by Nathaniel Rich

Reviewer Rating:


Mitchell Zukor thinks about disaster for a living. A mathematical and imaginative genius, he is head hunted away from actuarial work in order to construct scenarios for Future World, a New York City startup. Future World's promise--we will tell you about every possible catastrophe--from nuclear attack to ecological disaster--and since you can say you were "prepared" for it, no one can hold your company liable for damages. As Zukor immerses himself in the world of selling fear, and profiting greatly from it, he begins to wonder whether he is conducting his life in the way he intended. Would it be better to be like college friend Elsa Bruner, always on the edge of medical disaster herself, who has started a collective farm in Maine? When a devastating hurricane strikes NYC, Zukor starts to questions whether he is meant to profit from worst case scenarios come true, and whether a life immersed in fear is one worth living. Vivid descriptions and a great sense of place and a near future time. Not your typical disaster/apocalyptic book, this one is for folks who like their doomsday with a side of (not heavy handed) philosophy and ethics. Because the future is not what it used to be.

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