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.
"[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)
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!!
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.
1) The basic premise is totally inaccurate. The book assumed that an EMP would knock out ever single electronic device manufactured after the 1960's without exception. That's simply not true. In fact, the commission on EMP talked about in the epilog of the book says that 10% of cell phone calls will go through 2-days after such an attack even directly under the detonation (where the pulse is the strongest). In other words, cell phones will not be destroyed - just most, but not all, of the tower. Most computers and even most radio equipment, especially of not connected to an antenna and many vehicles would survive. However, it is accurate that most of the power grid and telephone will be taken out but some parts would survive and most spare parts in storage would still be good.
2) The book claims that cults of cannibalistic satanists, some numbering over 10,000 strong will form all over the country and will wipe out (and eat) whole communities. Really? Most people are good - and even many of the bad ones would never eat human flesh no matter how hungry they get. There would be some that would if hungry enough (Leningrad) but then join satanic cult on top of it? Not even remotely plausible. Are there "bad people" out there? Psychopaths? criminal? Absolutely, but I believe that in a time of crisis, these people are quickly "taken out" by the many more people that have a solid moral compass.
3) The book claims it would take this community in North Carolina over a year to get any form of help from the government. Yes, the government is not known for fast, efficient service but a full year? Really? How long does it take to fill a cargo plane and fly it over a community and drop supplies? Yes, there will be cargo planes available, even if you buy that all planes on US soil were disabled - this is a big planet and the US has resources all over it that can be mobilized.
4) The book claims it takes months for the government to get any kind of radio broadcast to the public and then only from a carrier off the coast. Totally BS. Setting up a transmitter is simple and getting them even simpler, even if the government has to strap a few to the passenger seat of a jet fighter and fly them in from the far reaches of the planet. Low Power AM transmitters are small, cheap and can transmit signals for hundreds of miles. It would take days to put together a simple nation wide repeater network, even if it had to be built from scratch.
5) The politics of this book are pervasive and extremely annoying. This book was clearly written from a neo-conservative, "if you aren't with us, you are against us", misogynistic, anti-"bleeding heart liberal", racist point of view but it also tries really hard to pretend not to be any of those things which makes it come across as being even more disingenuous. This is written with a world view that evil is always lurking just under the surface ready to take over at the first sign of weakness, that only the strong can possibly survive in a time of crisis and that violence is the only way to maintain order. Also total BS.
6) The story claims that the city of New York, a coastal city of 20 million people, was reduced to only 25,000 savages. Really? How hard would it be to send a ship filled with supplies into the city? Far easier than almost anywhere else in the country so why does he think New York would be doomed? Too many "got-damn liberals"?
There are more reasons why this book is terrible but I think that's enough to make my point. To be fair, it wasn't so bad that I couldn't finish it. I kept listening, mostly to hear what outrage would be uttered next...
The performance was OK but there were times when it was pretty bad and it made me cringe.
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.
This story is well created by William Forstchen and the narration by Joe Barrett is outstanding in my opinion. At night, I like to close my eyes and listen to an audiobook on my iPod as I'm falling asleep but the topic of this harrowing tale kept me on edge with survival suspense: the plot was riveting...unsettling...certainly not relaxing, lol, but still very interesting to me.
ELLE aka PlantCrone of the Great Pacific Northwest. I enjoy almost every genre-S/F, Action, Biographies and Histories & Romance
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.
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 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.
Beware: not for the faint hearted. The author didn't pull any punches in describing life in a post-apocalyptic world. At times it was almost painful to listen to - a result of the author transporting the reader into a world of isolation, hardship and challenge. The characters are believable - the baddies are really bad and the good people aren't too saintly - especially as times get tougher. The horrifying thing is that those in the know say this really could happen...God, I hope not... To be obliterated in a nuclear blast (ground zero) would be kinder.... A long book but necessarily so. Well worth the time - but be warned...you may need to take a break every now and then. Parts of the story are quite depressing. It's definitely made me see the things we take for granted (such as electricity and fresh water) in a different light. Great work by both the author and the narrator.
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................
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!
"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.
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.
"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.
"I'm heading down to Tesco ......."
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?
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....
His accent so kept it real. Massively conveyed the finality of so many of the decisions they all had to face
Yes... massively. had to stop and almost cry in many parts. Horrified by the brutality of humans. The end... so wasn't the end....
Prepare to be moved but if you don't like abject American patriotism... avoid.
"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.
"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.
"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.
"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.
"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.
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