- Edited to add: this very short impression of Dr. Forstchen's One Second After is based on the reading of it as a novel, and as I mention on the next page of the thread, I am a harsh critic when it comes to fiction. I read upwards of 90 novels each year, and typically find only three or four among them that I think are well written and finely crafted.
One Second After should probably be classified as an important book. It's well-researched subject matter is chilling and eye-opening. On that basis I'm glad I read it. However....
But as a novel, it pretty much sucked eggs.
William R. Forstchen is a Professor of History and Faculty Fellow at Montreat College, in Montreat, North Carolina.
The first-person protagonist of his novel is John--SURPRISE!--a Professor of History and Faculty Fellow at Montreat College, in Montreat, North Carolina.
John is a colonel in the U.S. Army, was a step away from earning his star, but Forstchen has no actual military experience. And it shows.
Forstchen also has no MFA degree. Obviously. To say this novel is stilted would be to ask Shaquile O'Neal to walk around on 10-foot-tall stalks of balsa wood. The dialogue is interchangeable: no distinguishable intonation or character: anyone could have spoken anyone else's lines. And am I the only one who was put-off by John's two-pack-a-day smoking habit? A U.S. Army Colonel in the 21st Century? Really?
Good premise; good research. Thought provoking.
Alas, written by a history teacher, obviously so, and written poorly. Not written by a novelist.
I won't be reading anything else by William R. Forstchen because life is far too short for mediocre writing. How he sold two follow-up books to this C-grade novel, I will never know.