Have a Nice Doomsday (3 stars)

NICHOLAS GUYATT

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Have a Nice Doomsday (Ebury)

SOCIAL ANALYSIS

In this bizarre and quite frankly worrying book, Nicholas Guyatt journeys to the United States Bible Belt to find out why 50 million Americans believe that the apocalypse will take place in their own lifetimes. Guyatt’s main goal is to interview apocalyptic (rather than apoplectic) Christians, some of whom are making large sums by selling doomsday books/videos/parapher-nalia to the general public. Others are making friends with staffers at the White House.

Guyatt has none of the polemic zeal of Michael Moore, faithfully transcribing tracts of the interviews, and refraining from hysterical laughter; this is quite a feat when some guy is telling you that the head of the EU may turn out to be the Antichrist. Although this approach is noble-minded, the lack of a strong authorial voice does sometimes mean that the book struggles to tie together its calm sense, crazy prophecy and historical titbits. It also, predictably, provides information rather than an answer.

(Hannah Adcock)

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