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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 (12753 )
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4.4 (10185 )
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4.5 (10159 )
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    David Foley Palo Alto, CA 08-10-15
    David Foley Palo Alto, CA 08-10-15 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
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    "Couldn't put it down."

    It'll change the way you think about the potential of the American Dream in a world with very real and dangerous threats! Couldn't put it down!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tom D Atlanta 08-10-15
    Tom D Atlanta 08-10-15 Member Since 2013

    TWD

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great Concept - Terrible Writing"
    Would you ever listen to anything by William R. Forstchen again?

    Probably not.


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

    Barrett does an excellent job keeping his character voices identifiable and distinct. His diction and pace is clear and easy to follow.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from One Second After?

    I don't know that I would have cut any of the scenes. I would have put more effort into making them somewhat realistic. The timeline is too compressed. Some things that Forstchen has happening in a week might *actually* happen after a year - though I kind of doubt it. He would have been well served to have used "The Stand" as a guide on how to imagine his scenario, rather than just going for poorly-framed melodrama.


    Any additional comments?

    How a presumed writer could take an idea so rich with possibility as that of an EMP deployment and turn it into such an overblown, implausible (yet predicable) mountain of gun-worshipping helplessness is beyond me. The power goes out for three days and a mayor is handing down death sentences (by handgun, no less) to petty criminals? Nobody in a North Carolina mountain town knows how to plant a garden? Roving bands of unemployed software developers and public relations managers are reduced selling their bodies for a glass of water inside of a month? Give me - or anyone who's ever managed to survive in a tent for a weekend - a break. Excellent job by a narrator who had, basically, nothing to work with. Sad that I wasted a credit on this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert 07-31-15
    Robert 07-31-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Exceptional"

    Great insight into a real potential disaster. Good performance and a gripping story. Well worth the buy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Crystal Ann McNabb 07-31-15 Member Since 2015
    ratings
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    16
    3
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    "We need to prevent."

    Loved this book. It really shows we need to prevent this from happening. Our government should take this as our worst threat to our country.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ivan 07-28-15
    Ivan 07-28-15 Member Since 2016
    ratings
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    13
    4
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    "A must read for anyone who cares about our country!!"

    The story, information, and warning are very well articulated and provides a sobering picture of what very easily could happen to our country. I don't think it's a matter of if but a matter of when something like this happens.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steve H. Draper, UT USA 07-28-15
    Steve H. Draper, UT USA 07-28-15
    ratings
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    1
    1
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    Story
    "spooky"

    excellent story with too much plausibility. well worth reading an I highly recommend this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sheryl R. 07-27-15
    Sheryl R. 07-27-15
    ratings
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    45
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    "Simply great"

    Everyone should read this book. What a shot of reality. Wil read more from this author.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peter D. Field BEND, OR United States 07-24-15
    Peter D. Field BEND, OR United States 07-24-15 Member Since 2013

    safaripete

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent EYE OPENING POSSIBILITY."

    Excellent story of an alternate type of warfare.
    It opened our eyes to the possibilities of a different type of attack. SCARY

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. Dunning Edwardsville, il USA 07-22-15
    S. Dunning Edwardsville, il USA 07-22-15 Member Since 2016

    sdunnin

    ratings
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    18
    2
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    Story
    "Very thought provoking scenario"

    I would like to believe that if this every happened in the U.S. the scenario portrayed in this book would all be fictional. Sadly though I think it would not be too far different. This was a well written book a compelling story with great narration. Recommended!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Doug Winslow-Nason 07-21-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "Great book, but grim"

    Well written, well performed. Enjoyable and suspenseful, but the reader should be forewarned that the story is quite grim.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • 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).

    22 of 23 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

    5 of 5 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.

    9 of 10 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
  • Wzl
    East London, South Africa
    12/1/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Thought Provoking"

    An excellent book which I have recommended to many friends. The manner in which modern life rapidly collapses is thought provoking to say the least!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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