The question that instantly provokes debate and discussion: When and how will the world eventually end? The Mayan’s predict that it will be 21st December 2012. Artists and writers Steven Appleby and Art Lester’s new book ‘The Coffee Table Book of Doom’ contemplates just exactly how they think ‘doom’ will strike.
They not only list the various ways in which the Earth will eventually get destroyed due to the intervention of humans but also talk about the morbid fascination that we all seem to possess in imagining a doomsday. On the positive side, the book is interesting enough to attract your attention due to the colourful illustrations. The illustrations detail humorous instances of our never-ending obsession with our appearances such as spotty faces which can apparently fast-track our pass to doom. It also ridicules our need to list the grievances of our lives and sarcastically comments on how we would prefer the possibility of the world coming to an end rather than deal with our problems.
However, I think that while this book makes an entertaining read and allows us to laugh at ourselves, it is unable to do justice to the seriousness of environmental issues. The style of the writing often seems to sway between being concerned about the issues of our planet and attempting to maintain a distant and mocking tone. Hence as a reader I felt very confused about the intentions of the authors, hidden behind the humor, leaving me with the impression of a book that starts with good intentions but then ultimately loses sight of its aim.