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January 23, 2016 / Leslie

Lights Out by Ted Koppel

A Cyberattack, A Nation Unprepared, Surviving the Aftermath

A Rapid Review

LightsOutPublisher: Crown Books | Random House Audio | Non-Fiction
Format: 8 hours | 288 pages Rating: 4 stars
Audio Listening Level: Easy | Pub Date: Oct 2015

In this New York Times bestselling investigation, Ted Koppel reveals that a major cyberattack on America’s power grid is not only possible but likely, that it would be devastating, and that the United States is shockingly unprepared.

Just the thought of no power for more than a few days gives me nightmares. Sure, we can handle a couple of days with no electricity, but according to this book, only one in ten of us would survive a year under those conditions. So how likely is it that this could happen? It depends on whom you believe.

Ted Koppel thoroughly researched the likelihood of an attack on our power grid and how it could be carried out, and his findings are troubling. There are multiple ways to take down a huge section of the North American grid, which is interconnected. Our government sees it as an unlikely scenario, and if it did happen it would be localized.

Some of this reminds me of Y2K where none of the doomsday predictions happened. But were they prevented because of the huge drive to correct deficiencies in the computer code? I think so. And while there is some scary stuff here, I feel it’s better for the public to know about our vulnerabilities than to stick our heads in the sand. The bad guys already know – we aren’t giving away any secrets.

A worthwhile read and an excellent choice to listen to.

Audio production:
While I do have a copy of the book, I spent more than half my time listening to the audio book. Ted Koppel did the narration and he didn’t disappoint. With perfect pacing and emphasis, he conveyed a needed sense of urgency.

[Audio Sample available on PRH website.]

An Under My Apple Tree Rapid Review
Source: Review copy provided by Random House Audio.
© 2016 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.
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Leave a Comment
  1. SciFi and Scary / Jan 23 2016 2:41 pm

    Oooh, this actually looks really interesting!


  2. Suko / Jan 23 2016 2:48 pm

    This sounds like an interesting and informative cautionary tale. Thanks for a great review!


  3. BermudaOnion / Jan 23 2016 8:06 pm

    That sounds scary. I’m sure I’m one of those who wouldn’t survive.


    • Leslie / Jan 23 2016 8:39 pm

      I was thinking the same thing about myself. As much as I like nature, I still need civilization. Roughing it for me is a hotel without room service!


  4. Kay / Jan 24 2016 3:38 pm

    You could add me to the ‘not so much nature’ category. I saw notice of this one earlier, but yours is the first review I’ve seen. I think this sounds scary and totally possible.


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