Book Review: The Coffee Table Book of Doom

From asteroid strikes to climate change, in today’s uncertain economy doomsday theories abound but they have long been a part of the human experience. Although this book by cartoonist and illustrator Appleby along with author and Unitarian minister Lester pokes great good fun at the assorted end of the world scenarios, it is actually grounded in the latest solid science. Copious hilarious cartoon drawings and witty captions keep things light while exploring some very serious issues such as how daily life will change when the fossil fuel supplies run out. More pressing is the problem of pharmaceutical companies scraping new antibiotic research and development in favor of pushing profit margins with Viagra and other nonessential medications. Such a course paves the way for rapidly evolving bacteria to gain the advantage with the emergence of superbugs that do not respond to any antibiotic currently available. As sobering as these topics are, the authors keep the tone upbeat, even laugh out loud funny as they look at the myriad of ways humanity and the planet in general can snuff it. While the subject matter is adult, the excellent presentation makes this book suitable for preteens and up. Note the date on this article may be incorrect due to importing it from our old system.