Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Book review: One Second After

Having read the reviews others have written about this book, I let my curiosity overcome my wallet and I bought it as a Christmas present for myself. I settled in on a Sunday afternoon and was soon halfway through the book. I finished it Monday evening while half watching 3ohEight play the newest Call of Duty release, an awesome game and tactical training opportunity. I am his tactical adviser.

Anyway, the book starts out in the first chapter with an introduction to the main character and his family, with a few neighbors thrown in for good measure. Chapter 2 gets right into the action and from there you are either drawn into the story or you set the book aside and go back to burying your head in the sand.

The storyline is plausible, and seasoned prepper's will stand in their chair and scream at the main character to pull his head out of his posterior and recognize what is going on. He eventually does and starts to take action.

Shortages of ammo, medicine, food, wild game and the inevitable showdown with disease and an army of cannibalistic bad guys all add to the storyline. EMP disabled vehicles are scattered everywhere and with some ingenuity, some are coaxed back into use by bypassing the computerized electronics.

Without giving away too much of the story, I can say that it was worth the price I paid on The price on the back of the book is listed as $14.99 but I got it for $10.11.

I feel that the book has a place in any Survival Fiction library and does provide a lot of food for thought. So, I would recommend it to anyone who likes to read end of the world, TEOTWAKI type stories and want a glimpse of what may be in our near future as “the weak say, I am strong”, and lash out at the Great Satan.

Buy it.
Read it.
Learn from it.


  1. You had me at...seasoned preppers! lol
    Ordering it today for Big Daddy!
    Thanks for the review.

  2. I enjoyed the book as well. Really sobering to contemplate having a loved one who is dependent on medications to stay alive like the main character's daughter was. That is something to take care of now, if at all possible.

    For a military man, the main character sure did have a hard time wrapping himself around the fact that they had been hit - I thought EMP was old hat to military personnel.

    EMP would definitely be a way to hurt America in one fell swoop - we are so dependent on technology for everyday functions, its scary.

    Thanks again for the review.

  3. Cath, glad you found the review useful.

    Anonymous, I am surprised that evaporative cooling was not used to refrigerate the insulin. I know there are methods used in Africa where there is no electricity.

  4. Yup, a swamp box works pretty well, but any area with humidity defeats the effects. Down here in south Texas, our generally high humidity really does defeat this technology, unfortunately. I think much the same happens with the clay pot filled with damp sand, though I understand it works better with humidity (really should try this experiment myself).

    If SHTF ever happens, I'm gonna miss A/C big time! I never turn on the heat in our home, but August in south Texas just ain't pretty! Right now, mid 40's to heat up to high 60's this afternoon - perfect.

    Have a great weekend Scout.

  5. Awesome review- another addition to my library I am sure.

    My life with the ESkimo Stefansson

    Primitive dwellings using a simple seal oil lamp maintain temperatures between 60 and 70 degrees farenheit on the coldest winter night of fifty below zero.

    Eskimo houses were constructed with a hole in the roof to allow in light. The hole which was most often left open was covered with Bear intestine. The base of the house was five to six foot thick made of earth and sod and tapered and thinned out towards the top which was about six foot square. The top had about six inches of earth on it. The center of the house was about nine feet high and the walls at the edge were about five feet high. The opening on the roof was about three foot square. 3 or 4 lamps burned continuously and one of the most important duties of the wife was to make sure they didn’t smoke or go out. The entrance to the house was a twenty to forty foot shed-covered tunnel about four feet lower than the floor of the house.

    The cold air in the tunnel would not rise into the house which was kept warm by the four lamps at a temperature of sixty to seventy degrees fahrenheit even when the outside temperature was fifty below zero! They would sit with only shorts on in the house. So they would be bare below the knees and above the waist. After five months Stefansson began to enjoy the boiled fish they would eat for supper. The entryway and the hole in the roof were kept open most of the time, but especially during cooking. The only time the entryway would be covered would be to prevent a baby from falling into it or puppies coming in from outside and this was only rarely. Stefansson would usually sleep next to the tunnel entryway to get more fresh air. Each corner of the room had an elevation for sleeping that was covered by skins as was the floor. The houses at first smelled bad but soon you realized that it was the cooking of food that gave the smell to the house. The lamp is a halfmoon soapstone about two or three inches deep kept almost full and the wick is a powdered ivory (walrus), sawdust, dried moss ground in the fingers, manila rope from the whalers with a strand taken and chopped into tiny pieces. The wick is made from the powder laid in a strip which the oil soaks. A piece of fat is suspended over the flame and when the wick dries the flame gets brighter and hence hotter and more fat drips into the halfmoon lampbowl which then fills and wets the wick more which cuts down the height of the flame and this works by itself for about six or eight hours.

    Stefansson claimed that the natural ingenuity, friendliness, charitableness of the eskimo was a universal trait of man and that there were really no superior or inferior races which appears to contradict a statement he made about the indians compared to the eskimo when he first encountered the eskimo after having been exposed to the indians. (This puts me in mind of the oft used phrase of Abraham Lincoln “the family of man”, DHD Sr .) The open center of the house was like a club pip on playing cards it was twelve foot square with an alcove in each corner which sometime would lead to another house. Stefansson lived in one which connected to the uncle of the Eskimo with whom he lived. The entire compound accommodated 23 people.

  7. My Mother got a copy from the library or a friend or something and read it. She immediately went out and got some canned food and such. She also got my a copy for Christmas.

    I read it in one day. Very interesting. Solid entertainment value and some real lift lessons. It has gotten me rethinking some things.

  8. Hiya Selous! Finished the book yesterday and I loved it! It was supposed to be a present for Big Daddy but I couldn't help myself! hehe
    Thanks for the review!
    So what else are yah reading?