Saturday, August 11, 2012

The End: 50 Apocalyptic Visions From Pop Culture That You Should Know About...Before It's Too Late by Laura Barcella

There are some days where it seems like the end of the world could happen at any time. Global warming, terrorism, zombies: the end is least in the movies. Films, books, plays, and art show some of the ways that people have expressed their views on the end of the world. In The End, 50 different visions of the apocalypse are explored in detail, examining how the world ends (and how likely it is to happen in real life).

There was something oddly reassuring about reading this book. Almost every scenario, whether it included viruses or zombies or the flooding of the entire earth, was said to be extremely unlikely to happen in real life - or, if it did, to have very different results than are shown in pop culture. I knew that I was going to like this book when one of the first things Laura Barcella talked about was the scarcity of women in strong, leading roles during "the end." Why is the apocalypse such a male-dominated event? Where are women while the world is ending? I also love serious explorations of popular culture; while this book maintains a light, often humorous tone, it does believe that there is something to be gained from examining how authors, directors, and artists have positioned the end of the world. Like many of Zest Books' other titles, this just screams "high interest" and is worth considering for inclusion in a library's non-fiction collection.

Check out Laura Barcella's website.

I received a review copy from NetGalley courtesy of Zest books.

Find it at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt's website.

Read it with:
The Stand by Stephen King
How to Fight, Lie, and Cry Your Way to Popularity (And a Prom Date) by Nikki Roddy
Reel Culture by Mimi O'Connor
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
Z for Zachariah by Robert C. O'Brien 

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