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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

One Second After by William Forstchen

I had a vague notion of what an EMP was before reading this book because it was used in a 24 episode but I had no idea just how destructive it could be. This book is a fictionalized account of what could happen if an EMP-an electromagnetic pulse bomb-was set off over the U.S. Granted, this is fiction and just one person's opinion, but the idea that anything remotely resembling what was in this book could happen is frightening. With a forward by Newt Gingrich and an afterword by Captain Bill Sanders of the U.S. Navy, One Second After is a frightening possibility.
While an EMP doesn't damage the human body at all, it causes immediate burnout and failure of electrical and electronic systems. Because it can be detonated at high altitudes, the effects can be felt over a very large area. If detonated over Kansas, one bomb could affect the entire continental United States.
The book details just how dependent we are on electronics, in ways that I had never considered. Most vehicles, including cars, trains, and planes, now use electronics to operate and would be disabled immediately. We would be thrust back to a much earlier time and would be absolutely unprepared to deal with it. My husband read this before I did and started thinking through our family's preparedness. We are going to be updated some things and stocking up.
Granted, this is a novel. How realistic is it? Not sure. But it sure does give me pause. If you want more information, check out www.onesecondafter.com
There were some obscenities but not too bad except for one particular character who had a foul mouth. That part is found on pages 135 to 144. That word is found one more time in the book but I am not sure exactly where. There is a lot of violence as the social order deteriorates and martial law is put into effect. Rated R.
Oh, one final criticism, there were lots of should of, could of, would of, instead of should have, could have, would have. It drove me crazy! Where was the editor?

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