Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

One Second After by William R. Forstchen

One Second After (2009)

by William R. Forstchen

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,002808,537 (3.69)44
  1. 00
    Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank (sturlington)
    sturlington: Alas, Babylon influenced One Second After.
  2. 00
    Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer (deslivres5)
    deslivres5: YA novel details family life from a teenagers perspective after a comet throws the moon off its axis.

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 44 mentions

English (79)  Swedish (1)  All languages (80)
Showing 1-5 of 79 (next | show all)
As a nation, we have begun to take so much for granted. Things that make our lives easier. We don't even think about what would happen if one day we no longer could hop in our vehicles, go to the store for either food, clothing, basic necessities, or to a movie....we just get in and go. But what if one day, everything just stopped working. No cars, no phones, no televisions or radios........everything just stops working. What if you could not get your life-saving medication? What if your neighbors wanted to kill you for your food and belongings? What would you do to protect your family?

In One Second After, William R. Forstchen has given us a terrifying glimpse at this very real future possibility and let me tell you, it is very frightening. In one second, the United States basically stops after being attacked by an Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) weapon. EMP occurs when a nuclear bomb is detonated above the atmosphere, causing every single thing in its range containing anything electronic to fail. Cars, planes, pacemakers, electricity, you name it, it's gone forever. The country is immediately plunged into the dark ages, the population far too large to be supported by 18th century technology. Different parts of the country fare better or worse depending on their locations to urban areas. Gangs roam the land, bringing death and destruction to any remaining survivors.

The author concentrates on the impact on one man who struggles to save his family and his small town after America loses a war that sends our nation back to the Dark Ages. The struggles of rationing food, taking care of the sick with the dwindling medical supplies and training the young to protect their town is described in such a way, the reader is left wondering "what would I do in that situation?"

Make sure that you have nothing pressing to do before reading this book, because once you start, you will not want to put it down. After you read it, you will start to really look at the world around you and realize how much we depend on the things we take for granted. Am I scared....Hell yes! This book will definitely make you want to prepare for this sobering and frightening possibility. Oh, and have a box of tissues nearby as you read chapter 11....it is a definite a tear-jerker.
( )
  avidbookcollector | Oct 8, 2014 |
I, too, like other reviewers, was concerned with the political overtones presented with Gingrich presenting the forward to the book and a military person presenting the afterward. I missed the possible grammatical and spelling errors because I listened to the audio with Joe Barrett (great!) as the reader. But I also agree with others that it certainly does make one think and question. I thought the author covered an amazing number of problems in this novel and his solutions were believable---scary to think how military, at that point, was the only answer, to everything???? In many ways it showed how little humanity there really is when it comes to survival of self. ( )
  nyiper | Jul 23, 2014 |
I would have to agree with earlier reviews pointing out the grammatical errors in this book are enough to be distracting to the message of the book. I'd add that the writing could be improved with flushing out parts of the story, and skipping others.

In comparison to other end of the world books, this book didn't do much to help readers get prepared, or even instill readers with a sense of hope for what to do. Rather it was just, "We were unprepared. We weren't prepared. We are Americans...and we weren't prepared for this."

If you are looking to read a good book on this topic, I'd recommend Lights Out, instead. ( )
  csweder | Jul 8, 2014 |
One Second After may not really be the "best book I have ever read" for it's literary merit. Yes, it is well written, well scripted, and realistic in tone and writing style. What makes it the "best" is how REAL it is. America is, as is readily admitted by our government and military, NOT ready for an EMP. And should the blast actually occur, I can absolutely see exactly the outcome as envisioned by Forstchen. A total breakdown of everything that we, today, take as being the human condition.

This book should be REQUIRED reading for every single person in this country. Once it happens ---

It's too late. ( )
  soireadthisbooktoday | May 4, 2014 |
I was surprisingly pleased with this book. Initially, I was a bit cautious because anything that has a foreword by Newt Gingrich is bound to be overly polemical. Instead, I found a pretty thrilling story that was terrifying but not unbelievable. The gist: An EMP attack over Kansas throws the United States back into the steam age overnight. Modern Americans aren't exactly prepared to live in the steam age. The story follows a couple key characters in a small North Carolina town who survive through the first year of the aftermath. Now, I am no stranger to post-apocalyptic fiction so I certainly had my skeptical hat on as I read the book. I was especially keen on picking out any political finger pointing in the storyline, but that never really surfaced. There is plenty of blame going around in the book but its mainly targeted towards a lazy comfortable society being slow to respond to warnings. The Prepper Community tends to be made up of conservative libertarians and those self-efficiency values certainly come through in the book but not really in a heavy handed way. Instead, I found myself asking all sorts of questions like "What would I be willing to do to protect my family from starvation, freezing to death, or hordes of hungry raiders coming down the interstate?" or "What are some small and easy things that I can do now that would help mitigate some of these reasonable threats?". Realisticaly, I don't think Alaska is going to get hit with an EMP attack. If anything, our biggest threat is an epic earthquake or a volcano blowing. I think a nuclear strike on J-BER is more likely than an EMP attack but still all of these things would basically lead to situations described in One Second After which is what made the book such a page turner for me. I kept waiting for a "jump the shark" moment that never happened. Instead, the book seems like a possible prequel to Cormac McCarthy's The Road. The premise all stands on whether or not you think something like an EMP attack is possible or likley. I want to believe that people will pull together in a disaster and help one another. On the other hand, all we have to do is look at footage from the typhoon that hit the Philippines a few months ago to see what happens when lots of hungry people get desperate. Grocery stores ransacked in two days, shots fired, corpses in the streets. Makes you think. Forstchen isn't too far off the mark in the way he depicts his little town in N.C. I can't wait to discuss this book with our book club this week. Lots of good conversation will be had. ( )
  BenjaminHahn | Mar 11, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 79 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
William R. Forstchenprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Barrett, JoeNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Barrett, JoeNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gingrich, NewtForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
For my daughter, Megan Marie Forstchen...and for those who protect her, that she may grow up in peace. And for my father, John Joseph Forstchen, who taught me what should truly be valued in life.
First words
John Matherson lifted the plastic bag off the counter.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
William R. Forstchen tells a story that might be all too terrifyingly real. A story in which one man struggles to save his family and his small North Carolina town after America loses a war that sends our nation back to the Dark Ages.

A war lost because of a terrifying weapon, an Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP).

And it may already be in the hands of our enemies.

Months before publication, One Second After has already been cited on the floor of Congress as a book all Americans should read. It has been discussed in the corridors of the Pentagon as a realistic look at EMPs and their awesome ability to send catastrophic shockwaves throughout the United States, literally within seconds. It is a weapon that The Wall Street Journal warned could shatter our nation. In the tradition of On the Beach, Fail-Safe, and Testament, this book, set in a typical American town, is a dire warning of what might be our future... and our end.

Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0765317583, Hardcover)

New York Times best selling author William R. Forstchen now brings us a story which can be all too terrifyingly real...a story in which one man struggles to save his family and his small North Carolina town after America loses a war, in one second, a war that will send America back to the Dark Ages...A war based upon a weapon, an Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP).  A weapon that may already be in the hands of our enemies.
Months before publication, One Second After has already been cited on the floor of Congress as a book all Americans should read, a book already being discussed in the corridors of the Pentagon as a truly realistic look at a weapon and its awesome power to destroy the entire United States, literally within one second. It is a weapon that the Wall Street Journal warns could shatter America. In the tradition of On the Beach, Fail Safe and Testament, this book, set in a typical American town, is a dire warning of what might be our future...and our end.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:03:36 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

One man struggles to save his family and his small North Carolina town after America loses a war, in one second, a war based upon an Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP) weapon that will send America back to the Dark Ages.

» see all 5 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
3 avail.
866 wanted
2 pay8 pay

Popular covers


Average: (3.69)
0.5 2
1 9
1.5 2
2 31
2.5 10
3 66
3.5 28
4 128
4.5 9
5 80


Two editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 93,881,641 books! | Top bar: Always visible