Wayne's Reviews > One Second After

One Second After by William R. Forstchen
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May 15, 12

bookshelves: audiobook, fiction
Read from April 14 to 27, 2012

Listened to as an audiobook
An end of times as we know it book. Forstchen analyzes America's specific vulnerability to an EMP attack. I don't know enough of the technical details to judge his scenario, but they sound pretty close to what I would have thought. I instinctively react to his doomsday scenario as a bit far fetched, not the EMP, but the results. He has people panicing and rioting within days of the event, and starving within two months. I tend to think he is underrating most people, but I have little to fall back on as I attempt to support my feelings. His survival rate for the first year seems insanely low, but as I go through the process he uses to get to that low number I find very little fault with his rationale. What I do agree with is his assertion that different communities will survive better than others and that a great deal of that will depend on how well the communities manage to work together and organize quickly.
This is not a character driven story. Forstchen spends all of his time describing the settings and situations that result from the EMP. The narrator is a retired Colonel and current History professor at a small Christian college in rural North Carolina. Any other characters are seen through his eyes, and it's a pretty limiting vision. No real detailed characterization occurs anywhere in the book. We, as readers, see and care about only what the narrator sees and cares about.
But the book acclomishes what it sets out to do. This was not a novel written to entertain you with a story of struggle and redemption and characters good, evil, and complicated, all woven into a plot with twists and turns. This was a story written to scare you and make you think about the results of an EMP attack on Western Civilization. All in all I enjoyed it.
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Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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Paul Spencer I think you made one of the better comments about this book. People who rated it poorly didn't grasp that the purpose of this book is to teach rather than entertain. Glad that you got that concept.


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