The Anthropocene Reviewed by John Green

Yelp reviews of our modern world

The Anthropocene Reviewed is the book version of John Green’s podcast of the same name. In this book, Green takes a look at humanity’s impact on the planet - by reviewing various creations of the era where human activity has become the pre-eminent determinant of what happens to the planet - the anthropocene.

Green’s topics are fairly random and miscellaneous, or perhaps we should refer to them as eclectic? He reviews everything from the Indy 500 to CNN to the Smallpox vaccine to Halley’s comet to the Lascaux cave paintings to the Internet. And those are just a few of the things he covers. He reviews each of these in a humorous way as if each of them had their own Yelp reviews page. At the end of each qualitative review, he quantifies the topic of his attention with a star rating.

Sunsets are rated 5. CNN gets 2 stars as does Kentucky Bluegrass. The game Monopoly gets 1.5 stars. I think the book is worth a read not just for the (obviously subjective) ratings Green gives but for style of writing and the liberal use of quotations which includes not just prose but also some lovely bits of poetry. There is a bit of an undercurrent of melancholy in several of his reviews but the book overall never gets too dark. You should read it.

I give The Anthropocene Reviewed 4 stars.