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Resurrection Day Hardcover – June 21, 1999

139 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews Review

Brendan DuBois is an award-winning U.S. author of mystery stories: this alternate-world thriller is very much in the tradition of Robert Harris's Fatherland. Consider this striking blurb line: "Everyone remembered exactly what they were doing the day President Kennedy tried to kill them." History went awry in this world's Cuba crisis, leading to a 1962 nuclear war that devastated Russia, crippled America, and left Britain a major world power smugly giving aid to the USA. Cut to 1972 Boston and ex-soldier Carl Landry, now a newspaper reporter whose coverage of a routine murder is suppressed by military censors. He's unwisely curious, investigates further, and inevitably stirs up a hornets' nest. Attacks, deaths, and disappearances follow. With a new-found girlfriend--an English Times reporter who is not all she seems--Landry uncovers a succession of red-hot secrets about abandoned New York, perfidious British and military plotting, and crucial documents coveted by several factions with different beliefs about their contents. Is Kennedy unjustly despised for starting World War  III? Is the rumor that he's still alive just this timeline's version of the Elvis myth? After building up terrific tension, DuBois delivers satisfying answers. Grimly plausible (apart from a few lapses in "British" dialogue) and worthy of the Fatherland comparisons. --David Langford,

From Publishers Weekly

In his first novel outside of his acclaimed Lewis Cole mystery series (Shattered Sand, Forecasts, Feb. 15, etc.), DuBois delivers an alternate-history thriller that deserves to be as popular as Robert Harris's Fatherland. DuBois postulates an America that has been politically devastated by a nuclear exchange arising from the Cuban missile crisis. It's now 1972. Washington, D.C., is a radioactive crater; Nelson Rockefeller is running for president against George McGovern; and Boston Globe reporter Carl Landry is investigating the shooting death of a 60-year-old retired serviceman. Warned off the story after it gets spiked by the military's in-house censor, and emboldened by Sandra Price, a beautiful reporter from the London Times, Landry keeps digging at Swenson's past. What he uncovers is the truth behind the rumors of what really happened in the White House as the missile crisis spun out of controlAand evidence of an unholy alliance that is poised to reverse the course of American history. From cryptic references to post-bomb chaos in California to clever reworkings of '60s history (e.g., antidraft demonstrators chanting, "Hell, no, we won't glow!"), DuBois creates a sobering and imaginatively detailed vision of an America that has been crippled by tragedyAa nation where John F. Kennedy was not the King Arthur of Camelot but its Mordred, the man who brought down everything. One of DuBois's many brilliant touches is an underground of diehard Kennedy supporters who scrawl the graffiti "He Lives" on every available surface, because they believe that JFK was not only innocent, but is still alive and broadcasting from a pirate radio station. Cohesively plotted and smoothly written, steadily exciting and rife with clever conceits, this is what-if thriller fiction at its finest. Foreign rights sold in the U.K., Germany and Holland. (June)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 387 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Adult (June 21, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399144986
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399144981
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.3 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (139 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,189,457 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Brendan DuBois of New Hampshire is the award-winning author of sixteen novels and more than 120 short stories. His latest novel, "Deadly Cove," was published in July 2011 by St. Martin's Press. He is currently working on the eighth book in the Lewis Cole series. His short fiction has appeared in Playboy, Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, and numerous other magazines and anthologies including "The Best American Mystery Stories of the Century," published in 2000 by Houghton-Mifflin and edited by Tony Hillerman and Otto Penzler.

In addition, a number of original anthologies and other works of fiction, including his three-novel Empire of the North series --- "The Noble Warrior," "The Noble Prisoner," and "The Noble Prince" --- are available on the Kindle platform.

His short stories have twice won him the Shamus Award from the Private Eye Writers of America, and have also earned him three Edgar Allan Poe Award nominations from the Mystery Writers of America.

He is also a "Jeopardy!" game show champion.

Visit his website at

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Sheldon S. Kohn on December 12, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Resurrection Day was full of promise to be one of the most interesting tales told this year. The premise is fascinating. What if the Cuban Missile Crisis had escalated into all-out war and the United States had been hit with nuclear weapons?
With this premise, Brendan DuBois presents us with a cast of characters that could inhabit the devastated landscape one might find ten years after such a tragedy. Unfortunately, the characters are predictable, more types than individuals, and the plot unfolds according to the formula. The picture DuBois paints is somewhat interesting, but his execution falls far short of the promise.
Carl Landry is the protagonist of this tale. Now a reporter for a censored version of the Boston Globe, he is an ex-veteran, a man who joined the Army in the flush of enthusiasm that accompanied the inauguration of John F. Kennedy. He served in an obscure country called Vietnam and lived to see starvation in California. In Carl's world, American survivors envy rich Canadians and rich Mexicans. He is joined on his search for truth by Sandy Price, British reporter for the Times, the obligatory love interest and temptress who is not completely what she seems on the surface.
Disappointingly, this book offers nothing more than a simple morality play of the good people versus the large and malignant forces of the government. Our hero faces impossible odds, and it is not all that difficult to imagine how things are going to play out in the end.
For readers who do not mind the predictable nature of the story, Resurrection Day does paint an interesting picture of a devastated landscape, of a country that is bowed but not broken. Read for what it is, a mass market paperback, it is not all that bad.
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95 of 120 people found the following review helpful By S. M Stirling on December 16, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
One thing that ticks me off about after-the-bomb books is weak research on the effects of nuclear weapons, or on operational plans and capacities. This book suffers from that fault, despite good writing and a nice plot.
Apparently the "Cuban War" of 1962 results in the US getting hit by something on the order of 10-12 Soviet nukes. This is reasonable, if slightly pessimistic. (My own guess would be something on the order of 6 or 7.) The Soviets simply didn't have many delivery systems which could reach North America.
Two things aren't reasonable:
First, after losing 3 or 4 cities and a few military bases, the US is shown as still devastated ten years later, with widespread areas dangerously radioactive and the economy only just recovering from a near-total collapse.
My father stood in a slit trench 1.8 miles from ground zero during a bomb test in the late 1950's, and he's fine at age 83. Yeah, if you're under the immediate fallout plume from a multimegatonne ground-burst, it's game over. But two weeks later, the same territory is pretty safe; a year later, virtually completely so. Most active isotopes have very short half-lives. There are exceptions (strontium-90, some metal isotopes), but there were scores of above-ground tests, and the increase in the cancer rate nationwide was undetectable without fairly sophisticated statistical analysis.
Hiroshima and Nagasaki were reoccupied immediately after the explosions. Generally speaking, ten years after a bomb goes off you can go to ground zero, strip naked, rub the dirt all over your body and eat it with a spoon, and all you'll get is a dirty skin and indigestion.
Hence the US, with a largely undamaged infrastructure, would recover quickly.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Mr. O. Farhi on September 8, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Let's start with the basics: Buy it. Read it. It is a very good story. Here is the why:
In general, what separates the great stories from the avarage ones? Some might say that its the ability of some part of the story to remain with you long after you have finished reading it. In this respect, "Ressurection Day" deserves to be classified as a classic of Alternate History and a great story to boot.
From the beginning, Dubois chooses his fork in time carefully. An all too near to reality scenario where the Cuban Crisis ends in World War III is just the kind of twist to lend this alternate world a heafty dose of credibility. Focusing on JFK has Dubois sending his readers directly into what I would term the "Oliver Stone realm of nostalgia" - the world as it might have been had this or other event not hapenned.
From these basic ingredients, Dubois weaves an intricate tapestry of memories and tragedies, hopes and fears. This is a world full of regret and a palpable sense of sadness, looking back in anger at the shattered American dream. And in it comes Ressurection's main character, Carl Landry, ostensibly trying to solve a murder, but actually hoping to achieve much much more.
Landry's journey through a devastated America is a tour de force of sketches into the avarage person's life after such a cataclysmic event. There are no big heroes to fill the canvas, just a collection of disparate people, nut unlike you and me, trying to make the best out of a horrible situation. The people and the places, the hopes and fears are what you would expect to find in your own neighborhodd, a fact which makes the horros of the war resonate with an uncanny attenuation. I guarantee you that long after you have forgotten any of the characters or the plot, the images of an America that might have been will remain in your mind as a powerful deterrent to a future you will not want happening.
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