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Pocket Guide to the Apocalypse
Arthor: Jason Boyett
Publisher: Relevant Books
Released 2005

"This guy is gonna be so left behind" - Jerry Jenkins

The Left Behind books have sold what, something in the number of twenty bazillion copies combined?  They have?  Huh.  Well, it can't be  because they're very good.  No, it's because North America has  a serious love affair with all things apocalyptic.  The End of the World is big business from salvation tracts to Hollywood!  And boy, am I seriously tired of it (particularly the bit where convincing people of the Rapture seems more important than, I don't know,  telling them about JESUS).  Jason Boyett brings hilarious relief with the Pocket Guide To the Apocalypse!.

This 161 page "field manual for the end of the world" is equally informative as it is dry, witty and brilliantly teasing.  Chapters  include "A Brief History of the World" (detailing the numerous times  prophets, wackos, christians and others have predicted the end of the  world... wait a second...); "The Apocalyptionary:  A glossary of the End," "Candidates For the Anti-Christ" including cases for and  against Bill Clinton, Bill Gates and of course that favorite  candidate for the anti-christ, THE POPE (Any pope will do); "Fun With Eschatology" (A Painless Introduction To Apocalyptic Theory); and finally "The Endies:  A Salute to End-Times Entertainment."  You bet the Left Behind books and movies are listed and saluted as the trashy, but fun entertainment they are.   Easy to read chapters and headings make _The Pocket Guide_ a pleasure to read.  There really aren't any glaring faults with the writing, organization or  presentation.

Listen, if you're absolutely SURE the world is going to end in the next three years and you've correctly interpreted Revelations in regard to the exact order of the end times (or you believe Tim Lahaye knows how the world's going to end better than Jesus "No man can know the hour except my father in Heaven" Christ), you probably aren't going to like this book.  Not because it bashes that particular segment of believers (Rapture Rabid Fundies), but because the Pocket Guide has the audacity to give different eschatological theories _equal time_ (and equal teasing.)  There doesn't seem to be an ideological agenda here; The Pocket Guide is simply a good- spirited yet completely tongue-in-cheek (if occasionally ludicrous)  look at all this end of days wackiness.  Jason Boyett brings the subject (and hopefully some believers) down to earth with a clever, skewering wit and what translates across as a loving - if baffled -  chuckle.

You know, it's kind of how I imagine God reacts to his children's over-eager crusades and human mistakes.  With loving - if baffled - amusement and a chuckle.

Strongly recommended for skeptics, eschatology lovers with senses of  humour, people who don't like to read, people who like to read, definitely that guy with the cardboard sign down the street, and Tim Lahaye.  Seriously.

Ryan Ro /


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