“It seems like people are always talking about the end of the world, doesn’t it? Y2K, the Mayan Apocalypse, Blood Moon Prophecies, nuclear war, killer robots, you name it. In Apocalypse Any Day Now, journalist Tea Krulos travels the country to try to puzzle out America’s obsession with the end of days. Along the way he meets doomsday preppers—people who stockpile supplies and learn survival skills—as well as religious prognosticators and climate scientists. He camps out with the Zombie Squad (who use a zombie apocalypse as a survival metaphor); tours the Survival Condos, a luxurious bunker built in an old Atlas missile silo; and attends Wasteland Weekend, where people party like the world has already ended. Frightening and funny, the ideas Krulos explores range from ridiculously outlandish to alarmingly near and present dangers.”
This was such a interesting listen and one that ending up surprising me, in a really good way. I thought it would be a fun book as I don’t really know anything about American Preppers/ Survivalists, save for what crops up in the media, films and books. You know Rambo types who are really wacky and paranoid willing to kill anyone who comes near them?
Maybe it’s because I was a teenager in the 1980s and remember the very real threat of WW3, that I’m quite blasé about the threat of nuclear war and the end of the world. I remember having nightmares at the time and was very anxious about what was going on between the Kremlin and the Whitehouse. Even though there’s been sabre rattling between Trump and Kim Jong-un recently it doesn’t feel as real as it did back in the 80s.
Some of the groups the author met were so paranoid about the end of the world in some form that they have regular practice drills with their families and animals so they’ll be ready when it happens. These groups are also convinced that the government will have something to do with the end that they’ll need to arm themselves to stay safe.
There were other groups who were keen to prepare in the event of natural disasters and not relying on the government to help them out. This seemed very sensible and not at all paranoid so definitely breaking the stereotypes.
I also enjoyed listening to the chapter about climate change. I initially thought I might skip this as I thought it would be a very depressing chapter but actually it wasn’t.
Living on an island covered in WW2 bunkers from the Nazi Occupation, the chapter about the doomsday bunkers of the rich and famous was rather strange. Why anyone would want to live in an re-furbished ex government cold war bunker I don’t know, but I guess if you’re filthy rich what else are you going to spend your money on?
I thoroughly recommend this audiobook if you enjoy nonfiction with a quirky subject.
Thanks so much to Hope Roy at Tantor Media for my digital review copy.