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 has an interesting concept for the disaster or terrorist attack however it's done in such an overtly right wing revisionary way it renders the story almost unreadable. Constant references to the good old days and the revisionist lie that religious conservatives and their world view is the right one, one that will be proven right over time is constant and annoying. Hippies and lefties are bad and will die off, men who are prepared to torture and kill are the only folk who will survive.....horribly written like a right wing lecture to a class of 8th graders.
Runs with scissors.
The premise that the US could be completely shut down by EMP is a frighteningly real one and some of the scenarios presented in this novel are exactly what would happen. However, this is a poorly written novel at best. S.M. Stirling's post-EMP world was far more realistic than this tripe, although it really didn't touch on more complex medical issues like diabetes. At best this book would be great for the poorly educated to get a general idea that they should maybe keep more than frozen food on hand and perhaps educate themselves on older types of insulin that retain a much longer shelf life without refrigeration. Otherwise boring and unrealistic (impossible to starve to death in less than 40 days if on rations of 900-1200 calories per day--for real). Sorry. Pretty lame. This doesn't scare me the way it should. In my mind it is much, much worse in many ways and better in others. Check out "Dies the Fire" right here on Audible. Although technically not EMP as it also made other things happen it is a much more likely scenario regarding public reaction, especially initially.
There are two fatal flaws with this book.
1. It has a foreward by a politician that gives away the whole plot, and that made the first two hours of the book almost unbearable. The author tried to ease into the plot slowly, but they had a guy give the whole thing away. I was so mad I almost couldn't get past the first two hours.
2. It's horrible Christian propaganda. It's a book about an author-idealized country where instead of how it was with founding fathers that preserved freedom of religion and freedom of lack of it, the whole thing is a sugar-coated bunch of cliches from the point of view where everyone is Christian and believes in the "Holy" bible and thinks non-Christians are crazy or satan worshippers and need to be imprisoned before they corrupt their society (emphasized in the book itself).
If you can get past the foreward and get past the Christian propaganda without throwing up you might find the book moderately entertaining.
However, having heard similar books like "Doctor Bloodmoney" by Philip K. Dicks, this "One Second After" isn't even close to Bloodmoney's league.
This book is execrable. I downloaded it hoping for an entertaining adventure yarn based on the quite-plausible EMP scenario. Aside from being dreadfully dull, the author offends by offering his own dystopian vision of how society should function after TEOTWAWKI [The End Of The World As We Know It]. As a plot device, he imagines the reactions of a thinly-veiled version of himself during the apocalypse. The author fails to offer any useful survivalist advice like that found in the equally dull fiction of James Wesley Rawles. I quit after about 300 minutes and I waited too long. Do not make the same mistake. If you want action-adventure, try "Point of Impact" by Stephen Hunter. For survivalist lore, visit SurvivalBlog [dot] com.
Avid audiobook addict!
Interesting premise, but becomes unlistenable after the EMP bomb goes off in the first hour or so. It's the author has never heard of subtlety, so like a comedian ruining jokes by explaining them he goes into excruciating explanations of everything. Extremely preachy too. A horribly written right-wing diatribe--save money and just google "emp" and learn about it that way.
As many others have commented, this book does have a very obvious right wing bias, but if you can look past this it's an enjoyable read. It's not the most sophisticated piece of writing you'll ever face, and the suggestion that the money the US spends on combatting global warming might be better spent on defense left me gobsmacked, but ignore the 'this-could-really-happen' scaremongering and you've got a solid work of fiction.
On the other hand, if you believe every home should have a gun rack, that they don't make cars like they used to, that folks should have more respect for the military and their elders, and that city-folk ain't got nuthin' on us, then this book is your dream ticket.
Either way, it's quite good.
This was a great idea for a book, interesting, plausible and could be useful in preparing and warning for a very real danger for the future.
Sadly, the writer uses the entire book as a pulpit for his paranoid, insular political viewpoint, and tiresome self aggrandisement through the central character, far too obviously Fortschen himself.
One can almost hear the poor narrator sigh, "oh no, here he goes again with the speeches".
This is my favorite genre and this book was disappointing despite (or because of) the glowing reviews. Please read some of the negative reviews here (and on amazon) before you decide- all the points raised by them are real and give reasons why this should be avoided
PS: i hardly ever write reviews and never negative ones but this book compelled me to write !
This is the first time I just couldn't finish an audiobook. I dislike all the main characters so much that I really don't care what happens to them.
Major disappointment as the plot idea for the book is interesting. The book however is so full of the author's political agenda and right-wing biased views that it drowns out any possible entertainment value. I tried to get past this and just enjoy the story - but realized halfway into it that the story itself, the narrative, the character development (I think I am actually supposed to like the main characters?) was all so weak that there was nothing left to hold me.
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