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One Second After Audiobook

One Second After

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.
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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 (9948 )
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4.4 (7567 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Raymond Charlestown, RI, United States 11-14-12
    Raymond Charlestown, RI, United States 11-14-12 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    3
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    Performance
    Story
    "This is so real I could feel it happening!!!!"
    What made the experience of listening to One Second After the most enjoyable?

    The thought that we as a country are probably not ready for this type of distruction. The death of the United States Of America.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The discription of life after "normal".


    Have you listened to any of Joe Barrett’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, but I Could not because of my lifestyle.


    Any additional comments?

    I Hope those in charge have something to protect us from this happening, but I dought it unless they can all profit from it on a very large scale.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jim Giarrusso Hillsborough, NJ USA 11-10-12
    Jim Giarrusso Hillsborough, NJ USA 11-10-12 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Eye opening"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I have in fact recommended this to friends many times. A lesson told in a fictional story is sometimes easier to get people to see, consider, and accept.


    What other book might you compare One Second After to and why?

    I also listened to Patriots, another story of survival after disaster in America.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, I lingered everytime I had to break off my listen.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steve SUNRISE, FL, United States 11-09-12
    Steve SUNRISE, FL, United States 11-09-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "After reading, prepare for the end of civilization"
    What did you love best about One Second After?

    Just the "what if" of the story. Every angle was covered in detail. It was extremely scary to imagine life without electricity. Especially since my technical job requires electricity. This was a good scary story that makes you think you should start preparing for the end of life as we know it and to learn a trade that does not require electricity.


    What other book might you compare One Second After to and why?

    Dark Angel, Alas Babylon. Both deal with major devastation.


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

    He gave it a realistic feel. Many times I thought of him as the main character.


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

    Yes, it got me concerned about a future without the technology I am so used to. It made me think that I should prepare for the end of civilization.


    Any additional comments?

    A great story. I recommended this to my friends.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elaine Sumas, WA, United States 11-09-12
    Elaine Sumas, WA, United States 11-09-12 Member Since 2015

    I'm 66. I've read Audiobooks now for 6 years. After an assault, I had minor brain damage and couldn't read. Audible got me back to books

    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
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    108
    18
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    1
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    Story
    "The Death of American Way"
    What made the experience of listening to One Second After the most enjoyable?

    This story is simple in it's premise and complicated in it's impact on the characters. The basic experience is: What happens when the EMP effect destroys the American way of liffe? No electricity, no transportation, no grocery or department stores, no entertainment dvd,tv, movies, music cds,computers; everything we now depend upon is lost. How do we live? The story pulls it punches by using a small town. But the characters are believable. Good resolution.


    Would you recommend One Second After to your friends? Why or why not?

    One Second After is a good "end of the world" story.


    Did Joe Barrett do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    good characters. readers care about them


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    The End of American Life.


    Any additional comments?

    The end of sociiety, the end of trust, the end of hope. And the human power to return to civilization.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wendy 11-05-12
    Wendy 11-05-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "WOW!"
    If you could sum up One Second After in three words, what would they be?

    Scary (but not in the traditional sense,) riveting, disturbing


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

    Yes, it was hard to get it out of my mind after reading it. I couldn't put it down!!


    Any additional comments?

    This book has a great story, while also portraying what life might be like if things were to get out of control in our world. It's disturbing to think about, but the story just grabs you!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeckyll 11-05-12
    Jeckyll 11-05-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    31
    6
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Enlightening"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Very much so. Wanted to always know what happened next.


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

    Colonel


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Be prepared


    Any additional comments?

    You won't be disappointed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tammy United States 10-29-12
    Tammy United States 10-29-12 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    13
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    "Could Not Put This Book Down!"
    What did you love best about One Second After?

    It showed how unprepared we are for the potential challenges we face as a nation and how quickly society as we know it would fall apart without very strong leadership


    What other book might you compare One Second After to and why?

    The Stand - the world facing horrors beyond our imagination. People making decisions that are truly life and death.


    Have you listened to any of Joe Barrett’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have not, but I really liked his delivery


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    yes - when Jennifer died


    Any additional comments?

    I have already recommended this book to friends and they are reading it. I find myself asking "What if it happened right now?" as I go about my daily life. Very thought provoking.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S Jones 10-27-12
    S Jones 10-27-12 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
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    726
    17
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    "Disturbing, but eyeopening"

    This book has lodged in my brain and I will never be the same. I found it hard to sleep a couple of nights thinking how I would handle the situations presented in the book.
    There is a feeling of reality to the story that is difficult it these days of overblown horror novels.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Waverly, TN, United States 10-26-12
    Amazon Customer Waverly, TN, United States 10-26-12 Member Since 2011

    Say something about yourself!

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    70
    2
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    Story
    "Wow, what a great story!"

    This is the only audio book I have listened to twice AND bought from the bookstore as a gift for a friend. The first time I listened to it I thought, "That was really fantastic!!" Then I read "Alas, Babylon" and was surprised (and a little disappointed) to find out that "One Second After" was SO similar that there were some sections that were word for word. However, that did not stop me from listening a second time; I still enjoyed it tremendously. I would say that One Second After would be the PG-13/R rated version of "Alas, Babyon". There is a significant amount of profanity and some of the violence is pretty graphic but it is not out of line with the premise. Also, I will now listen to anything Joe Barrett reads.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pamela M. Southern California 10-19-12
    Pamela M. Southern California 10-19-12 Member Since 2012

    A book can get you out of your house, your town, even out of the country. I'm an avid reader believing reviews help find the good ones.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    219
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    12
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    Story
    "Intriguing!"

    This story is about John and his two daughters who live in a small town when an EMP hits. There is no electricity or technology changing everything! John who is well regarded in his town helps with the survival of this disaster.

    I thought the book was very intriguing and it really gave you a lot to think about. It had a lot of good information in it, so much so that it could probably be used as an instruction manual for small town survival if something like this did happen.

    The storyline is thick with a lot of events and characters and it was hard for me to stop listening at times when I should have been doing other things. Joe Barrett was a great narrator which made it an easy listen.

    I did have one gripe; the author would go into great detail on town meetings or how they were going to set up a food cache and then he would totally skip over the birth of a child from a main character. I wanted to know more about the birth of that child then how big and where they were going to set up a food cache. However, it’s still a great book and I would recommend it to anyone who likes post apocalyptic thrillers.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Andrew
    Chinnor, United Kingdom
    1/8/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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).

    17 of 17 people found this review helpful
  • Miko
    Guildford, United Kingdom
    6/7/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • BillyBlackBear
    South Wales
    3/21/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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

    3 of 3 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 2 people found this review helpful
  • Ryan
    Galway, Ireland
    8/9/11
    Overall
    "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

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • M. Wilson
    5/26/11
    Overall
    "Startling"

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Martin
    Inerness, United Kingdom
    7/1/10
    Overall
    "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.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Rosemary
    Bembridge, United Kingdom
    10/2/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Thought provoking storyline"
    What did you like most about One Second After?

    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.


    What other book might you compare One Second After to, and why?

    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.


    What about Joe Barrett’s performance did you like?

    I loved this narrator for his soft accent, good diction and measured pace.


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

    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!


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs Mac
    Scotland
    2/19/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Pray it never happens"
    Where does One Second After rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Best book I've listened to for a while. Perhaps ever.


    What did you like best about this story?

    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.


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Pray it never happens


    Any additional comments?

    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!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Kathy McD London
    London, England
    12/2/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Superb listen!"
    If you could sum up One Second After in three words, what would they be?

    Enthralling! Thought Provoking!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    John - a normal, caring individual


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

    Makes John come to life.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Several moving moments - found myself crying as I drove


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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