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Apocalypse Pretty Soon: Travels in End-time America [Hardcover]

Alex Heard
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

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Book Description

10 Aug 1999
Over a ten-year period, intrepid cultural traveller Alex Heard has been sojourning among America's most intensely religious and political believers - sometimes dark, sometimes joyful, usually bizarre and very occasionally deadly groups who bring their own all-American spin to the biblical idea of the apocalypse. This is a funny and frightening look at millennial, utopian and futuristic subcultures. Among the cast of characters encountered are: a UFO cult whose members look forward to the mass landing of Angelic Space Brothers in 2001; trembling New Age penitents who fear our polluted planet is bent on taking highly-conscious revenge; a born-again Christian determined, on God's orders, to carry a 12-foot cross across every nation on earth; life-extensionists convinced that if they can only live long enough, science will make sure that they live forever; and a collection of other paranoid, credulous, and/or ecstatic countrymen.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 254 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Co.; 1st Edition edition (10 Aug 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393046893
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393046892
  • Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 14.8 x 3.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,004,738 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

From the Author

A Bleat from the Author
A note to apocalypse fans:

1) Starting on January 15, look for my Web site at www.apocalypseprettysoon.com, where I'll be providing ongoing "interactive" news about the End.

2) Not to quibble with the Kirkus writer, but I didn't make a mistake about the number of people killed at Oklahoma City. (I know how many people died there.) In the passage cited by the reviewer, I was talking about Timothy McVeigh's mindset before he touched off the bomb, about what he *intended* to do. He fully intended to kill as many people as he could, and he no doubt knew that the number could have been in the "hundreds." O.K., I'll stop whining now.


Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
One day in the fall of 1985, I was sitting in an office in Washington, D.C., plinking away at a piece of journalism I hated-it concerned public-school reform in Texas, which I hackishly labeled "a process at war with itself"-when I experienced a sensation of hot, head-achy dizziness. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well-written, amazing and highly entertaining! 13 July 1999
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
If this book doesn't land on the best-seller list there's no justice! My husband and I have been in a tug of war over it for the past several days (ever since I, having first discovered it, made the mistake of reading a few especially hilarious passages aloud to him). Heard's writing style is marvelous, and he relates his encounters with the book's incredible real-life cast of characters in such a way that the reader has the feeling of being right there, along for the (usually hilarious) ride. I was impressed with the author's fairness, wit, perseverance and writing ability. I loved this book so much that I hated for it to end, but I will revisit it more than once, and I am already recommending it heartily to all my friends. If I could afford to, I'd buy them all a copy!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just excellent! I couldn't put it down. 26 July 1999
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
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.) The author has spent an impressive amount of time interviewing the book's subjects, and the depth of his commitment and research is evident in the finished product. If you find human nature fascinating, if you're interested in a look at some of the groups and individuals (many with an astonishing following) who operate on the fringe of mainstream society, AND if you enjoy good writing with a healthy dose of wit...buy this book! Another thing that really impressed me is Heard's ability to relate his interactions and conversations with the people he tells us about in a personal way, but without letting himself become the focus of the stories. Extremely well-done, informative and entertaining; I will read this book more than once!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable and informative book 28 Mar 1999
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Informative, thorough journalism on selected subjects with an amiable, conversational, sincere,sometimes humorous, good-natured style. I learned a lot about different ideas and beliefs ranging from Greer's UFO search, to the hunt for the red heifer needed for the coming of the Third Temple, the independence desired by a Texas militia group, the Unarians' UFO beliefs, OBE's, to life extension advocacy and more -- with the darker, sunnier, sometimes oddball, and occasionally inspiring sides of each discussed. I'm glad I found this book. It does not purport to exhaust the subject of "millennialism," just to report what Heard found while interviewing subjects who sparked his interest in the broad areas of utopian thought, new age paranormal ideas, life extension, religious-based pre-millenial ideas, and other beliefs and ideas he encountered as this century closes. Topics encountered on this voyage even include the occult and telepathy.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent reading. 19 Mar 1999
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Funny, sad, and endless food for thought. Excellent satire and although not completely objective, a necessary read for anyone interested in the millinneum complex. Just finished reading the bestselling conspiracy thriller, 'Alien Rapture' by Brad Steiger and understand why they are going to make a movie of the novel. This author has cut to the root of our obsessive journey to understand cult fever and the paranoid circus that is being stirred up across America. Although, as most Americans, I DO BELIEVE, after reading 100s of documents released by the Freedom of Information requests on UFOs, that there is INDEED a COVERUP by our government.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Can't beat it 3 Feb 1999
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
If you read one book this year, make sure it's APS (as devotees call it). It's by turns funny, scary, profound, and friendly. For people spooked by the prospect of three zeroes in the year, this is the ultimate primer. Many people already know of Heard's genius from his oeuvre in the New Republic, New York Times, Washington Post, Outside, and Mademoiselle, among other pubs. But this book puts Heard on the map for all to see. Buy cases of this thing and send it to all your friends. Make this a best seller! That must be our mission as we lurch toward the new mill!
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By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Alex Heard is from Kansas by way of Mississippi. This background makes him an expert in primitive people and their mores. His book captures the spirit of the weirdness which pervades modern America. However, I am somewhat suprised that Heard did not write about the cult in Garden City, Kansas which believes that Jimmy Hoffa was buried under Garden City's infamous cement slab and that his spirit will arise in the Year 2000 and "take out" capitalists like the CEOs of Microsoft, Exxon and Morgan-Quitno Press.
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By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
I picked up this book on a lark. What a treat it turned out to be. What makes it so memorable is the author's very funny (but very fair) first person encounters with the various weirdos, hardcore dreamers, eccentrics, alarmists and madmen/women who leap off the pages. I loved this book and can recommend it to anyone; from those wondering what all this Y2K fuss is about, to those stockpiling food and weapons in preparation for the upcoming end of the world.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Long-time Heard fan sez latest work is boffo!! 3 Feb 1999
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Heard's career has reached a new zenith with this outstanding tome. His lacerating wit and devastating satire destroys the "school board member mentality" of various big city washouts and others unable to cut it in the real world. From Heard's college days at Vanderbilt, he has shown the wry wit that makes this a great read from start to finish. His ability to make us take notice of the everyday bufoons should delight readers everywhere.
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