In a world bound to modern chains we call technology; the audiobook One Second After is a reminder that if we are not careful, history is destined to repeat itself. When a country ignores the threats aimed at its heart, the wrong people with the right weapon are a swift and brutal reminder of our vulnerability as a nation.
Retired Army Colonel John Matherson returned to his rural North Carolina hometown when his wife was diagnosed with a terminal illness. Now a respected college professor, he is the father of two children. Narrated through his eyes the story takes us through what happens if the worst case scenario becomes reality. When the telephone communication system fails, and all electrically powered items suddenly stop working; it is quickly apparent that the townspeople are not prepared for life as it was in centuries past.
The former colonel suspects the weapon used was an electromagnetic pulse or EMP and his thoughts go quickly to his insulin-dependent daughter. Food supplies dwindle quickly with no refrigeration, those interred in nursing homes and needing refrigerated medicines and medical equipment such as John's father are suffering; and no one is answering who or how this happened.
Through the use of older technology that is not affected by the black-out the citizens slowly begin to discover how to survive in this new world. However, tragedy strikes often and without remorse. Skills that were once part of our heritage are missing such as the growing of crops. If the people cannot feed themselves they will starve or turn to cannibalism. John Matherson finds himself more involved with the other citizens to find ways to survive and go on in this new era.
While a work of fiction, the book has been used as an example of what our future could become if we are not careful. Author William R. Forstchen wrote his first novel in 1983, and has now penned over 40 books. A graduate of Purdue University, he is a Professor of History with specialties in technology and military history. One Second After spent several weeks on the New York Times best seller list and is quite a popular audiobook here at Audio Book Store.
"3.5 stars. This was a disturbing look at what would happen if Americans were hit by an EMP and forced without warning to survive on what they could scrounge together for themselves when there is no one left to send help. The story was thought provoking and frightening in the stark reality of how ill prepared we are in general. My only complaint - and why it didn't get a full 4 stars from me - is that too much of the book is people making speeches to each other rather than the story unfolding. Sometimes it worked but other times I'd rather have seen the story shown to me leaving me to come to my own conclusions about "what it means". Nothing worse than an author who has a message that has to be shoved down a throat, I say! Still, a very good read that I recommend every American read."
Terra (4 out of 5 stars)