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 is a really good, highly improbably, very scary story. The author must have either left out some of the more important technical effects of an EMP event, or the story should play out differently. Unless each house's internal wiring was fried, then there is no doubt that many of those with diesel and/or propane generators would have been fine for weeks or months. Between the DeRecho and Sandy last year we lost power for 10 days, and I heard generator's running all around me. In those 10 days I used less than 1/4 of my generator's diesel tank and I keep enough extra diesel to refill the tank twice. In my rural part of VA this is not too unusual so I expect people in the hills of rural NC to be similarly self sufficient and better able to deal with the loss of grid power. If each house's internal wiring does get fried during the EMP event, then I would expect electrical fires in almost all homes and so would have expected the entire town and countryside to go up in smoke starting one second after the begining of the book, and the story would have been much scarier.
It is also fairly common even among the non-preppers in rural areas like mine to have a 1 - 2 month supply of non-perishable food stored, in addition to second refridgerator and a freezer full of beef, pork, chicken, and venison. I'm absolutely certain as well that many of these folks have wood or propane smokers and dehydrators and all know how to preserve meat in the absence of refridgeration. At any rate, the author's pessimistic view of how long the townfolk could hold out without grocery shopping seems unrealistic. However, since our generators would probably be working that wouldn't be necessary anyway.
The description of issues with sewage and drinking water definitely got me thinking. While the sewer issue isn't one I have to deal with, a complete loss of power with no backup generation possibilities would be devastating to many in rural environments where an underground well provides drinking water to each single family home. The water in many of these wells is too deep to reach digging with a shovel, and other options might not present well. At any rate - water is definitely an issue in this scenario, and the author did a fine job of making that point. Now I'm getting a bit nervous and am hopeful at least one of my generators is still operational so I can occasionally run the well pump. Of course I also don't know if my well pump got fried duing the EMP event since the author doesn't provide some fo the more important technical effects as I mentioned in the first paragraph, so maybe having a working generator won't matter unless I had a spare well pump stored in a faraday cage.
So although I disagree with the high degree of effect a downed power grid would have on an average rural community, and I also find the timeline of events to be far too accelerated, I can't argue about the migrations of people from urban areas and the potential for human tragedy that the author describes. Certainly those events present a great deal of potential and are the scariest part of the book anyway.
Yes, worry a bit.
If you do not want the truth get a different book.
Maybe. The threat of an EMP attack is haunting and interesting. The public should know more. I would warn that it's certainly not an uplifting story.
I grew up not far from the book's location so much of this aspect is on target. That said, the characters range from being under to significantly over developed.
In essence, the book is a vehicle to shake a finger at society for ignoring the EMP threat. You glean very little about human nature other than we're all one second away from turning on each other. Maybe we are, but I could have read about this in a Time magazine article rather than fabricate a story around it where the good people are always good and the bad folk are bad--might as well pass around white and black hats.
Eh, OK. Much too much preaching.
Only if there were better sub-plots.
yes. for me i cant read that good but i love books i am dyslexic so is great to listen to boos so when i am going to work i can turn on my phone and listen that easy!
the fact that this could happen
the Sgt he was the best for me
i am 19 and a survivalist so i got a lot out of this book. i love this book i listen to this again and again
This book will make you think about the "What if", my wife and I have been talking about it since I listen to the book a few days ago.
The writing could have been better, when you read the book nothing really happen that your not expecting. Everybody that dies, your are expecting to die. I often question why the writer took the path he did in writing the story. The writer could have added more depth to the people in the book.
I like the book, but its one of those that once you finish it, you wont listen to it again.
This is essential reading for those who wish to be extremely nervous. Normally I'm a pretty relaxed person ... currently I'm walking around in a panic at how vulnerable we all are. Great Book!! (?)
I consider this the modern classic of Alas Babylon. The possibility of civiliztion being sent back to cave man days in a instant is a very real scenario. and the fact that our own government has done virtually nothing to harden the power grid & electronics in our country is very troubling. Gives a very realistic story of how quickly civility/humanity is lost when survival is your only goal.
I discovered audio books when my required reading for my profession left me with no time to read for pleasure. Now every chore is a read.
This was the most probable and grimly realistic of the many Doomsday scenarios kicking around in the collective psyche. The ramifications for fatalities in the first 30 days are explicitly clear. The loss of mass communication will have inconceivable consequences for our culture and our way of life.
The " blinders off" description of our first month without electricity and mass communication.
The Protagonist. I think few communities would have such a person. Fewer still would listen.
Yes. It captured all of my attention.
Completely changed my "Prepper Plan"
The topic was worthy - the electromagnetic pulse ( via nuclear explosion) potential to cause such havoc in our country. Too bad most of the narrative had to do with political and cultural sniping.
No The story line could have been wrritten by a junior high student - - hardly a creative, well considered plot. It sounded far more like "agenda" than interesting thought-provoking story.
Performance is fine
Every bubba boy in it. Southerner's were so stereotypically cast. If I was from the South, I would be irritated by this.
I can't believe this was so highly rated and I wasted a credit on it. I could have read this scare story for free via the mail from the Heritage Foundation or American's For Prosperity.
One Second After is an alarming story that bring to your attention the vulnerability of our present techological society. It almost makes you want to join the survivalist clan.
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