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One Second After (A John Matherson Novel) Mass Market Paperback – April 26, 2011
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From Publishers Weekly
In this entertaining apocalyptic thriller from Forstchen (We Look Like Men of War), a high-altitude nuclear bomb of uncertain origin explodes, unleashing a deadly electromagnetic pulse that instantly disables almost every electrical device in the U.S. and elsewhere in the world. Airplanes, most cars, cellphones, refrigerators—all are fried as the country plunges into literal and metaphoric darkness. History professor John Matherson, who lives with his two daughters in a small North Carolina town, soon figures out what has happened. Aided by local officials, Matherson begins to deal with such long-term effects of the disaster as starvation, disease and roving gangs of barbarians. While the material sometimes threatens to veer into jingoism, and heartstrings are tugged a little too vigorously, fans of such classics as Alas, Babylon and On the Beachwill have a good time as Forstchen tackles the obvious and some not-so-obvious questions the apocalypse tends to raise. Newt Gingrich provides a foreword. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
In a Norman Rockwell town in North Carolina, where residents rarely lock homes, retired army colonel John Matherson teaches college, raises two daughters, and grieves the loss of his wife to cancer. When phones die and cars inexplicably stall, Grandma’s pre-computerized Edsel takes readers to a stunning scene on the car-littered interstate, on which 500 stranded strangers, some with guns, awaken John’s New Jersey street-smart instincts to get the family home and load the shotgun. Next morning, some townspeople realize that an electromagnetic pulse weapon has destroyed America’s power grid, and they proceed to set survival priorities. John’s list includes insulin for his type-one diabetic 12-year-old, candy bars, and sacks of ice. Deaths start with heart attacks and eventually escalate alarmingly. Food becomes scarce, and societal breakdown proceeds with inevitable violence; towns burn, and ex-servicemen recall “Korea in ’51” as military action by unlikely people becomes the norm in Forstchen’s sad, riveting cautionary tale, the premise of which Newt Gingrich’s foreword says is completely possible. --Whitney Scott --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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I am of the belief that "something" is looming in our near future and now that I've studied EMP's and solar flares a little, I am more aware of this particular threat, along with financial vulnerabilities as being the highest likelihood of our demise. EMP technology has come so far (like comparing LP's to CD's) and our dependence on electricity has grown so much, with no sign of slowing. We are sitting ducks and Americans need to open their eyes. This book will make you see it plain and clear.
I'll also admit that I'm not much of a crier, but this book had me crying my ace off by the end. There were some good laughs too. It's a rough reality check but for those of us who know we can no longer enjoy the bliss of ignorance, it truly is a must read.
It's a very sobering read. It will have you thinking seriously about putting together an extensive survival kit for everyone in your household.....not that it would do much good.
Ooops. We didn't see this coming. Every now and then, we need a shake 'em up story to chill our hearts and wake us up. This is a real, real good one.
Still, I enjoyed it and would recommend it. The first half of the book focuses primarily on John and his family and, is by far, the most engaging part of the story. Seeing the effects of the EMP blast on one family and their daily routine is relatable. However, when the narrative pulls back to the effects on the town as a whole it becomes a bit formulaic.
Overall, it is a satisfying book and will undoubtedly make readers reflect about all that we take for granted.