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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

4.4 (13541 )
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4.4 (10915 )
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Story
4.5 (10895 )
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Performance
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  •  
    G. Kling 09-22-16
    G. Kling 09-22-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The first Audible refund I've ever requested"

    Did the tobacco lobby fund the publishing of this book? Granted, I'm a smoker, but it started to seem that every chapter had to mention the joy of cigarettes, or how many the protagonist had left in his pack at any given moment. It became distracting. Added to the comically one dimensional characters I found I could not take it anymore by the half way point. As much as I enjoy a good disaster yarn, I was unable to make it through this clunker.

    18 of 25 people found this review helpful
  •  
    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!!

    61 of 87 people found this review helpful
  •  
    W G Lynwood, WA, Australia 07-09-09
    W G Lynwood, WA, Australia 07-09-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Amazing"

    This was an amazing book. I was aware of the threat of EMP's before reading this book, but after reading this book it makes that already known threat seem even more plausible. The concept can make for a very interesting conversation with a friend. The narration felt as if he was really in the situation. Great book and easy to follow.

    42 of 61 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charles Atkinson Greensboro, NC, United States 04-25-13
    Charles Atkinson Greensboro, NC, United States 04-25-13 Member Since 2015

    Dept Q, Harry Hole... where are you?

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Riveting and way to realistic to ignore!m"

    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.

    14 of 20 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.

    44 of 65 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aztex Desert Southwest 01-25-17
    Aztex Desert Southwest 01-25-17 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Listen But...."

    Hi,

    Over all I enjoyed the story. Narration top notch, couldn't hope for more.

    Story misses wide a few times. If you're even semi-serious about prepping (I'm not hardly at all but have played a couple scenarios and have some essentials but would struggle after a week or two under One Sec. After scenario) you'll find serious holes in the story.

    It seems to me a lot of people who would play a central role under such circumstances would be larger character as opposed to those thrust into it.

    A couple passages are agonizing sad and long.

    While a work of fiction it should get you thinking. Makes you look around the house and at least not be waiting till you're almost out of essentials.

    Debating if I'll continue with the series.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ohio Reader 01-11-17
    Ohio Reader 01-11-17

    Elderly, bookish person, omnivorous reader, only bothers to review books she considered worth reading.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "best dystopian trilogy ever"
    Any additional comments?

    I've read many a dystopian novel & trilogy in my 80 years, but never one so well written as this by a master storyteller, read by a narrator who so richly conveyed the various characters, and a cast of characters to care about. This story brought me to tears several times, but is far from maudlin. Again, the very best dystopian story ever. Read all three books. They're well worth the time.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Mirboo North, Australia 04-16-12
    Mark Mirboo North, Australia 04-16-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great plot and concept let down by awful politics"
    What disappointed you about One Second After?

    The plot and concept are great, very interesting and thought provoking. I liked the small town setting which allowed the reader to easily grasp the consequences of the war. The setting also allowed some character development. Unfortunately, the book was let down because the author had endowed (burdened?) the characters with awful, unthinking, conservative political and social views. I guess these views reflect those of the author given the connections he must have given who wrote the foreword. The views and attitudes of the characters also made them pretty stereotyped which is a shame because I think the author could easily have developed more rounded, variable and realistic characters.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Anything that doesn't suffer from right-wing politics.


    Which character – as performed by Joe Barrett – was your favorite?

    John's mother-in-law.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment for the reasons set out above.


    5 of 7 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

    97 of 148 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Cox San Diego, CA USA 12-01-16
    Michael Cox San Diego, CA USA 12-01-16 Member Since 2012

    Audiophile

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Seriously flawed!"

    I knew I was in trouble when I read the forward, by Newt Gingrich!

    There were so many things wrong with this plodding, heavy-handed, book, which I won't repeat hear since they have already been pointed out in the many, well deserved, negative reviews above.

    When I am reading about something I know very little about I take note of the things in the narrative I do know about, which gives me a clue as to how well researched the subject is.

    I am a nurse so I took note of the medical aspects of this book. I noted that the author has his nurse character identifying a diabetic, who points out that medical professionals are able to do this; "just by looking", which is nonsense. We also don't say "heart Arrhythmias", we say Cardiac Arrhythmias", and we certainly don't suture infected, 3 day old wounds closed; that 3 days earlier we dressed. I found it interesting that the doctor, who examined the wound later, was impressed with the suture placement.

    Based on how poorly the author researched the medical aspects of this story I'm inclined to dismiss much of the rest of what he presented with respect to EMP's for example.

    As mentioned in other reviews his characters are not only 2 dimensional but the author has them doing things that are totally out of character For example, our protagonist steps out of character when he enters the nursing home; that is in a deplorable state, and, aggressively, attacks one of only caregivers who has not abandon her patients, demanding to know "the meaning of this", which it's abundantly clear!

    Finally, before I deleted this book from my device, I marveled at the mileage that old Edsel was getting because the protagonist drove that old car all over town, and out, for days and it never ran out of gas!

    I found it really difficult to take the subject of the story seriously. I was so clichéd and formulaic, with no surprises! In other words "Boring" and insipid!

    12 of 18 people found this review helpful
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  • 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
  • Yevgeny
    Worthing, United Kingdom
    2/20/12
    Overall
    "First audio book and I really enjoyed it."

    Believable story with decent characters. One of the best post apocalyptic readings I have ever enjoyed.
    Good narration.
    Recommend :)

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Napoleon of Dorset
    3/28/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Apocalyptic tear jerker"

    A brilliant story, made all the more real by the mundane tragedy of what happens during an apocalyptic event.

    There are no Jack Reachers, superhuman fighters or all American heroes. Just a slow decline, punctuated by the tragedy of disease, starvation, banditry and war.

    In the midst of this there are some great characterisations and the way in which they cope (or not) with events is heartbreaking at times.

    Recommended to anyone interested in this genre.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Anthony
    1/9/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Shocking and thought provoking"

    Well thought out and executed. However I feel the narrator's voice and delivery was ill suited particularly for the female parts and lacked range and scope. For the European reader the American apple pie nature of the first fee chapters may grate, but once the disaster strikes the novel takes shape. Great listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ray Zamfir
    9/14/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Unbelievable good."

    Full of strategies, leadership, tehnical and historical information blend into an emotional novel that will make you weep, lough and most of all will make you THINK.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • sarah
    9/1/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "good book. recommended."

    not the best I've read but it is up there with best. different to other books like this I've read as it focuses on one place and time moves quite slowly as day to day. Didn't like how the actual war was generalised and summarised as my emotions didn't get chance to connect and Mourne as big characters died they were just mentioned as an after thought. not my favourite book but I would recommend.

    0 of 0 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

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