Mark O'Connell

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Notes from an Apocalypse

book | 2020
UK → Granta (Ed. Max Porter)
US → Doubleday (Ed. Yaniv Soha)

By the author of the award-winning To Be a Machine, a deeply felt book about our anxious present tense—and coming to grips with the future

We're alive in a time of worst-case scenarios: The weather has gone uncanny. Our old post-war alliances are crumbling. Everywhere you look there's an omen, a joke whose punchline is the end of the world. How do we live in the shadow of such a grim future? What does the world hold for our children? What might it be like to live through the worst? And what is anybody doing about it?

Dublin-based writer Mark O'Connell ("wryly humorous, cogently insightful" —NPR) is possessed by these questions. In Notes from an Apocalypse, he crosses the globe in pursuit of answers. He tours survival bunkers in South Dakota. He ventures to New Zealand, a favored retreat of billionaires banking on civilization's collapse. And he bears witness to those places the future has already visited—real-life portraits of the end of the world as we know it. In doing so, he offers a unique window into our apocalyptic imagination.

Part tour, part pilgrimage, Notes from an Apocalypse is an affecting and hopeful meditation on our alarming present moment. With insight, humanity, and wit, O'Connell leaves you to wonder: What if the end of the world isn't the end of the world?


Claire Nozieres manages the translation rights for Notes from an Apocalypse

Translation Rights Sold

Il Saggiatore
The Open Books Co.
Eksmo Publishers
Can Yayinlari
Notes from an Apocalypse Reviews

Utterly distinctive [...] terrifying, but blissful. 

The Bookseller (Editor's Choice)

A more-than-companionable guide


[Notes from an Apocalypse] is a wryly humorous if somewhat overwrought rumination that’s more a symptom than a diagnosis of Western civilization’s apocalyptic discontents.

Publishers Weekly

Notes From An Apocalypse should be depressing, but isn't. O'Connell has a rare ability to be blokeish and woke, funny and frightened and sound: this is a profoundly intelligent book.

Anne Enright

Both wildly funny and oddly moving.

Ed Caesar

As the world grapples with the unfolding coronavirus crisis, this book takes on grim new relevance.

The New York Times

A cross between Bill Bryson & David Foster Wallace.. a fretful but very funny book with which to while away the days in self-isolation

The Times

Notes From an Apocalypse is such a fantastic book. It's harrowing, tender-hearted and funny as hell. O'Connell proves himself to be a genius guide through all the circles of imagined and anticipated doom. Read it, then immediately buy a copy for your "but what's the worst that could happen?" friend.

Jenny Offill
Author of WEATHER

Anyone with open eyes lives today bound by apocalyptic fears for the future and the maddening same-ness that defines the present day. Notes from an Apocalypse is a penetrating investigation into that new uncanny, which shapes both our collective indifference and our climate rage.

David Wallace-Wells
Author of The Uninhabitable Earth

A quirky look at the end-of-timers preparing for the apocalypse. 

The Sunday Times

This witty, profound, and beautifully told story will appeal to doomsday worriers and nonworriers alike.

Library Journal (starred review)
Full Review

An around-the-end-of-the-world tour in the company of a smart, funny, and thoughtful guide [...] a contribution to the doom-and-gloom genre that might actually cheer you up.

Full Review

Mark O'Connell's voice is funny, charming and humane, even as he contemplates the grimmest outcomes of the 21st century climate catastrophe. Notes from an Apocalypse is funny and endlessly thought provoking, like Dante's Inferno, if Hell was full of libertarian Tech bros, YouTube survivalists and guys who are really into extreme camping’

Colin Barrett
Author of Young Skins

Amelia Atlas
+1 212 556 5600
Email Amelia Atlas
Karolina Sutton
+44 (0)20 7393 4428
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Translation Rights
Claire Nozieres
+44 (0)20 7393 4425
Email Claire Nozieres