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Apocalypse Pretty Soon: Travels In End-Time America Paperback – January 4, 2000
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Heard gets inside their closed systems to poke fun from within, and often puts things in historical context. You'll understand mainstream apocalyptic literature like the bestselling Left Behind thrillers far better once Heard briefs you on the whole range of stranger biblical end-times interpreters. Like David Gelernter's 1939: The Lost World of the Fair, Apocalypse Pretty Soon has a poignant sense of what commonsense culture has lost in giving up its millennial dreams.
Heard is valuable because he's thorough and genuinely interested in why Arthur Blessitt finds it blessed to drag a 105-pound cross across the globe, surviving attacks by mamba snake, crocodile, Nicaraguan firing squad, and LAPD choke hold. His book is madly funny, and deeply sad. --Tim Appelo --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Heard, it seems, tries to be objective and open-minded about each group at first. But when faced with the absurdity of their belief systems and after getting to know the people that form the leadership of these groups, he can't help but present a slightly more skeptical opinion. By the end of each chapter, after Heard has presented his study of the group, it's leadership, tactics, and beliefs, it's hard to not think these people are out of their minds.
The book is also a fine study in the unusual aspects of the human psyche. From the egomaniacal and seemingly deranged leaders to their willing and needy followers, Heard gives us a hard look at some of the personalities that make up these fringe groups.
"Apocalypse" is an ambiguous word, and the selection of odd beliefs in "Apocalypse Pretty Soon" plays on that ambiguity. There's no obvious tie between the folks who believe that Aliens will soon descend to Earth and give us enlightenment and cool technology, the supplement-megadose folks who believe that with the right pills they can live a real long time, and the Out of Body Experience folks who believe in astral travel. Heard gives us a few insights into (or guesses about) their characters that suggest some reasons people might believe these odd things, but he draws no general lessons and comes to no general conclusion.
It's an easy and enjoyable read, about some interesting people. It doesn't go beyond the anecdotes, and for that reason left me somewhat unsatisfied, but it's by no means a bad book.
The book stands as a testament to those outside the mainstream. Alternatively very funny and very sad, it's well worth reading in order to better understand the fringes of the great social experiment in this country.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Is it true that Charles Louis Spiegel killed Ruth Norman? Find out in my exciting new book, "Who Killed Princess Uriel?"Published on June 25, 2009 by Aerobliss
By his own admission, Alex Heard's first chapter (deemed his "best" by reviewers) seems to be a personally motivated, whining, and revenge-seeking diatribe against a New... Read morePublished on December 6, 2000
How this really informative, well written and highly entertaining book missed being a best-seller is beyond me! Read morePublished on July 21, 2000 by Ann Steinmetz
I first discovered Heard through his Washington Post Magazine column, Out There, which appeared in the mid-80s. What a joy to find an entire book by this splendidly funny writer! Read morePublished on January 10, 2000
This is one of those books you'll want to tell others about. (In fact, I've already bought an additional copy for a friend. Read morePublished on July 25, 1999
don't forget to check out the feature undertones of this masterpeice. the chicken hawk and the field mouse will be the next one to comePublished on May 2, 1999