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One Second After Audiobook

One Second After

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Publisher's Summary

In a small North Carolina town, one man struggles to save his family after America loses a war that will send it back to the Dark Ages.

Already cited on the floor of Congress and discussed in the corridors of the Pentagon as a book all Americans should read, One Second After is the story of a war scenario that could become all too terrifyingly real. Based upon a real weapon - the Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP) - which may already be in the hands of our enemies, it is a truly realistic look at the awesome power of a weapon that can destroy the entire United States, literally within one second.

This book, set in a typical American town, is a dire warning of what might be our future and our end.

©2009 William R. Forstchen; (P)2009 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"[An] entertaining apocalyptic thriller....fans of such classics as Alas, Babylon and On the Beach will have a good time as Forstchen tackles the obvious and some not-so-obvious questions the apocalypse tends to raise." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (10645 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Dianna 03-27-09
    Dianna 03-27-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Sensational Eye Opener....A Must Listen."

    I have literally lost count of how many titles I have purchased on audible. In all of those-this is my first review.
    This story was incredible...poignant, heart-breaking, and shocking. All that took place in this book hit home so hard because deep down you know that it could possibly happen.
    I cried when they suffered, smiled with them, and cheered when they triumphed over daunting challenges. I highly recommend this title...All in all-A Profoundly Moving 'What If' Story. It would be awesome to have a sequel!!

    59 of 84 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dana 03-29-09
    Dana 03-29-09 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very thought provoking"

    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.

    43 of 63 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patricia Somerset, NJ, USA 07-03-09
    Patricia Somerset, NJ, USA 07-03-09 Member Since 2009
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    "Horrifyingly haunting, Excellent narration."

    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.

    21 of 31 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Layton, Ut, United States 05-04-09
    John Layton, Ut, United States 05-04-09 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
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    "Not Just Another Doomsday"

    This book should be required reading by every member of congress and all Presidents of the U.S. Shame on the Politicians that bicker and backstab each other for political gain while taking no action to defend the last best hope for man. This is a well written account of what could befall our great county. This book will disturb and numb liberal and conservatives alike. It made me pace the floor choke with emotion and prey to a god that I never ask much of. It is not just another doomsday book.

    11 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sheila Nix 09-06-09
    Sheila Nix 09-06-09 Listener Since 2003

    Happy Customer

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Intriguing Listen"

    An eye opening, "page turner" listen about what could happen if Americans had to survive long term without electricity or technology, the impacts to our society and the horrible choices that might have to be made. It also illustrates the current vulnerability of our electrical grid and technology to electro magnetic pulse weapons.

    It can be a real downer so I wouldn't recommend it if you are in a vulnerable place in your life.

    At the end I wanted to run out and buy a pre-1980s car, build a home underground, buy a generator, and store away enough supplies for 5 years. Logic prevailed and I called my Senator/Congressman and asked them if they understood how vulnerable we are. If enough Americans start asking the question - we may collectively address the risk before it is too late. Although I wouldn't argue against buying extra canned food, fuel, bottled water and storing it away. If someone offered me a great deal on a pre-1980s Volvo 240................

    26 of 39 people found this review helpful
  •  
    steven phoenix, AZ, United States 03-25-09
    steven phoenix, AZ, United States 03-25-09

    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!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "excellent wake up call but tear jerker also"

    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

    93 of 141 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Newby1994 10-19-09
    Newby1994 10-19-09 Member Since 2011
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    "One of the Scariest Books I have Ever Read!"

    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!

    22 of 33 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 12-30-09 Listener Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Everyone should read/listen to this"

    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.

    20 of 30 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elle (AKA PlantCrone) in the great NorthWest OREGON 08-11-14

    ELLE aka PlantCrone of the Great Pacific Northwest. I enjoy almost every genre-S/F, Action, Biographies and Histories & Romance

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Derivative, Unbelievable, End of America novel"

    This Post-Apolyptic end of the US as told in North Carolina is a thin copy of every bad end-of-the-world mixed with "the Commies are Coming" movie I've ever seen. It's hero is a cigarette smoking, fedora wearing, type of 40s college professor who obsesses about his coming lack of smokes as much as about the lack of insulin for his diabetic daughter. His only qualification as lead dude seems to be his reenactment in Civil War Battles every month or so. Therefore they call him Colonel. He's one of the most unrealistic heroes I've ever read. I could not figure out why he was such an admired man..I didn't get his high community value- it sure isn't in his thinking or reasoning ability. He's Average Man, mourning his wives death, living with his mother in law and daughters and functioning poorly as a parent. He makes stupid decisions, doesn't understand his 16 year old daughter just might be having sex or that he ought to take care of his wounded hand..he's Mr Peepers mixed with Maxwell Smart!

    Along with lame heroes comes equally lame dialogue..."81 people have died, professor, but everything seems ok." is typical. Now I've been to Asheville, it's full of counter culture people and the hero himself does these Civil War play things. They have lots of horses yet they are choosing to use the horses for food rather than for transportation...that could have just been thrown in for the gross factor to prep the listener for the dog as food part that comes up though.

    Publishers blurb says this book was touted "On the floor of Congress" Doesn't say why and I'm left wondering why.

    There are too many simplistic lines of dialogue to quote, just for humors sake, but believe me..I did a lot of rolling my eyes and going 'Duh' at many of them.

    If you want a good post apologetic book, try the Metatopolis series edited by John Scalzi. The characters in these short stories are, at least, intelligent.

    Don't was your credit..it's going back and thank you, Audible for the return offer.

    12 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Z. Zaharris 12-16-09
    Z. Zaharris 12-16-09 Listener Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Plausible and Entertaining. Great Narration!"

    One second after is a very well written, albeit from a military standpoint, story of a very possible scenario if the USA were to be struck with an EMP attack. The story is wonderful, and hits very close to home. It really does make you think. And unlike numerous sci-fi stories I try to listen to, the narrator does a wonderful job. Way to go, Forstchen and Barrett!

    10 of 15 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Wzl
    East London, South Africa
    12/1/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Thought Provoking"

    An excellent book which I have recommended to many friends. The manner in which modern life rapidly collapses is thought provoking to say the least!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mr. M. S. Hazell
    Gloucester, UK
    10/24/10
    Overall
    "This should be a wake up call to everyone."

    Think of everything in life your that runs on electricity or that has an electronic circuit of any kind from home appliances to hospital equipment to vehicles. everything in our lives now depends upon something with a circuit. NOW THINK WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF WE LOSE EVERYTHING WE DEPEND ON.

    This novel is what the above scenario is about. This novel is nothing short of a wake up to call to everyone, government's especially, as to what would happen in the event of a terrorist (or rogue state) using Electro-Magnetic Pulse as a weapon. EMP IS NOT Science Fiction. It is real and has been proven. But no country is prepared.

    This novel revolves around a small mountain town in Carolina, which is cut off, like all other towns and cities, when a nuclear device is set off at high altitude over the USA destroying everything electronic throughout the north american continent. It is the story of how the town has only itself and it's limited resources to rely on. How the town suffers agonising losses and has to make heartbreaking decisions in order to survive. It shows how life without the technology we depend upon will throw us back to the dark ages.

    This is as thought provoking as it is shocking and everyone, from the ordinary man or women to high ranking politicians, should read this.

    This may be a work of fiction but it is a very real possibility.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Little Miss Happy
    London, United Kingdom
    8/7/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I'm heading down to Tesco ......."
    What did you like most about One Second After?

    I don't know about "Like" - but it was a brilliant book. YES... very Americatastic... but once you get past that - i hate to say it - but this was a book that is horribly close to the truth of what would probably happen in the event of an EMP event. Horribly realistic. FANTASTIC NARRATOR. All i can say is its a good thing that Tesco is open 24/7... i'm picking up some extra cans of beans, vitamins, water, more water, aspirin. Generator anyone?


    What was one of the most memorable moments of One Second After?

    When the main character read the story to his dying daughter.... and then went to kill the last family dog for food for his family....


    What does Joe Barrett bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    His accent so kept it real. Massively conveyed the finality of so many of the decisions they all had to face


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Yes... massively. had to stop and almost cry in many parts. Horrified by the brutality of humans. The end... so wasn't the end....


    Any additional comments?

    Prepare to be moved but if you don't like abject American patriotism... avoid.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • James
    7/27/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A frightening possibility"

    I found this book absorbing, it gave a good insight into the more rural culture of America, the pace of life what we here in England might have referred to as village life.
    What was alarming was the speed that all of the nicety was swept aside in the name of survival.
    In the book you had strong leadership and a community for the best part worked together, this however is not mirrored by others and the horrors of war are all to real.
    This is a horrifying tale that is far to close to the true but should be read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Peter
    11/4/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "not for atheists"

    If you can ignore the political religious polemic the story is interesting listen. The story at times is a critique of liberal America.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • SnowFox
    10/25/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wow. what a fantastic listen."

    this is apocalyptic audio at its very best. well written and utterly believable. closest thing to Earth Abides that I have found. when I have finished this, I will be listening tonight again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • ADW
    10/16/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A truly moving & terrifying listen."

    A fantast listen but also very moving. utterly depressing and desperate this book paints a world I hope no one ever sees.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • J A M
    England
    10/8/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "One-dimensional Republican propaganda"

    I'm American and the level of pro-USA patriotism in this book made me feel embarrassed. I should have guessed the instant I heard the foreward by...ich...Newt Gingrich.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dr. Simon G Bell
    10/6/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Only in America?"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    A real story with depth and breadth of character and narrative.


    What was most disappointing about William R. Forstchen’s story?

    Where to begin? Well, at the beginning. When Newt gets us going with his introduction we should guess a right wing, Republican agenda at work. Sure enough, early on there is a cheap swing at climate change and from then on the book swings into True Grit meets World War Z without the Z .. just insert North Korea or Iran or some such un-American, godless place. The book is risible in the characters of men and women. It is insulting and anti-feminist but not I think misogynist. Well not knowingly anyway. We find ourselves with good old boys who love the country, the flag, God, cars, guns and the way of life and feel constantly the loss of all of this. They can kill people without a pause but get all chocked up over the dog. Infantile children (too old for the role as played surely?) obey, revere and call plaintively to ‘Daddy’. Women husk up to the lunks seeking to ingratiate in the only way a ‘gal can’. Is this a good or accurate or even plausible message? Maybe it is and maybe that is why I managed to get through unlike many other reader/ listeners. I found it an intriguing introduction to a Republican view of apocalypse and the value structure of some Americans .. from the authors point of view of course. I had not gone to this head-space before and it was strange, alien and interesting enough to get me over the awful, gulpy, emotion-dripping delivery of the narrator and the wafer thin plausibility of the character development. If this is the Republican end of the world .. I definitely prefer that of Max Brooks of even J L Bourne but I did find the read interesting.
    In the end I got to the end via gritted teeth and the occasional ripping off of headphones and shouts of "Oh come ON".


    Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Joe Barrett?

    Not much to offer here. I am not qualified to guide.


    What character would you cut from One Second After?

    Start with John and replace him with a young woman?


    Any additional comments?

    I am rarely moved to write my thoughts in this place, but I wanted to share on this one.
    This is not a totally terrible book but it does try to be.
    Lets be positive. Saving points in no particular order: first, a neat idea of a recoverable apocalypse – well, it is tempting to think it might be. This is a new genre and I found it refreshing. Zombie holocaust, plague more generally or nuclear Armageddon are all ‘the end’. Here we have something a bit more nuanced. Secondly, there is a grueling description of gradual fall - dealing with some of the minutiae of the long descent from the paper-thin veneer of civilization to .. whatever. Thirdly, maybe a sense of a present threat which hides in the light of the everyday. This is a form of apocalypse we don't really have with Zombie/ plague forms of the genre.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • C. Murphy
    London, UK
    9/25/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Harrowing and thought provoking."

    I listen to / read many books around the dystopian / post apocalyptic area but this one really touched a nerve with me. I almost listened to it all the way through it caught me that much.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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