cover image Apocalypse Any Day Now: Deep Underground with America’s Doomsday Preppers

Apocalypse Any Day Now: Deep Underground with America’s Doomsday Preppers

Tea Krulos. Chicago Review, $16.99 trade paper (240p) ISBN 978-1-61373-641-8

In this sprightly travelogue, journalist Krulos (Heroes in the Night) takes the reader inside the subculture of “doomsday preppers,” who spend their free time and money acquiring the skills and supplies that they anticipate they will need to survive “TEOTWAWKI”—the end of the world as we know it. While Krulos does not shy away from describing the strains of paranoia and political disaffection that have often characterized preppers in popular media, his broad-minded exploration tends to emphasize the diversity of motive and spirit among survival enthusiasts. Some really do believe that doomsday is impending, whether in the form of government conspiracy, global warming, aliens, divine apocalypse, or other catastrophic event. Others seem to be motivated mostly by the pleasure of self-reliance and the security of being prepared for unforeseen emergencies; the participants in Zombie Con and the Wasteland Weekend festival (“like a Mad Max-themed Ren faire”) clearly approach their prepper activities as a reason to exercise imagination and build community, and Krulos’s participant-observer adventures with these groups are some of the most engaging chapters of the book. Appendices offer information about the organizations mentioned, busted doomsday predictions, and recommended apocalypse fiction. This chatty, fast-paced volume will entertain those who enjoy reading about unusual subcultures. (Apr.)