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One Second After Audiobook

One Second After

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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 (10905 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Adam 07-21-13
    Adam 07-21-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    27
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    "Public Service Announcement in Novel Form"

    This book had so much potential, but I found it falling flat on its face again and again. The problem is, it feels more like a PSA then a story. In the forward they even come right out and say that was one of the main reasons this book was written. If you imagine everything your weirdest friend said about the Y2K bug, that is exactly what this book is. Doom and gloom. The main protagonist is just there to provide historical context to what is going on. The story doesn't so much arch as it does slowly descend into madness.

    If you have ever read any other end of the world type books you will find this one lacking. I kept being reminded of The Stand by Steven King, and I think its a good book to contrast this one with. In The Stand, the characters drive the book, they are varied, interesting, sometimes crazy, sometimes logical, emotional, likable. That is what makes that book good. In One Second After there is really only one character in one location who is okay, but not very dynamic. It is such a missed opportunity to show what was really going on. The main character thinks (guesses) what is happening around the country, but we never get a glimpse outside of the little world the protagonist finds himself trying to create and protect. It quickly gets boring. People die every few minutes that we have no emotional connection to so it looses all impact. Every big plot point is telegraphed so far in advanced you are never surprised when something happens.

    Joe Barrett does do a good job at narration and its not all together a waste of a credit. There are parts that are enjoyable and it is fun to play the "what if" game along with the book trying to think of what you would do, how you would survive. Just don't expect the kind of magic you would normally get from a character driven novel.

    Also, if you really want to have fun with this book, I thought of a great drinking game for this book. Every time someone says "I can't believe its come to this", take a drink. Drink twice if you get the added bonus of "and is just X days/weeks." The bottle will be empty before chapter 4.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William Kessler III 07-16-13

    truck driving audio book freak

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Please! listen for God's sake."
    Would you consider the audio edition of One Second After to be better than the print version?

    In a country obsessed with fears of ciggarettes, gay mariage, nail files on airplanes and hundreds of other unfounded concerns, this story (this reality) is laying in wait.
    From the forward from Newt Gingrich through to the end, this book grabs you by the shirt and slaps you into realization. It is gripping and fast paced. Heart stopping and heart breaking.
    I only hope we won't be foolish enough to ignore the message. Our electrical grid can be protected at a cost of just a few billion. I don't want to ask myself afterwards "what were we thinking?"
    Listen and then act.


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

    The author created such emotional attachment that I had to care.


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

    Yes


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aaron 07-16-13
    Aaron 07-16-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Lacking story substance"
    Any additional comments?

    I like a good apocalypse story line as much as the next person but at some point this book lost me in all the efforts to convince me of ...well everything. I guess my "agenda o'meter" was going off, soon after the forward by Newt Gingrich. It just felt like the book should have had more story and real character development. Instead most of the character interaction was used as a means to string together avenues for introducing facts about our country and how easily we would fall to ruin. From how dependent we are on food transport, medicine, and electronics...to how ill prepared our local, state and federal governments are. Which don't get me wrong, we probably are, but I wasn't really looking for someone's dissertation / doctoral thesis converted into story format with a little dialogue mixed in to grease the wheels. I even consider myself to be slightly leaning toward the "prepper" mentality, and in that regard this book has a few good take aways. Although if that's what you are looking for, then check out the book Patriots. It has a lot better info and honestly is more helpful as a cookbook for that sort of thing.There are some touching moments between the main character and his daughters, but even those moments were slightly ruined as I felt bludgeoned over the head with explainations about statistically speaking this is how things go and practically speaking we've seen this happen before in major wars.On the light side I did feel the narrator did a good job and helped me stick with the book until the end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ashley 07-14-13
    Ashley 07-14-13 Member Since 2012

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Sad, but a must-read (ok, a must listen)"
    What did you love best about One Second After?

    The author identifies with the reader, playing off our humanity, to open our eyes to the possibility of an EMP attack and illustrates what our technology-based lives would be like if the lights went out.


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

    The break-in at the professor's house.


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

    O - yes! He is an awesome reader. Great job on all of the character voices. Good reading speed and great emotion!


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

    Yes, but the story is pretty intense. I had to listen in sessions


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew Adair Village, OR, United States 07-14-13
    Matthew Adair Village, OR, United States 07-14-13 Listener Since 2010
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    "Tremendously eye opening! I'm now better informed."
    Would you listen to One Second After again? Why?

    It's gripping.


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

    Yes. Kept me thinking about what I'd do.


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

    He captures the characters well, even the female characters.


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

    My reaction is eagerness to take action.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer South Milwaukee, WI, United States 07-10-13
    Amazon Customer South Milwaukee, WI, United States 07-10-13 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "How it will end."
    What did you love best about One Second After?

    Very disturbing story and so easily believable.


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

    Made me think about how I would handle such a situation considering I live in Florida.


    Any additional comments?

    Listen to the book - kind of sobering and well worth the time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth Alaska 07-05-13
    Elizabeth Alaska 07-05-13 Member Since 2012

    Elizabeth, Artist, Alaska...

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent Post-apocalypse (not-quite) fiction!"

    This is a great addition to the genre. I have already listened to this book twice. Great narration with a clear voice and solid pace. Just enough voice inflection for the different characters. The story itself is very detailed, tangible and sincerely awful---we are dealing with the end of civilization as we know it in this novel. An excellent listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Glen Echo, MD, United States 07-05-13
    David Glen Echo, MD, United States 07-05-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "No Dry Eyes Here"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    No...too depressing


    What could William R. Forstchen have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Not written it.


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

    I've not listened to anything else from him; that said, the read was very good...not George Guidell good, but good.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    no


    Any additional comments?

    This was probably the most tear jerking, depressing book I have read/listened to in many years. I'm glad it's over.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    APRIL SHADY SPRING, WV, United States 07-03-13
    APRIL SHADY SPRING, WV, United States 07-03-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Survive an EMP attack during a midlife crisis"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Are you a middle aged white man who dreams of inferior uncomplicated younger women who follow you around trying to mother you? If so- this book is for you.Why is it always Republican males that sit around dreaming about the super-hot liberal chick that will find them so terribly irresistible she will lose her ability to think for herself?


    What was most disappointing about William R. Forstchen’s story?

    I have always been intrigued by the idea of an EMP attack. I jumped at the chance to read this book. I am afraid I was very disappointed. The lead male character wanders around town giving speeches while letting everyone around him do the heavy lifting. On the ultra-rare occasion our lead tries to lift a finger- he inevitably hurts himself. While he gives his all-knowing advice to everyone within ear shot he also manages to sexually size up every female he comes across. Our lead female is shockingly uncomplicated. She spends two whole sentences in the book talking about her past. To be fair- the lead male even managed to interrupt her then. She apparently has no ties to any human on the planet. An Ex-husband that cheated on her multiple times but she didn’t blame him. No kids, no parents, no brothers and sisters. She doesn’t even have a pet or a house plant to be remotely concerned about.No our glorious lead female has but one purpose in life. To wander about neglecting her duty as a nurse- letting people die around her- while she hunts down and basically stalks our lead male. Consistently inserting herself into the lead male’s family. Mothering him and telling him how wonderful he is…oh and did I mention she is smoking hot and 15 to 20 years younger than him?Every single female in this entire book is irretrievably stupid and vastly incompetent. When someone screws up or comes up with a dumb idea- it is a female. Our lead brags about his great respect for women in one sentence- and then two sentences later he is sizing up every female he sees to determine if they are “sexy”. Or which parts of them he finds the sexiest.This book was clearly written as a fantasy by a middle aged white man in the grips of a midlife crisis. This book has such terrific potential. I hate that it was squandered on this writer.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Terrence Hesperia, CA, United States 06-30-13
    Terrence Hesperia, CA, United States 06-30-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "A Cautionary Tale"

    It has been easy for the politicians to ignore the threat posed by electromagnetic pulse attack, given the voters lack of knowledge of the threat. Mr. Forstchen does us all a favor by educating us to the danger while wrapping the lesson is an riveting package that will grab and hold your attention from first to last. Mr. Barrett's talents as a reader seamlessly brings the whole story to life.

    If you are a fan of Road Warrior or Fallout and you're looking for a post apocalyptic adventure then this book is NOT for you. Mr. Forstchen has written a entertaining cautionary tale that could easily come to pass in the near future if our "good friends" in North Korea, Iran, or Al-Qaeda ever manage to lay hands on a functioning atomic weapon and the means to deliver it into earth orbit.

    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).

    19 of 19 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.

    8 of 8 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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