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 was written very well, scenarios were realistic, story lines weren't prettied up for a fairy-tale ending. My family and I all enjoyed the book; my sons have listened to it many more times than I have.
As a mom I have to admit that at first I felt a rising panic when listening to this story. I felt the need to do...something...right now. But I think that's what the author is trying to accomplish (and the panic subsides into plans for reasonable action).
The reading was great - apart from the whiny voice used for the daughters - but they are more often talked about than actually "speaking". Both the story line and narration move at a good pace and keep you engaged.
Audible books are the perfect companion for my 4 mile morning walk!
One Second After is an example of a genre of books that tries to combine an interesting story with a very important point (2084 - Stories from the Great Warming) being another excellent example), in this case just how dependent we have become on energy and technology, and the fact that we ought to be better managing the risk of an electro-magnetic pulse attack. The story starts out a little slow, but it does pull you in, and it definitely makes its point! It's not overly complex in terms of its demands on your imagination, so for me this was a 1.5 (speed) read. Definitely recommended.
The way it was told
The impossibility to cope in a catastrophic situation.
A bleak foresight what can happen to us in the future.
alarming, chilling, scary
Swan Song, The Stand, Alas, Babylon (Updated). This book although a novel is based on the very real threat of EMP, ElecrtoMagnetic Pulse, and the devistation such an attack would produce.
No. But he does a good job on this riveting, cautionary tale.
Are you ready for EOTWAWKI?
The scary things about this book are that an EMP attack does not require a "Super Power" to initiate, any two bit country with a manical leader could do it and the US is totally susceptible to the effects with no preventive measurs in place.
Joe Barret brings this story to life with his visual narrating style.
The vulnerability of those in the care of others, knowing this is really how this situation would play out.(sad)
No I have not.
What would you do?
This really makes you think about what could happen and how much we are truly tied to the big infrastructure. The characters are real, you feel the emotion and get caught up easily. Well worth a credit.
Climbing since 1995
There were close to 20 different characters in the book and the reader had a unique voice for each. WELL DONE! This book makes me and my wife want to go buy our own personal Wal-Mart. It was well researched and I thought true to what would happen. I think sometimes we can get carried away and sensaionalize some things we fear, but I think this book was probably accurate to what would happen.
Good luck to us all. If your reading this, we know it hasn't happened yet.
Compelling, grueling, optimistic
Many elements were unexpected
Hard to say
It did make me cringe at times
Extremely interesting and at times compelling story of survival and the ethical challenges that could be faced during a catastrophic event.
I am a national speaker on the relationship between the ancient western civilization and present day politics. Follow me!
I would and have told all I know about this book and even had my 15 year old son listen to it as well. He enjoyed it as much as I did. I meet Newt at a book signing event and agree with most all of what he believes. Mr. Forstchen is a great writer and I have listened to many of his other works.
Though the entire book unfolds second by second, I think the transition from day to day is the most interesting. How we move from a modern electrically dependent society on one day and slowly transition to a 19th century America over the course of just a few weeks. You could also consider this to be a time travel book, without the science fiction of a time machine.
I really enjoyed the pace he kept in the reading. It was not dry nor was it boring. He sounds like a fellow you know down the street. A very familiar sounding voice. Someone if you don't know him then you wished you did know him.
YES in fact I could not stop listening and after it was done I started it over again. One of those books, like Lonesome Dove, where you dread counting down the pages (minutes in audio world).
Yes, download this book, not only is it a real threat to our United States, it is a great book!
I quickly tired of the post apocalyptic genre, but this one goes far beyond the typical storyline. The story, situations, and characters are completely believable and I could not stop listening from the start. I would not recommend going to the grocery store after listening to One Second After - you will have the urge to stockpile.
"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