Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Book Review: The Little book of the end of the world by Ken Mooney

From the Mayans to modern-day survivalists, a tongue-in-cheek look at the best and worst predictions of Armageddon

Whether it's a mighty battle between ancient gods, the Second Coming of a Biblical savior, or a pesky Millennial computer virus, we’ve always wondered how the world would end. And whether we’d be (un)lucky enough to see it. This book explores some of the theories about the end of days, looking from religion to science and everything in between. Some are silly enough to laugh at, others might scare you to death. Either way, you’ll find the End is nigh; it's right between these pages.

My Review:
This is not normally the kind of book that I read. I generally only read non fiction on my favourite topics, but I was intrigued as to what was going to be in it, so I figured why not give it a go? I certainly think about the End of the World enough times, though the only time I was really uneasy was when they started up that particle colliding thing to replicate the Big Bang. I was a bit jumpy about that one...

So lets get into the book. What did I like about it? Firstly, the ammount of research that went into it was pretty impressive. The author has looked at a range of topics, researched each one AND put it into language that non science dudettes like me can understand, which is always helpful. It certainly could encourage a reader to read more on some of the individual topics that are covered. The fact that there are so many topics covered means that there will be something of interest for each person who picks up the book, and there will also be those 'huh, I didn't know that' moments when you learn something new. I liked that.

My favourite parts of the book were the bits where Greek and Norse mythology were mentioned, the dinosaurs, volcanoes, the Crusades, End of Days, natural disasters and the modern day end of the world predictions ie that pesky particle colliding thing which gave me a few sleepless nights! These subjects have always been interesting to me so it was fun to read about them again. There was the added advantage of learning about things in these subjects that I hadn't heard of before ie the Door to Hell. That sounds really fascinating and I plan to read more about it. There was also a very nice summary of the Book of Revelations and its interpretations which was a lot easier than trying to digest it myself in the Bible.

As there is such a range of topics to read about, there are always going to be things you are less interested in reading about. I'm not really into extinct religions, the beliefs of current religious groups and cults, philosophers and scientists. However you don't have to be interested in every single section or topic as each is short, and covers just a few pages before moving onto something else, so you never really feel bogged down by lots of things you don't connect with.

The first half of the book is certainly my favourite part, as it has a lot of amusing comments, funny cartoons and a lot of subjects that interest me. The second half of the book has less humour but is by no means uninteresting. Overall the book is interesting and educational and certainly worth a read. 
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