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One Second After (A John Matherson Novel, 1) Mass Market Paperback – April 26, 2011
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"The Book of the Unnamed Midwife" by Meg Elison
When she fell asleep, the world was doomed. When she awoke, it was dead. | Learn more
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“Civilization slides into the abyss of a new dark age in this horrifying apocalyptic novel. Forstchen has put Bin Laden's wet dream on paper and, in the process, taken civilization straight to the rack.” ―Stephen Coonts, New York Times bestselling author of The Art of War
“The only thing more terrifying than this masterfully crafted story is the possibility of it actually happening―and not a damn thing being done to protect us.” ―W.E.B. Griffin & William E. Butterworth IV
“Forstchen's work has flair and power.” ―Joel Rosenberg, author of The Sleeping Dragon
“Forstchen did such a damned fine job with One Second After that shortly after the first page, I had been reeled in hook, line, and sinker.” ―David Hagberg, New York Times bestselling author of Tower Down
About the Author
- Lexile measure : 860L
- Item Weight : 9.6 ounces
- Mass Market Paperback : 528 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0765356864
- ISBN-13 : 978-0765356864
- Dimensions : 4.2 x 1.06 x 7.5 inches
- Publisher : Forge Books; First edition (April 26, 2011)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #5,424 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Having learned that Congress considers this a book all Americans should read, I bought it. I've had a mind toward prepping ever since I read Lucifer's Hammer, probably 25 years ago. This book takes you a step further into the psyche of survival. I marvelled at the ill-prepared, was impressed by unique ideas, and was numbed by the vast destruction.
My biggest disappointment is that Congress and the Pentagon have discussed this book, consider it a "must read" even. Yet, I just heard about it this week, roughly 10 years later. Have they acted? No. Have they encouraged the American ppl to prepare? No.
The average American lives 3 days to hunger. What would you do to protect your family from those who would kill them to feed their own family?
Most people say "Anything!!"
But they won't store rice, beans, oats....they don't own a water filter or know how to build one.
You'd steal and kill ... but you won't prepare.
And I'm the weird one.
READ THIS BOOK.
Then read Lucifer's Hammer.
Then DO SOMETHING!
I love apocalyptic fiction stories which are also known as Social science fiction. In part because of the rich setting(s) that can be created to explore people, their interactions, and how they may react to the setting or apocalyptic event. So I bought this novel since it had been on the New York best seller list and it had over 8,000 reviews on amazon and averaged 4.5 starts.
I am amazed that this novel was rated so high. It is absolutely terrible and is a 1.5 star at best.
The author is wholly out of touch with reality, society, and people so he weaves a tale with what seems like a 15 year olds understanding of society and people, immature and unbelievable. This is surprising since the author is a professor of history in North Carolina. He should have read history and how people reacted to devastating events. We can only guess that this professor is teaching a false version of history.
The author has some noble idea that Americans are not really people and tells a tail that holds Americanism above all else. So the average American would never steal or kill for food when their children that are starving to death. But will band together to share. Only the people who were criminals before the event do anything ‘bad’.
The characters are flat and with very little to no development. The only development for the main character is to show that he is not knowledgeable at all. We are lead to believe early on that he knows all about the effects of an EMP event from his past experience with the US Army. Further as soon as the event happens he knows what the problem is and sets out to educate the area officials. But he fails short from providing for his family as he is too bent on saving the society. But then again everyone shares and those that don’t are criminals.
The main character goes off on these ridicules speeches, both in his head and to someone or a group of people. The speeches are little more than the ravings of someone not in touch and off in a fantasy land all while waving the flag. Some do not fit the scene since the author rambles on and on.
By the middle of the third chapter in the book, the story become completely predictable and expected. With the flat characters or lack of character development, the story is at best boring and at times it is tortures read.
Top reviews from other countries
Overall this novel is readable, the characters are plausible despite being rather cartoonishly stereotyped, and the plot is fairly typical for the genre. But there is nothing particularly interesting, engaging, enlightening, or otherwise worthy of recommendation. If you're likely to be annoyed by overtly political writing then you will hate this book (given that a forward is provided by republican Newt Gingrich you'd be silly to read this novel and not expect it to have a political slant). Similarly the characters and the narrative carry some fairly outdated/borderline misogynistic view points, so if that is likely to put you off then this book is certainly not for you. Ultimately though, the main reason not to read this book is that it lacks any compelling narrative and/or plot elements and the characters are boring. Given that the main action concerns a band of cannibal looters, you could read the same basic story a hundred other places.
You know how sometimes you stumble across a book which you can't put down and every spare moment you have you just have to dip back in? Well this was like that for me in that it is so laughably bad, I just had to keep on reading. It's sort of like when you drive past a car accident or something and can't help but rubberneck.
Alarm Bells should have been ringing when I saw there was a foreword from Newt Gingrich, but still I downloaded the preview and got stuck in. The concept was appealing enough to buy the whole thing, and the author clearly knows his stuff when it comes to EMP and such matter, but holy hell, 3 or 4 chapters in and it's abundantly clear how bad this Author's grasp of humanity really is. Basically, unless you're unlucky enough to be some yeeeehaw gun-toting, republican, jingoistic, flag-waving, 5th amendment touting fool, you're going to despise this book. It really is that bad. There are times when I actually laughed out loud at the main characters choice of actions. I don't want to give out spoilers though, so I'll leave that to you, the reader, to discover on your own.
I would be lying though if I said this book didn't move me in ways I've never been moved before by a book before. Such as the two, yes TWO, occasions where the fictional public in the book burst into a soaring rendition of the star spangled banner. Seriously, I've never laughed so much before at a book.
I actually feel a bit sorry for the author to be honest. You will see that this 'John' character is such an obvious projection of how the author wishes he was in real life, but why anyone would strive to be like this I'm unsure. Clearly Mr. Forstchen does, which is unfortunate, but each to their own, I suppose.
Honestly, steer clear. It's awful. Just awful
To be noted about EMP attacks: At the beginning of the Afterword by Captain Bill Sanders (U.S. Navy) there is an important quotation from General Eugene Habiger (Former Commander-in-Chief of U.S. Strategic Command):
''It is not a matter of if, it is a matter of when''.
Be prepared, it is not really fiction.
If you want to know more about the impacts of EMP attacks I recommend the following document:
''21st Century Complete Guide to Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP)''
It is the most complete guide you can buy about EMP: it contains 11 reports.