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 value intelligent stories with characters I can relate to. I can appreciate good prose, but a captivating plot is way more important.
I enjoyed this story a great deal, but found the worship of the military to the exclusion of all else a bit jarring. Everyone in this book was either a military man or a helpless lamb, looking for a strong leader.
The story's biggest flaw is the complete absence of the federal or state government. The author apparently believes that without working communications, none of the governors would direct the national guard to keep food supply lines secure, or rebuild even the crudest infrastructure.
The book reads like a prepper's wet dream. That's what makes the book fun, but also what makes it implausibly ridiculous. When everything comes to a halt, it is silly to believe that all those marketers, lawyers, computer technicians, etc, would give up on life and start roaming the highways, selling their bodies and joining gangs. Finding their day jobs gone, they would would be happily put to work making sure that food and medical aid was getting where it needed to go. I'm sure state, local and federal governments would be more than happy to for whatever help they could get.
Loved it. Eye Opening to possibilities. People need to read this. Yes, it is fiction but a very real possibility. Really makes you think!
This is the ultimate self-help, survival book, but it needs to be read collectively! Individuals with a few guns, a little land to put under cultivation and a stockpile of canned goods could not survive what would happen in an EMP attack. The book is an education about what would happen - and how quickly it would happen.
This was a good story concept, hurt (and made painful) by immature, inconsistent, often hokey writing, with saccharine voiceover. Books are better read, not performed, and if performed, should not be artificially sentimental.
I struggled to finish this. The writer and the main character were pompous self-righteous right-wingers.
This book has to be the scariest book I`ve every read.. Simply because of the possibilities or rather likelihood of this scenario coming to past.,. To Mr Forstchen, thank you, thank you, thank you for opening my eyes. For I like most in the world today, have allowed myself to become totally dependent on modern day convienences without ever considering to possibilities of the "WHAT IF" scenario . Well no more...
Wake up call.
The one that hit me the most was (SPOILER ALERT) the tough decisions made after Jennifer died.
The protagonist (the Colonel).
I cried in my car sitting in traffic. The agonizing scene around Jennifer's death just hit me hard.
I've never been one to buy into what I regarded as "nonsense" prepper culture. This book shook me up and made me rethink some things. "Alas, Babylon", one of my top 5 favorite books, was a clear inspiration for this book but never hit me as strong as this one.
It was interesting and gave me something to think about. Of course, it's depressing because how can you possibly prepare for any catastrophe of that scale. It's nice for wealthy people with a voice to preach what we should do better (i.e. the prologue), but maybe instead of preaching they should be securing the funding to overhaul our infrastructure.
I liked the characters and the structure of the book. The narrator was a little dry, but it fit the tone of the book. Overall it was worth the listen.
"Disturbing and Very Irritating"
I selected this audio book because the post-apocalyptic nature of the story appealed to me (saddo that I am...)
However it has a number of genuine challenges - which very nearly led to me throwing the towel in the first few hours of listening (frankly this was not helped by a foreword from Newt Gingrich).
- The narrative is peppered with endless patriotic "God Bless America", "America is the best", "we will endure because we are Americans" comments. These might be heart warning to Americans - for me, their frequency really irritated. And it comes across as slightly smug - from a nation that, whatever they might think, do not have a monopoly on freedom and democracy.
- There are constant references to soldiers, veterans, the military. I don't mean in a "grab a gun, the zombies are coming (they aren't)" sort of way. I mean in a "The American military and vets in particular are wonderful and we all owe them so much". I'm not saying they are not and that they (Americans) don't owe them. But be prepared to listen to a lot of it.
- The book is sort of like a report on the consequences of "the event which happens in the story" converted into a novel - but still sounding somewhat like a report.
What I will say in its favour is that it really does punch home some of the real day to day issues that almost certainly would be endured by people facing this sort of scenario. It has made me consider buying a lot of food in bulk and hiding at the end of my garage waiting for the world to collapse.
I don't think the book is well written in terms of the characters and the narrative framework - it is somewhat disjointed - the author is certainly no Stephen King.
In summary - this IS a post-apocalyptic story. It does go on and on about how wonderful America is. It's really just a warning about what might happen if America doesn't prepare for the worst.
If you want an atmospheric end of the world read - I would say this probably should not be top of your list (try Station 11 if you've not read that).
"Are you prepared?"
I love this genre but this was my first EMP novel and I wasn't disappointed it has loads of detail about the breakdown of civilisation that makes the scenario so much more real. My only complaint is that the author felt they had to add in the America forever strap lines which left me cold but overall a very good read if you like this sort of thing
"Assumptions and American Superpatriotism"
I'm afraid my opinion of this book differs greatly from so many of the other reviewers - I found myself annoyed throughout. The author obviously did his research on certain topics, but others he completely neglected and important parts of the story were based on weak assumptions. That added to the intense American nationalism and Deep South Republican attitude just left me shaking my head. I'll be taking Audible up on their lovely return policy and this is the first book I'll ever have returned based on pure dislike. The only good thing I can say for it is the narrator was fine.
"A shocking look at how fragile our civilisation is"
If all of our modern conveniences were taken away in a split second how long would it take our society to unravel? How long would it take civilisation to revert to savagery?
This book is a disturbing what if scenario which could become reality all too easily if not though EMP as depicted in this work then by other means such as economic collapse.
A truly riveting story which is shocking and disturbing along which some devastatingly heart-breaking moments.
This book will definitely leave you thinking, if not change your outlook on our times.
A Five Star Listen
This book really does well at demonstrating how dependent we have become on our electrical devices and gives an impression of how life would be if they were all suddenly taken away. If you enjoyed watching Jericho (or any other apocalyptic fiction) you will love this. Parts of this book will excite you, others will depress you, death is inevitable throughout.
"Best of the Genre"
I have listened to a few in this genre and this is the first that has managed to stir my emotions. Great story, well narrated and frighteningly easy to put yourself and your family in the story. Superb.
"Thought provoking storyline"
The book explores our modern dependency on technology and how vulnerable we become without it. The difficulties caused by an electronic meltdown were well explored, even down to areas such as those who are medication dependant as well as the more obvious issues such as food, water and power.
The book revolves very much around the lead character his family and their town so in that respect, tends not to compare to other books of the genre I have read. This book explores the disaster at the local level. If it were to happen, we would all experience the same issues.
I loved this narrator for his soft accent, good diction and measured pace.
The book does tug at the heart strings but would have done so much more with less schmaltz and a big lid on the patriotic We are Americans stuff. I understood what the author was trying to say with it but it was too heavy handed especially as the people causing all the trouble were also Americans too!
I enjoyed the book but felt that it missed the opportunity to be taken a bit more seriously and that is a shame. As with so many books today, I felt some of the story and the writing was sacrificed for the movie the author was hoping for.
"Pray it never happens"
Best book I've listened to for a while. Perhaps ever.
This book must've been good as I found myself talking about its scenarios over dinner, wondering to myself what *I* would do in a similar situation and getting emotional more than once as the story progressed. I guess it's really immersive - perhaps more so as an audio book, aided partly by the narrator's performance, which never pulled me out of the story once.
Pray it never happens
I've seen reviews of the paper book criticising the grammar. But as a 'read' book I never noticed any of this so I'm glad that I listened to it!
Enthralling! Thought Provoking!
John - a normal, caring individual
Makes John come to life.
Several moving moments - found myself crying as I drove
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!
Report Inappropriate Content