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The Day Before Midnight Mass Market Paperback – December 1, 1989


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam (December 1, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780553282351
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553282351
  • ASIN: 0553282352
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.2 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (89 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #216,730 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Hunter ( The Spanish Gambit ) has written a smoothly believable race-against-time thriller with frightening plausibility. Unidentified military terrorists kidnap welder Jack Hummel from his Maryland home and direct him to cut through a block of titanium to reach a launch key in the South Mountain MX missile site. The president decides to send in the crack Delta assault team, but the man best suited to command them is Col. Dick Puller, who was discredited and disgraced in Iran in 1979. Puller, in turn, must work with the only man who knows the missile silo, its designer, Prof. Peter Thiokol. The leader of "Aggressor-One" is discovered to be Russian Military Intelligence chief Arkady Pashin: he is charismatic, reactionary and messianically determined to launch the single MX that will trigger a massive Soviet reply. Part of the fast-moving plot revolves around two abandoned coalmine tunnels, a stupid Russian spy and Thiokol's estranged wife, who unwittingly gave the Russians the plans for South Mountain. The 7 a.m.-to-midnight action flashes cinematically on Delta Force, the crack Russian Spetsnaz troops and various civilians. The book is fun, even if the finale is too drawn-out and a bit preachy: " . . . the regular people, the Rest of US" will save us. 40,000 first printing; $40,000 ad budget.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Bestselling author Stephen Hunter is a staff writer and film critic for The Washington Post and winner of The American Society of Newspaper Editors Award for Distinguished Writing in Criticism (1998), as well as the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for film criticism. He has written many novels, including Havana, Pale Horse Coming, and The Day Before Midnight. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Stephen Hunter won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Criticism as well as the 1998 American Society of Newspaper Editors Award for Distinguished Writing in Criticism for his work as film critic at The Washington Post. He is the author of several bestselling novels, including Time to Hunt, Black Light, Point of Impact, and the New York Times bestsellers Havana, Pale Horse Coming, and Hot Springs. He lives in Baltimore.

Customer Reviews

This book was action packed from begining to end.
Mac Lyons
The story line is very unbelievable, the characters are weak, far too complicated and dull.
J. Stroh
While reading his books, you feel connected to the people he is writing about.
JC

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 47 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 30, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A previous reviewer refers to the fact that the plot elements of "The Day Before Midnight" have been done before. Those of us who are thriller devotees have realized this already; the trick is to find a writer who can take these familiarities and still keep you interested. The time-running-out-to-avoid-a-nuclear-catastrophe storyline has indeed been used, but, even though I was confident things would work out in the end, I still was glued to the pages. This was my first Stephen Hunter novel, but certainly not my last. I can't say enough about the characterizations (I loved Walls!), the storyline, and the finale, literally a last-second cliffhanger. I can't read Clancy; he has the attitude every word he writes is precious. Hunter can tell the same type of story far, far better. He has taken his place with Sandford, Ridley Pearson, Joseph Finder, et al. Now that it seems Ludlum may be done, and DeMille writing infrequently, it is wonderful to know such talents as Hunter are out there! This is one of the best books I have read in ages.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By JC on December 26, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
After reading The Master Sniper, I took me a while to get back to reading Stephen Hunter. I wish it hadn't. Upon finishing the last Bob Lee Swagger novel, I was leary about reading The Day Before Midnight since I loved the Swagger character so much. WOW - was I wrong. Let's just say this - NOBODY can develop a character like Stephen Hunter. While reading his books, you feel connected to the people he is writing about. Regardless of the number of central characters (in this book, there were at least 9), he is able to make every one seem lifelike and important. You remember his characters and you root hard for them or against them.
As far as the plot goes, yes, it has been done before. None have done it as well as Hunter. Period.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By "falcon92" on March 8, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Stephen Hunter is perhaps the most unassuming and underated author writing thrillers today. While I love Clancy, Dale Brown, et. al, their work usually takes me half the book to get into. I can read Hunter from page one and be on the edge of my seat. This book, while not as good as Point of Impact and Time to Hunt, has all the elements of a great tale; heroes, villians, reluctant heroes, self-serving individuals, reformed criminals, cheating spouses, and a pulse-pounding finale that goes on for about 100 pages. A great read!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By "dukeray" on November 25, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is my first experience reading Mr. Hunter's work, but it surely will not be my last. It's hard to see how he can top this novel, though. I went in expecting a good "airport novel," and found myself figuratively grabbed around the collar by this book and compelled to read it every spare hour. In what is for me a short time, I was allowed to put it down, out of breath and feeling like I'd just had a fantastic steak dinner -- filet mignon, I'd say. THE DAY AFTER MIDNIGHT is "just an airport novel" only in the sense that DIE HARD is "just another action movie." In other words, you have here a familiar genre and set-up (here, the "countdown to Armageddon") being taken to a peak level by expert craftsmanship.
A large part of the book's success is that it's a fascinating, deeply-researched book that refuses to settle on just technojargon... or even get by on its tightly-woven, brilliant plotting or technicolor-vivid prose. Instead, Hunter constantly takes the time to pull the reader into the heads of his characters, so that even the most seemingly stock characters take on a life of their own. With one exception (the unfortunately profane use of "Jesus" by every individual, it seemed) each character has his or her own unique, individual voice and patterns of thought. And none of them are perfect, not even the greatest hero in the batch. This alone puts Hunter's work on a whole other plane above, say, Tom Clancy, whose characters have essentially the voice of that self-impressed author but with different names.
I was also struck by Hunter's very thoughtful use of violence; one the one hand, it's a very violent book... but on the other, there's a very authentic sense of loss, of the gruesomeness and after-effects of murder and the absurd glories and horrors of combat.
Read more ›
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By "iriley1979" on May 12, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This might be Hunter's best plotted novel and contains deeper themes than many might think or are apparent from a cursary reading of this novel. Hunter is the master of the plot twist and his novels would make great movies. A group of well armed and superbly trained commandos take over a nuclear missle silo with the intention of starting World War 3. They are not holding the world hostage for Ransom, they are not demanding anything, all they are doing is trying to jumpstart a nuclear war they feel is inevitable. Who are these dedicated terrorists? Not who you think they are at first and I will leave it at that. Dick Puller, an Army General with a sterling record but who was accussed or hesitating at the cruical moment of his career and thus dooming a potentailly sucesful military operation, is put in charge of elimanting the terrorists. Dissension in his own ranks threaten to undermine his authority for many remember his earlier "failure" and think him unfit for his current responsibilities. They might be right and they might be wrong, one has to read the novel to find out. Meanwhile, the brillant nuclear stratigist who designed the missle silo which has been overtaken, Peter Thikol, is called in to consult with Puller and the army forces planning to storm the silo and kill the terrorists. Thikol's turbelent love life, demonstrated through his dysfunctional marriage to his beautiful, artistically talented, but self absorbed and arrogant wife Megan, might end up indirectly destroying the world in a wonderful metaphor that intertwines personal self destruction with nuclear holocaust. See Thikol designed the silo so that no one could ever break into it, so that those defending it would be able to hold off an army, literally.Read more ›
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