Thanks to Readers First, this was sent my way prior to publication, and whilst I was excited at the idea of the book, I had no idea how much I would enjoy it. Books that try and combination factual with humour are becoming more common but are still an art to be refined in most cases. Here, however, we have the finished article.
The book takes the situations proposed in various major films, and breaks down the science to see what, if anything of it, is possible. It’s a hilarious, eventful, exciting and somewhat terrifying journey throughout some of Hollywood’s biggest titles, and the puns are simply fantastic. I know I already said it was hilarious, but the puns alone deserve their own comment.
It was a combination between anthropology and anthology traveling everywhere from the space to the depths of the ocean, searching for how humans could – and would – possibly cope with any of what was proposed by these films. Edwards and Brooks have handled this concept so beautifully, and I can’t wait to read their previous work, “Science(ish)”, which seems like it would be just as enjoyable.
Not only was it amusing but it was educating. Secondary school science feels like many (MANY) years ago now, and it was a refresher course in so many ways, with more depth, and certainly more focused than my GCSE teacher who informed us he was moving to Australia and didn’t give a shit if we passed our exams. There’s something about knowing if the human population could survive that makes it all seem a bit more… intriguing.
This book style is unique in several ways, and it really is one of those books that everyone will gain something from by reading. Since I’ve finished it, my husband has picked it up to read, my ten year old has requested to read it when he’s finished his current book, and it has been added to the To Buy list for Christmas presents for at least three people so far. It’s also a fantastic excuse to rewatch some classic films, if for no other reason than to apply the science and feel a bit smarter than you felt the last time it was playing.
Beyond all of this, “Hollywood Wants To Kill You” is a book about making you feel more comfortable and familiar with death. As a society we are terrified at the mere mention of death, and making jokes about it is beyond the limits of many people. And that’s why it’s important, because, after all, it is the one inevitable thing in life. We all die, and laughing off some of the possibilities is another way of getting our heads around the fact that we are all on a Best Before deadline (pun points required, thanks). Accepting death as something we are familiar with rather than terrified of is far more beneficial to all of us involved. This book does a brilliant part in engaging this line of thinking, and I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to read it, and share it with the people around me.