DiscoverPost-Apocalyptic

The Joke at the End of the World

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Worth reading 😎

A book that answers the question of what could happen if 2020 really is the end of the world.

This was a quick and easy read that was tongue-in-cheek about the modern day. There was social commentary delivered in a tone that reminded me of Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman at times. A speculative fiction book about what our world is like right now, The Joke at the End of the World is an easy way to introduce young adults to big questions that are facing our society right now and to spark discussions about social justice, science, and religion.


I was expecting a book that was focused on time-travel and was slightly surprised at where the plot traveled in terms of armageddon. The pacing was also slightly off for me near the end, but it was overall a good story that I was invested in. I think that the story could have included more nuance and depth when it came to the Black Lives Matter protests and social justice. However, I also acknowledge that through the eyes of a twelve-year-old the conversation has to be held slightly differently, and at least as an introduction to these topics the book does a good job.


One of my favorite parts about this book was the voice of the main character, Patrick. I'm no longer twelve years old, but I felt like the internal thought process of Patrick was very similar to what mine would have been at that age. The way he viewed the world and was both worried about being seen as a child but also knowing he wasn't yet an adult enhanced the accuracy of the character. The phrasing also had the feel of some of my favorite Terry Pratchett books as well, which was fun to read.

I think this is a good book to try for readers who want a taste of Terry Pratchett and a slightly light-hearted Neil Gaiman set in modern times. And if you are hoping to start potentially difficult conversations about current events with the young adults in your life, this might be a good way to ease into the conversation.

Reviewed by

I'm a librarian currently working on gaining a PhD in library and information science. I read extensively, averaging over 200 books a year, and use GoodReads and a personal blog to rate/review books. As a librarian I am trained in Readers Advisory and review writing.

The Setup

About the author

Scott Dikkers is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of “Welcome to the Future Which is Mine” and “Our Dumb Century.” He’s a winner of the Thurber Prize for American Humor and founding editor of The Onion. view profile

Published on October 20, 2020

Published by

80000 words

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: Post-Apocalyptic

Reviewed by