Alex's Reviews > One Second After

One Second After by William R. Forstchen
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Mar 12, 2012

really liked it
Read in March, 2012

I understand the well-done and well-meaning low reviews my fellow bookworms gave this novel. Many points I agree with. To be honest, I almost clicked three stars myself. However, reading "One Second After" was not about entertainment for me. I wanted to learn.

Oddly, the premise of this book - an EMP (electro magnetic pulse) shutting down the world's grid - came to my reality when all the high power solar flares were coming towards earth in early March 2012. Solar flares can cause the same reaction as EMPs, crazy how that works. The book then goes on to describe life after society falls apart.

Coming off a 20+ year stint as a far left liberal with a narrow tolerance for the right, I really appreciated an inside look. William Forstchen is an authentic and thoughtful conservative presenting the reader with a realistic view of this mindset. As I find myself looking for a more balanced approach to politics, economics, and larger understandings, it's clear to me the left side including my former self, are as narrow as we believe the right to be. This book opened my eyes and presented me with an inside look at the conservative camp. It's not so bad. Mr. Forstchen even addresses the far right Christian sticklers in a not-so-good light. This personal look into conservative lives is a nice byproduct of why I picked up "One Second After," but not the main reason. Mainly, I wanted to see a vision of collapse. All empires come to an end and America is doing its level best to be next.

I purposely read this book to learn how life without a centralized structure may look. Max Kaiser, Jim Rogers, and "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" author, Robert Kiyosaki amongst other economists, are all coming out and warning us that economic collapse is imminent. The dollar will lose its clout and hyperinflation and/or depression will set in. I felt "One Second After" may offer a glimpse of what this could look like and what to expect. After researching the history of other countries who faced collapse like Argentina, Zimbabwe, Soviet Union, and even as far back as Germany, it's clear America is on the same track. So, what now?

With the popularity of National Geographic's "Doomsday Preppers" it appears more and more people are becoming aware of how wrapped up and entwined their dependent lives are on others. How much can we really do for ourselves? Our food, electricity, transportation, and health are very much dependent upon resources outside our immediate ability. What if those shut off? This book presents an idea of how that may play out.

Ultimately, a sound belief in abundance and the ability to create my reality from choice & awareness trumps all fear. I am so very thankful for William R. Forstchen and all authors who write down their point-of-view in novels, so I may take out and use what works for me. I am thankful that I have the capacity to observe, ponder, and stay curious rather than rush to judgment. And what if that's all we are required to do? Trust our own knowing and extrapolate the parts that fit us.

I'm going back to my happy place now knowing that collective belief, prayer, and/or meditation (whatever your belief system allows for) is what works best for my reality. I am aware of all evil lurking out there and I'm not scared. Not one lick. I am aware and I am grinning.

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02/08/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-13 of 13) (13 new)

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Stacy Daniel I am pretty far left and hated this book because of the light the author paints us to be. But after reading your review, it made me stop and realize a few things I hadn't thought of. Thank you.


Alex :-)


message 3: by Harry (last edited Nov 02, 2013 07:16PM) (new)

Harry What a nice, refreshing and honest review. We've spent so much time thinking diversity, that it ended up dividing all of us: men from women, liberals from conservatives, gay from straight, atheists from believers, children from parents, rich from poor, and the private sector from the governmental sector. perhaps we ought to admit that diversity's focus on what makes us different doesn't work: that perhaps we ought to take a look at what we all share in common...and work together with that goal in mind :-)


MaryJane Rings very well written review. I hadn't looked as this from a conservative point of view. My focus was on the consequences and human behavior after a mass disaster. I read a lot of history and can attest to the accuracies of the author's examples. your review increased my knowledge from another perspective. I am proactive and probably considered a free liberal thinker. I also try to look at all sides of an issue as well as the resulting consequences.


David Roberts Well written, save for your conclusion. If something like what is described in the book occurs, you won't be in your happy place. If you're not scared now, you're not ready. That doesn't mean that prepping will enable you to make it for the long run --the book tends to overlook that fact. The book is a fairly good look at what could happen, but has too much of a Hollywood ending.


Carolina Liechtenstein Heart felt and courageous review. I have been both left wing and right wing. I decided on drawing a Venn diagram of various political camps - and where the main camps meet. If the dung hits the fan, we can't afford division. Liberals sometimes know home grown food production and natural medicine, and conservatives often know defence and logistics. We would need both in any sort of collapse. It's called teamwork. Thus my two cents as a right winger with liberal friends. I'm ready to learn from both.


Alex Well said, Carolina. Thank you!


Holly Kurtz Alex, what a great and thoughtful review. I am going back to my happy place too but with a wariness that I didn't have before. It is extremely frustrating to me to know that much could be done to harden our electrical grid but the government refuses to act. We should fire them all for their dereliction of duty!


Michelle I'm about to read this book for book club and your review intrigues me.
Duane: President Obama does not need a TelePrompter. Thanks for interjecting a completely random dig on Barack.


Johanna I agree with you! I didn't like the style of the book and indeed, it's very American-centered. But it got me thinking as well! Some facts that are not touched in any of the post-apocalyptic novels I've read, are definitely described in this book, like the supply of medicine, other than the obvious painkillers or antibiotics.


message 11: by Duane (last edited Jan 30, 2017 11:29PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Duane Michelle wrote: "I'm about to read this book for book club and your review intrigues me.
Duane: President Obama does not need a TelePrompter. Thanks for interjecting a completely random dig on Barack."


OKay well You're Welcome *But* I can't FIND where I said that.

Not that I wouldn't have, But if I did, shouldn't it have been, "President Teleprompter Doesn't Need an Obama".

Or something. Stuff like that. (hmm... did I *Post* something in here? What happened to it? Maybe something in a pink hat got it, hell I dunno.)


message 12: by Alex (new) - rated it 4 stars

Alex Too funny. After some time away from reading these comments, I'm just now getting to them. Tele-promter, no teleprompter, some times I feel like a nut, some times I don't! I could not possibly care less which politician uses cues - although emotions about Obama's tele-prompter use should elicit the same emotions when Trump does it..... right? ;-)


message 13: by Alex (new) - rated it 4 stars

Alex David wrote: "If you're not scared now, you're not ready."

Exactly, David. I cannot fathom spending any more waking hours fretting about preparedness for something doomsdayers have been swearing by since the 50s. I am aware that having extra food, supplies, and means is a good idea for many possible reasons. I have them. In fact, I just went downstairs and tickled the cheeks of my 30+ carb-filled, emergency food buckets. Preparedness.....check! Now, I shall move on to creating other things in life that bring me joy. Awareness and joy trump fear and anger for me.


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