I love well written, well thought out, post apocalyptic fiction that has no agenda. This was none of those things. Newt actually states in the introduction that this was written specifically to "inform" people of the dangers of EMP, one of the recent political tools. I won't get into the reasons why EMP is a fairly unlikely scenario, I can accept zombies so I could accept EMP as a catalyst, but what unfolds after the "event" is just goofy and comes right out of the paranoid dreams of some urban basement arm chair survivalist. EMP destroys nothing but delicate electronics, if that, and yet suddenly everyone is helpless...even in small towns in rural NC? Nobody seems to have a garden, an ATV (generally very basic electronics on these), a ham radio (many ham sets are tough old tube sets not likely to be affected by EMP), a old farm tractor or any of the many other modern technologies not viulnerable to EMP. 3 cars in a NC college town ... the kind of town that has classic car rallies a couple times a year...and that's it? And no farms? In rural NC? And there are hardly any bikes or horses...seriously?
I also find that one key characteristic of Americans, self centered, marshmallow soft dopes that we can be, is mostly ignored in this biased account: we do pull together in a crisis, we do help each other even when otherwise we might not give each other the time of day. Sure, that might eventually degrade if things got really bad, but it never even blooms here. Not only is that a cynical perspective but a poor plot plan since it is the conversion under adverse conditions of the characters that usually makes such fiction believable. This is not believable.
Anyway, with all this, the two dimensional, non-sympathetic characters, and obvious political agenda make this a sadly disappointing entry in the post apocalyptic genre. If you want a really good, haunting tale in this genre try "Earth Abides"
Don't miss the Bino Phillips series by AW Gray. They are largely unknown, but as good as any ive read!
After listening to this book I did some research and found the threats represented in the story are not only credible but probable. At least now we have been warned!
The narration is excellent, he nails the southern accents of North Carolina and small town NC as well.
The story is riveting, gut wrenching and frightening. It's not a feel good story, but don't let that turn you away. It is an important book to read!
All throughout the adventure I tried to imagine how I would act under the circumstances laid out by Fortschen. Perhaps this is why I am so moved by his work. I'd love to think I'd survive, but I simply can't imagine that would be the case.
This book is a "what if" nightmare but told in a very non-threatening way. Many doomsday books have an aura of scariness or horror as a backdrop. This book does not. It's a character and community study of what would happen to Society if all of our gadgets suddenly went off.
The story is one that is not only worth reading because it is so well-written and narrated, but because the idea of an electromagnetic pulse as a weapon is not really science fiction -- it's a real possibility. The lead character is a widowed father of two girls, retired military, living in a small Southern town and teaching at a local college. The point of view, although not first person, is through his eyes and his emotions. The human emotions and fear felt by the townspeople and others is real but not the star feature of the novel. Instead, the novel is in some ways a practical survival guide; how would food be organized, how would a town deal with non-townspeople, how would our old and our sick survive (or not). Despite the practicality aspects of the storytelling, the flow of the novel never fails to invite the reader (listener) to care about the people.
This is not a "how to survive the zombie apocalypse" guide -- far from it. It's a story about people, dealing with day-to-day details of a lifestyle that they never expected and for which they are unprepared. There is sadness and joy. Mostly, there is a real story to be told.
After 9/11 Americans have been made aware of the many different ways the United States could be attacked and how these attacks could disrupt our way of life. One Second After describes in chilling detail how one such method could be carried out and how in a blink of an eye our way life, culture and nation would change forever. What makes this book so frightening is how easy it would be for such an attack to occur and what the result would mean for my family's future. It is simply too scary to think about!
I'm very glad that I listened to this book. I actually had to take a day off from it at one point, because I found parts of the story very disturbing. Even if you don't think the premise is credible (a position I would find naive)- it is interesting to think about what the consequences would be of losing the communication, the flow of information, and the conveniences that we rely on daily.
I found this audiobook absolutely riveting and terrifying. I couldn't stop listening to it, and lost lots of sleep as a result. The narrator absolutely brought this book to life, and did a great job conveying the emotions of the characters. Now that I have finished the audibook, I can't stop thinking of how horrific this potential scenario would be.
This book scared me. I did my own research to see how plausible this kind of attack was. I found that it could be very easily accomplished. The story was compelling and I could not stop listening. It smacks the rose colored glasses off your face. I would highly recommend this book.
This book has left me haunted by the possibility that this could really happen to us and will leave you wondering how you would fare. I disagree with many of the previous reviews and think this is a must read. The narrator does a brilliant job with the different characters. In fact, there wasn't anything I didn't like about this book. Get it.
Dont let the narrarator ruin your listening to a good book! I read waaay to many "critics" who go on and on about a bad narrarater, so what!
excellent book on disaster preparedness set in a fictional near future, sort of red dawn, road warrior and the postman movies in one book, im sure this will be made into a movie, a realistic view of what will, not maybe, happen should our Great Country devolve into anarchy from war, or similar catastrophe and i dont mean global warming, but a real crisis
This was my FIRST audiobook. I found it interesting up to a point, but then the story just dragged on and on and on...
I think the author has, as other reviewers pointed out, a horribly Norman Rockwellesque view of ideal America. So much so that the story becomes totally unbelievable. Not from the breaking-down-of-social-order perspective, but from the this-is-every-middle-aged-cialis-chomping-toupee-wearing-white-dude's-wet-dream perspective.
I more than once expected Washington Parker to shout: 'Aw weeza gonna nee summoah souljaz, massa...I mean uh cullnul suh!" Really? Really???
According to the author, everyone thinks there is ample food up in them thar mountains. Otherwise he wouldnt have repeated it 3000 times.
Im going to now listen to Earth Abides. If it is anything like One Second After, Im going to dig up Ward Cleaver and punch him in the throat.