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One Second After

Average Rating 4
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(46)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

75 out of 79 people found this review helpful.

WOW what a ride this book took me on

I rarely cry over books, but I cried three times while reading this spectacular and frightening book. There are many post-apocalyptic books available (see my recommendations), but this one is a step above them. Plausible, well-written, good character development, it h...
I rarely cry over books, but I cried three times while reading this spectacular and frightening book. There are many post-apocalyptic books available (see my recommendations), but this one is a step above them. Plausible, well-written, good character development, it has all the elements of a must-read book.

posted by McMonkey on April 24, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

25 out of 104 people found this review helpful.

Sorry! This book just doesn't cut it.

I normally don't write negative reviews at all. I kinda subscribe to Thumper's line in Bambi - "If you can't say something nice, then don't say nothin' at all". For the most part I have an utter disdain of critics in all guises since I know what it takes to write a bo...
I normally don't write negative reviews at all. I kinda subscribe to Thumper's line in Bambi - "If you can't say something nice, then don't say nothin' at all". For the most part I have an utter disdain of critics in all guises since I know what it takes to write a book and it ain't easy, but I felt it imperative that I make an exception in this case.

Even though the science discussed in the book is very plausible, Mr. Forstchen has jumped on the Politico Band Wagon to Black PR Iranians, and North Koreans, with a veiled stab at the Chinese as the "Probable Cause" behind our possible, future debacle. Furthermore, I feel he underestimates how quickly society would self destruct if the infrastructure should collapse overnight. His story has people wandering around the country 6 months after the debacle = unreal.

However, his greatest disservice to his readers lies in his xenophobic character creation of a cannibalistic, cult leading protagonist.

In a time when all Hell is breaking loose with our American Economy, when American popularity is at an all time low around the globe, when tent cities are growing exponentially around this once great land of ours, Mr. Forstchen has written a work which promotes "Fear of those who are different", and then beats the same drum our political leaders are playing while using Christian rhetoric to do so.

What about a little tolerance for other ethnicities and creeds Mr. Forstchen??? Isn't it time we grew up and attempted to make friends with our neighbors??? After all, the World is a very small place nowadays and what happens half way across the Earth DOES affect all of us in one way or another.

Ask not for whom the bell tolls. It tolls for thee.

Sorry for the critique, but it needed to be said.

Sincerely,

Ian "Doc" Shillington N.D. (Retired)

posted by Doc_Shillington on July 23, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2014

    Pretty good

    Its hard to know how many stars to give this book. It kept my interest which is no easy feat and the book had a nice pacing that kept it moving along at a nicd clip so for that alone it deserves 4 stars but, the main character was a most unlikable guy. For someone who seems to be rah rah America and how we should all be one, he quickley views everyone other then his family and neighbors as outsiders and doesnt care if they die but yet still manages to view himself as morally superior to a drug addict or a prostitute. That just does not compute. The main character is just too conflicted in his belief system and that made the book hard to take at times. But, its an end of the world novel and he does a good job in describing how a society would most likely break down and i found his descriptions to be reslistic. A good but flawed book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 28, 2011

    Original but Very Preachy

    As someone who has always enjoyed 'end of days' type novels like "Lucifer's Hammer" and "The Stand", this one paled in comparison. While it was an original take on a popular theme, and the story and characters were developed well, it was very, very preachy in parts. Read more like a manifesto than a novel at times.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 14, 2014

    Highly Recommended

    I don't understand why this book, published in 2011, was not on the Top Readers List. It is truly engrossing, has lots of action, lots of human feelings both sad, fearful, joyous. Additionally, this Could Happen to all of us! Read, enjoy, and be concerned.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2014

    A bit long winded

    Makes you want to be the 1st to die off-if this did happen on US soil

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2013

    When you consider the latest "agreement" between Obama

    When you consider the latest "agreement" between Obama and Iran it's clear that the danger of nuclear attack on our country is very likely. This book is a pretty good look at what could happen if that happens. The author failed to adequately describe the climax of his book though which detracts significantly from it. Not sure if it was lack of ability or laziness.

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  • Posted March 19, 2013

    The warning of EMP is why I give this book a three. It needs to

    The warning of EMP is why I give this book a three. It needs to be known. The relatively isolated town of Black Mtn loses all power and the townspeople have decisions to make. However, to me there was something stilted, somehow off, about the plot development. Maybe it was too explanatory. It was also to predictive and I am impatient for it to happen and hopefully the novel would move on. The fighting between the gangs and towns like Black Mountain seemed separate from the lives and choices of the characters in the Town of Black Mountain. And then the ending was lame.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2013

    Good plot, poor writing style This is an original, well though

    Good plot, poor writing style

    This is an original, well thought out story that is thought provoking and causes the reader to stop and ask how their life would change in a similar circumstance. However, much of this is lost due to the author's folksy style of writing. There were far too many "darn good" this and "darn good" that passages in this book. Half way through this novel I was wishing Forstchen had sold the rights to his idea to someone better handled to bring this otherwise excellent plot to life. It was as if the author was writing to an audience that never left the 1950's.
    Overall I would still recommend the book simply for the plot and as a wake up call for those who believe the United States, as the most powerful nation in the world, could not be irreparably damage by a fairly simple attack.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2012

    Good read

    While I appreciated the well thought out plot, there were several moments where i felt like the book was incomplete. Overall a good book and I will add it to my hardcover collection.

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  • Posted June 19, 2012

    Pretty good read This book was ok. Authors, as a rule, write ab

    Pretty good read

    This book was ok. Authors, as a rule, write about things they find important. You can tell this guy is an historian. His point of view was vastly different from mine. In that I can congratulate him for holding my interest despite the lack of character development and pretty thin plotline. I'm not a killjoy, so I won't give away the end. Some of the plot was rather rote. That can be understandable to an extent. It is a post-apocalyptic story after all. I am a visual person. I didn't get enough information to get many visuals, especially about the characters. I want characters I can see. I want characters I can feel. There just wasn't enough of that for me. The geographical area I am familiar with, so I could actually see that in my mind. I have friends that attended Montreat. I know I gave it 3 stars. That isn't a slight by any means, considering the material which I usually read.

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  • Posted June 3, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I am on the fence with this book. I liked the overall story lin

    I am on the fence with this book. I liked the overall story line, although it made me realize that if this did happen I would probably not last long! However, I hated the writing style of the author. I don't like when authors always have the characters reference the other characters by name in the dialouge constantly. And what was with the cigarettes? It recieved a five out of five star rating at my book club!

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  • Posted November 3, 2011

    An Important Warning

    This book introduced me to the whole EMP thing. I am not sure how accurate the scenario is, but it did give me a bit of a scare. We follow how one small town deals with the initial hit and the aftermath. The degeneration of society did feel real, although it was a bit accelerated as someone else wrote. I did find at times that the dialog degenerated into lectures. There did seem to be an abundance of right wing characters. This is somewhat understandable in that we are talking about a small town in the country, but it might be interesting to give a voice to the few "liberal" characters. The cultural references to 9-1-1 and movies seemed to be too often and not really weaved into the story.

    I think it was a valuable book for me to read. I do hope that we never have to find out whether this book was realistic or not. I can deal with the right wing nature of the book. Hey, I'm in the south. And to be honest, I would guess that right wingers are more likely to deal successfully with the scenario presented in the book than left wingers. So that's not a big deal to me. But, while I liked the book, the "lectures" that violated the "show but don't tell" rule and the easy out of allowing the protagonist to know too much about what was happening and how to proceed cause me to rate it at 3.

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  • Posted October 15, 2011

    Interesting

    A good read but Stephen King makes stuff much more unbelievable believable. This book, while possinble, reads much less believable.

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  • Posted July 4, 2011

    Scarilly possible

    Interesting story. Scary sceniario. Not very well written. Tried to invoke more emotion than it should which makes it feel forced. Worth reading though.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 5, 2010

    Good Read- worth adding to the reading pile

    It was a good book to make you think. It was not as good as Pat Frank's "Alas, Babylon" (sp?). I liked the characters better in that book. The book "One Second After" didn't seem to flesh out the characters for me. I did not get hooked into feeling bad about the college kids or the any of the town members. I think I should have cared more that the college kids were assuming the roles of the military. The EMP was a good device to start the war. And I learned alot about the things I would loss if one would happen here. It is not a cook book for survial but it is a good thought inducing book to make you consider the survival mentality.

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  • Posted April 8, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Wake up call

    This is a story about "what could happen". I loved the fact that it was centered around Black Mt, NC one of my favorite spots. I recognized just about every scene. Whether you believe an "electronic" event will happen, social breakdown, or loved the series "Jericho" on tv, this prepper manual is an advice filled reference book that is written around a pretty familiar story. An easy read that goes a long way towards explaining the modern day version of the ant and the grasshopper story. A raw look at what could happen with a glimmer of hope thrown in.

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  • Posted January 17, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Destined to be a Classic, No. A Good Book, Yes.

    This book was a very interesting story about a man and his attempts at saving his rural North Carolina town after an EMP (electro magnetic pulse) bomb shuts down every electronic device and the entire power grid of the United States. The premise of the story is a very real and terrifying one that has been cited by many officials as a threat that America is not prepared to encounter-an Achilles tendon that could bring our country to the Dark Ages.



    With all the current fear and anxt over similar scenarios stemming from cyber-warfare ( a problem which the president has cited numerous times) this book is important in its message, if not anything else.




    While some of the characters were rather flat and predictable, the author does a good job in shaping the main characters. He is obviously a history buff, as he is constantly comparing the present situations with that of historical, mostly war-time, events. This does tend to be a little too obvious, and often leads to a confusion in voice, but it is interesting overall. (A lot of these scenes would be better off in a companion book)




    Some of the editing is absolutely horrendous. The author tends to use certain verbs too often, specifically "interjected." His overuse of this word was enough to make me cringe, and is something that a highschool English teacher would scold him for. How this and other apparent mistakes skipped the editor's eye, I can only imagine. He also has problems with finding the voice for some of his younger characters. "Well gee, Dad, that would be swell!" is not exactly a believable phrase for a sixteen year old girl to say in 2009. (this was a small exaggeration, but not too far off).




    Overall, the book is worth reading. It has its faults, but it also has many great aspects, and its message is crucial.

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  • Posted April 10, 2009

    Somebody Should Shoot the Editor

    This book had so much potential. While the concept for the story and the ensuing events are frighteningly conceivable, others are pretty far-fetched. However, my biggest complaint about this book is the editing. A few misspellings can be tolerated but the punctuation and paragraph spacing is so bad that it makes the book a bit difficult to read. There are also quite a few places in the book where you're not sure if the main character is now talking about himself in the third person or if a narrator is now speaking. The bottom line....great story concept, average writer, bad editor.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 18, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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