(2011) Manda Scott, Bantam Press, hrdbk, £6.99, 127pp, ISBN 978-0-593-06993-6
As the opening pages say: 'The first thing you need to know about 2012 is that it's just like any other year. And the second thing you need to know … is that it really isn't …'.
This is one of those very small books, stocking fillers, that appear in their plethora in the shops each year just in time for Christmas. As such books go, it is better than many. The print is large and clear, making each page very quick to read - really only an idea for you to grab before you move onto the next page and its idea. The illustrations add nicely to the feel and a sense of humour runs throughout.
The basis of the book is that the Mayan calendars predict that the world will end in 2012 - the 21st of December to be exact (and the Mayan calendars are nothing if not exact). At least, 'end of the world' is one interpretation; another is the end of the current 13 baktun cycle (or World Age). The latter sounds more optimistic!
It is worth remembering that there are many religious and spiritual groups also saying that the world, at least the world as we know it, is due for a Big Shake Up Real Soon Now. Furthermore, the term 'paradigm shift' is creeping into many predictions from 'serious', more 'factual', sources such as think-tank reports from governments and industries. So there may be more to this than you care to admit … but I leave you to think about that for yourselves.
It briefly (very briefly, of course, as it really is very small) covers topics such as the Mayan calendars, Mayan astronomy, the impact of the Spanish, crystal skulls, technological singularity, and various ways in which the world might end. It is a fun little book and I enjoyed reading it.
(Editor: This book was researched by the author for her other (a fiction) book 2012: The Crystal Skull that Peter has also reviewed.)
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