Notes from an Apocalypse review: Laugh and scream to the bitter end

Mark O’Connell entertainingly explores the ways life on Earth could all go irreversibly wrong

Mark O’Connell: shows a nimble ability to shift between high and low registers

Mark O’Connell: shows a nimble ability to shift between high and low registers

I worry about Mark O’Connell. He worries a lot himself, mostly about the future, that great unknowable, once a glittering city but now more likely to be seen as a blasted wasteland. Is the future really not what it used to be? O’Connell thinks so: his first book To Be a Machine explored the possible meeting point where technology not only supplements humanity but renders it obsolete.

Now, and forgive me while I try to work out if the timing is ironic or perfect, O’Connell has published a book about the end of civilisation, in the middle of a global pandemic. I don’t know if his books are therapeutic ways of working out his anxieties, or if they drive them deeper as he researches more about his topics, but either way, I don’t want him to stop. They’re fun but filling.

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