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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 (9703 )
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  •  
    Amazon Customer 08-27-12
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    "Loved it! Eye opening book."

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark T Portland, OR 08-25-12
    Mark T Portland, OR 08-25-12 Member Since 2015

    Audible books are the perfect companion for my 4 mile morning walk!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Thought Provoking!"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hardy Ter Aar, Netherlands 08-24-12
    Hardy Ter Aar, Netherlands 08-24-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Chilling"
    Would you consider the audio edition of One Second After to be better than the print version?

    yes


    What did you like best about this story?

    The way it was told


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

    The professor


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

    The impossibility to cope in a catastrophic situation.


    Any additional comments?

    A bleak foresight what can happen to us in the future.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lora Greeneville, TN, United States 08-23-12
    Lora Greeneville, TN, United States 08-23-12 Member Since 2011
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    "If you only read (listen to) one book this year"
    If you could sum up One Second After in three words, what would they be?

    alarming, chilling, scary


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

    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.


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

    No. But he does a good job on this riveting, cautionary tale.


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

    Are you ready for EOTWAWKI?


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    brian brooklyn park, MN, United States 08-23-12
    brian brooklyn park, MN, United States 08-23-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Truly Captivating"
    What made the experience of listening to One Second After the most enjoyable?

    Joe Barret brings this story to life with his visual narrating style.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of One Second After?

    The vulnerability of those in the care of others, knowing this is really how this situation would play out.(sad)


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

    No I have not.


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

    What would you do?


    Any additional comments?

    Great listen....

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shelly Altoona, PA, United States 08-21-12
    Shelly Altoona, PA, United States 08-21-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Something everyone should listen to!"
    What did you love best about One Second After?

    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.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D. BURLEY, ID, United States 08-20-12
    D. BURLEY, ID, United States 08-20-12 Member Since 2015

    Climbing since 1995

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Performance, Great topic!"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary INGLESIDE, ILLINOIS, United States 08-14-12
    Mary INGLESIDE, ILLINOIS, United States 08-14-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    5
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    "Compelling tale of catastrophe"
    If you could sum up One Second After in three words, what would they be?

    Compelling, grueling, optimistic


    What did you like best about this story?

    Many elements were unexpected


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Hard to say


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

    It did make me cringe at times


    Any additional comments?

    Extremely interesting and at times compelling story of survival and the ethical challenges that could be faced during a catastrophic event.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    AlexIndia Fort Worth, TX, United States 08-14-12
    AlexIndia Fort Worth, TX, United States 08-14-12 Member Since 2011

    I am a national speaker on the relationship between the ancient western civilization and present day politics. Follow me!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Book and would be a great movie"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    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.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of One Second After?

    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.


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

    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.


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

    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).


    Any additional comments?

    Yes, download this book, not only is it a real threat to our United States, it is a great book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Samantha 08-14-12
    Samantha 08-14-12 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Thought provoking"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • 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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