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Life Insurance and Annuities Martin Elfant, CLU 4223 Richmond, Suite 213, Houston, TX 77027 soytife One century’s idiocy is another cen tury’s wisdom. An aged philosopher Idion applies “crazy wisdom” to our modern problems in THUS SPAKE IDION Afterword by Mark Adams “Surprising, illuminating, infuriating, and funny.” Ronnie Dugger “Motivates me to keep on trying to save the world.” Ruth Ellinger “Mullinax can take current news and explode it in your face.”H. B. Fox PACKRAT PRESS 4366 N. Diana, Oak Harbor, Wa 98277 6.95 paper, 10.95 cloth 2.00 shipping Pommel Service Quality Insurance AUCE ANDERSON AGENCY INSURANCE & REAL ESTATE 808A E. 46th, Austin, Texas 459-6577 would be an easy lesson for a ninth grader. Evidence that Warday is meant to be read between glances out a plane window. Although novels that intend to be great fiction sometimes become bestsellers, novels that intend to be bestsellers are rarely good fiction. Warday suffers from underdeveloped characters, a superficial plot, unimaginative description and general preachiness. Fiction writers choose characters of a particular race, age, sex or religion to challenge a reader’s biases or to advance a storyline. But the two main characters in Warday are the authors pretending to be older. None of their characteristics can be invested with any larger meaning because they are not symbolic; they are real. Contact with the minor characters is too fleeting to leave memorable impressions. And some of the fictional characters are presented in sketches so compact that they become stereotyped. The plot is simply a journey from Texas to California to New York and back. Since the characters don’t undergo any change, the book could be torn apart, shuffled and reassembled, and it would lose only the continuity of the geographic progress and the immediate history of Kunetka and Strieber. As for description, the writers act as though being exact is the same as being descriptive. Numbers permeate Warday, not only on the numerous pages dedicated to opinion polls and memos outlining the amounts of radiation buildings can withstand, but within the description itself: After half a day of having my paperwork processed, signing waivers of liability, and undergoing low-level interrogation about my journalistic interests, I was put on a jeep and driven to the flight line. I boarded a sixpassenger helicopter with army markings. My escort, the only other passenger on the flight, was a cheery captain who had made the trip dozens of times before. He kept up a mostly one-sided chatter all the way to the zone .. . Numbers are pure, so pure in fact that they relay relatively little information, unlike colors that are double-freighted with visual meaning and emotion; numbers outside a formal system of symbols become textureless accuracies and are hardly evocative or engaging. And for a book set up as a travelogue, Warday manages to be quite preachy: Our little nuclear war was not about ultimate and final ends at all. The issue was not Armageddon, it was consequences. Or: When I die, I want to be given the grace to go for a good reason. I didn’t want to die to serve the frustrations of some unhappy and confused people. And the last sentences of the book: If only we have gained wisdom from the fire. If only we can accept how alike we all are, one and another.” I will say that Warday’ s trespasses against literature don’t damage its credibility. From the introduction, where you learn to build a Kearney Fallout Meter for measuring levels of radiation with a Folger’s coffee can and two leaves of aluminum foil, to the end, Kunetka and Strieber’s vision of a postwar America never ceases to inform. But as much as the world may need primers on nuclear survival, there are still those of us who like to read a good book. \\ , Stationers Mailers Typesetters Printers High Speed Web Offset Publication Press Counseling Designing Copy Writing Editing Trade and Computer Sales Services Data Processing Services – Complete Computer L.1ED PlINT/ p,V ……… No *FUTURA 7 TRADES UNION COUNCIL 0 PRESS -…. _ AUSTIN TEXAS ILIPT’llJPRIIII, 512/442-7836 1714 South Congress P.O. Box 3485 Austin, Texas 78764 \\ 20 MAY 4, 1984