The Coffee Table Book of Doom, by Steven Appleby & Art Lester

Review published on June 11, 2012.Reviewed by Sara Garland

This book is intended just for what it says on the cover, acting as wonderful lighthearted, yet theoretically correct look at all things related to doom and the end of the world! Left on my coffee table, we’ve had quite a few visitors whilst my husband has recovered from surgery and it has acted as a magnet for those with an irresistible curiosity to dip inside and see what it’s all about. Both my teenage children have taken it away for a further read and appreciated the humour as well.

A bit of a mix of the Horrible History cartoon style sense of humour, but about physics, the cosmos and eco-system and how it could all end – eventually. It takes a heavy, arguably, depressing subject matter and makes it funny, concise and easily understood. You quickly get drawn into the subject matter, which is bite size, swift and easy to digest. From being able to describe gamma wave pulse, solar flares to the climate change and species depletion, the book also covers technological doom, medical doom, religious doom and more.

Pick it up, put it down, dip in as you feel like it, it’s designed to be best enjoyed in short bursts. It’s probably best suited to those with a darker sense of humour, as the book having a double-edged sword of comedy and serious information, does as it progresses toward the potential depleted existence and demise of some species such as bees and fish, become more realistic and tangible, so some people may start to reflect more intensely about where our world as we know it is heading. For this reason it may get a mixed reaction. But it aims to tap into our fascination with prophecy and what could cause the end of the world and is meant to be read and enjoyed, not too heavily dwelt upon.

Probably a book you give or receive as a present, but an intriguing and unusual read all the same. The illustrations are fantastic. If not the coffee table, I reckon it may also be found in a few people’s bathrooms too!!!



Hannibal: Enemy of Rome, by Ben Kane


The Bleeding Land, by Giles Kristian

You may also like

Post a new comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.