention. Others may like this type of writing but I just couldn't finish it.
"This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBlast dot com."
Kyle Worlitz
Aug 23, 2014 Kyle Worlitz rated it really liked it
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
Mar 16, 2013 Michael Airhart rated it really liked it
Shelves: dystopia
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
Jun 06, 2015 Kristine rated it it was amazing
This is one of the most terrifying books I have ever read. I actually stopped reading for awhile because the vivid descriptions gave me nightmares. This has happened only 3 other times in my life. I grew up when air raid drills were still being enforced by schools on Chicago, so maybe it tapped into a childhood claustrophobia. If you are looking for an intense book about nuclear found it.
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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 about Whitley Strieber...

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