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)
This book scared the devil out of me. I only hope our government is paying as good attention to this book as the bad guys are. I don't know how America could survive. A must read for all!
I only listened to this because I'm in a book group, and members of the group decided to read this. It was an awful book. I got all the way through, but was laughing toward the end at the terrible writing and ridiculous injections of patriotic phrases and songs. Although I love most apocalyptic fiction, I just could not stomach this. The good guys were very, very good (and oh-so "American"!) and the bad guys (while still Americans, supposedly), were horrible. In fact, the leader of the bad guys was Satan. I believe the author really meant that this character was Satan himself. Anyway, people were being executed for stealing food, but the main character (who had been ordering these executions) lied to try to get insulin for his daughter, thus denying it for someone else. There were so many inconsistencies in the characters' values, it was pathetic. You might like this if you like Fox News and the sort of garbage spewed by that "news" organization, and if you don't mind bad writing. A Foreward was written by Newt Gingrich, so that should tell you something (and is what kept me from reading this until now).
Joe Barrett did a very good job of reading this book. His style and voice changes were well done and really helped maintain my interest. William Forstchen's insight into human nature is amazing. The lack of preparedness that people have in this day and age was brought to light with stunning brilliance. He focuses on the plight of a family and a community trying to remain united and safe while attempting not to loose their humanity. This is book uses, what could be, the worst possible situation that we could encounter but is applicable to just about any situation that would last longer than a week.
I just didn't get the same emphasis of the Christian Propaganda that some reviewers wrote about. Having actually traveled and hiked in some of the areas mentioned in the book if the author didn't have the characters resort to prayer in their times of need I would have found it poorly researched. But being of an alternative faith and living in the bible belt I may have developed a thicker skin for such things.
It was a good story, I found the main character's understanding of military and political history enriching and applicable to the plot. It was a honorable attempt to bring attention to a valid danger that is not well understood or represented accurately in our entertainment media.
This is a thought provoking wake up call about just how much we rely on technology, and how ill-prepared we are for any kind of national disaster. It was a very realistic, and well-done, glimpse into what would happen if we suddenly had to survive without electricity, running water, grocery stores, prescription medications, sanitary conditions, etc. Definitely one of my favorite books ever. It's made me much more aware......
Joe Barretts telling of a world silenced by the after effect of a terrorist EMP attack, is seen through the eyes of an veteran and military historian. It brings to life, all too painfully, the stark reality of how reliant western society has become on technology, and how utterly desperate people can become in desperate situations when that technology is taken away. The characters are rich and deep and by the later stages in the book you begin to feel the complete frustration felt by them as they begin to make the hardest choices any people will ever face in order to survive. Even though the book centres around quite a desperate situation it still manages to pick out and hold dear the uplifting themes of hope, leadership and the wisdom of elders beings key ingredients to their success in surviving. All in all : a compelling book that should be in everyone library if only to say what you would do if this really happened?
This book fits well into the apocalyptic literature category. It is set in western North Carolina and is about a post Electro-Magnetic Pulse (EMP) world. The book is different than most of the fiction I like. It is very thought provoking and much debate is on the web about the effects of EMP on the world. I think that what most liberals dislike about the book is its showing the common citizen as intelligent, compassionate and fully capable of taking care of himself and his community. It portrays the government as unable to function with civility and fairness after the restraint of elections to harness politicians greed for power, is gone. It deals with the individuals responsibility to oneself and to others to manifest good character and take responsibility for their actions.
It's a good book.
This totally apolitical novel is a realistic and often gruesome take on how our nation would devolve after an EMP attack by terrorists. It focuses on the "little things" we take for granted in modern America that disappear in the blink of an eye - electricity, communications, travel, food, medicine. OSA was well researched and well written, and Joe Barrett did an outstanding job in both keeping the listen interesting and managing the multitude of voices required with such a large cast of characters of all ages. I highly recommend One Second After.
I guess based on some of the comments I must be a right wing wacko. If even half of this is possible it's an eye opener. Put some of your political bias aside people.
"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).
"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.
"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
"First audio book and I really enjoyed it."
Believable story with decent characters. One of the best post apocalyptic readings I have ever enjoyed.
"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
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.