- Author Dylan Evans
Whipped through this book in one sitting, it was really easy to read and digest, but raised some really big questions. The author chronicles his idea to set up a self-sufficient camp of fictional survivors of a global catastrophe, to see if it was possible and how it would all unfold. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out as planned and he gradually became mentally ill with depression during the process, eventually leaving for a stint in hospital before departing altogether.
It’s clear the experiment had a huge impact on Evans, and was incredibly painful to write about, even so many years later, so it’s nice to see his refreshing honesty and a warm self-deprecating tone throughout. It’s slightly less fun to read about the project itself, because it seems so woefully disorganised. I mean, I can’t imagine doing such a thing but if I were to set up a self-sufficient camp, I might crack a book about seasonal gardening or woodworking beforehand.
Evans' views on the potential for global catastrophe seem to vary depending on his frame of mind, and that’s totally fine because it allows us to travel through various arguments for and against - from his days aiming to create artificial intelligence, through those where he wants the entire world wiped out so we can start over again, it makes you start questioning things yourself. So, it wasn’t a perfect project and it’s not a perfect book but it does all it can to get you thinking about the future of the planet, and that can only be a good thing.