Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Apocalypse Culture” as Want to Read:
Apocalypse Culture
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Apocalypse Culture

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  1,344 ratings  ·  79 reviews
TWO THOUSAND YEARS have passed since the death of Christ and the world is going mad. Nihilist prophets, born-again pornographers, transcendental schizophrenics and just plain folks are united in their belief in an imminent global catastrophe. What are the forces lurking behind this mass delirium?

APOCALYPSE CULTURE is a startling, absorbing and exhaustive tour through the n
Paperback, 368 pages
Published December 1st 1990 by Feral House (first published 1987)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.98  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,344 ratings  ·  79 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Apocalypse Culture
Mar 21, 2010 rated it it was amazing
     You got to love when you read a book, and you come across something sick and twisted, a smirk develops on your face and your eyes get a bit bigger and you think to yourself "what in the fuck!" This happened more than a few times for me in Apocalypse Culture. Not to mention that littered throughout the book are many different quotes, enticing pictures and artwork. I am not a big fan of poetry but "Something As It Really Is" by Mel Lyman was one I was into, it reminded me of lyrics from a Blo ...more
Paul Bryant
Just the usual gang of Satanists, trepanners and folks who like to suspend themselves by hooks from the ceiling. So what else is new?
May 31, 2014 rated it it was ok
at times, sections of this collection were incredibly infuriating. in some areas, despite themselves, certain authors took on an almost preachy tone that I found repulsive at worst and irritating at best. outside of those bits, it's an enjoyable read if you're interested in "questionable" subject matter and i definitely enjoyed some bits. however, i can't help feeling that people embraced many of these works more for the shock-value and for the sense of superiority they got from reveling in subj ...more
Sep 15, 2009 rated it really liked it
Man, what a weird-ass book.

Apocalypse Culture is a collection of essays about people and ideas on the cultural fringe of the fringe. And everything is more or less presented as is, making it harder to figure out what we're expected to take at face value and how much, if any at all, we're meant to see merely as a cultural expression.

I didn't get the book right away. The first essay is about werewolves, and ties in Charles Manson, some semi-famous incidents of feral people, and the savagery of hu
Michael Kalb
Sep 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The book that changed my life in 1989 at the age of 17 when it was first released by AMOK press.
To say this book influenced me is like saying Julius Streicher's Der Sturm influenced antisemitism in 1930s/40s Germany. This book had led me onto the various trails that have put me where I am today.
Adam Parfrey does not get enough credit for this compendium of chaos. While now days this book is possibly looked at as "mild" you have to understand when it came out there was nothing and I mean NOTHIN
Jun 10, 2012 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Teenage satanists, students of 90s subcultures, consumers of extremism
Recommended to Michael by: Tom Jennings
This book was, somewhat inexplicably, a “big deal” in the punk and rebel subcultures of my youth. I suppose that this is because there weren’t a lot of books at the time detailing the extremes of culture in a “Mondo Cane” fashion, and those that did usually had a tone of moralist finger-wagging (which this didn’t). Much of what is in here would be or already had been covered in the RE/Search book releases, but those were somewhat less well-distributed, as I recall. It wasn’t until Modern Primiti ...more
Chloe A-L
Jan 08, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: want-to-buy
I skimmed this book, by necessity. A few pieces in this book were genuinely interesting, some were incomprehensible rambling, and most were the sort of boring hateful nazi bullshit that "counterculture" white dudes start espousing with intention to shock (really just hoping it will make them seem interesting) ...more
S. Wilson
Aug 13, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reference
Apocalypse Culture is a gritty look back at a time before the Internet and the explosion of the Information age when publishing houses like Feral House (and let's be fair, there were and still are very few publishing companies like Feral House) were the reading audience's main window into the more obscure deviant, bizarre, and downright disturbing counter/sub-cultures of the 80s. Much of this anthology is comprised of articles written for obscure counter-culture magazines, as well as hand-made z ...more
Hasn't travelled, in time, as well as I would have liked. Either that, or I've not travelled as well. I read this book back in the early '90s and enjoyed it a great deal, but, then, everyone was looking forward to the end of the millennium. Well, it's long since come and gone and the world continues, excepting a few wrinkles, as much as it always has.

The book now reads more as adolescent diatribe than prescient and cogent cassandraing. I'm sure there are readers out there whom will enjoy this w
Michael Browne
Mar 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
Fans of fringe cultural shit look no further. Some of the essays here are poorly written, but the inherent absurdity of the subject matter makes it worthwhile.

I question any person that is able to read this in one sitting. Definitely a work that you need to pace and/or go back to over time. To read this in a single sitting is like being forced to watch a baby slowly burn in an oven, while taking a heavy dose of mescaline, while eating Lean Cuisine.

Matt Reese
Dec 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A classic in my opinion. What many squares may describe as "out there" I would have to say is just the tip of the depravity iceberg. A book without equal. ...more
Nanci Svensson
Jun 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fave-non-fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tom Quinn
"Apocalypse Culture embraces contradictions, draws mental ley lines between revelatory similarities amongst seemingly dissimilar material, and shuns the open-and-shut docu-drama diagnoses of psychological causality."

Haha, what?

"To examine the usual stupefied, amnesiac, greedy, frenetic or pious reactions to our apocalypse culture will have the salubrious effect of detachment and its possibility of measured remedy. Even recognition of no remedy is better than leaving oneself open
Allison Schus
Sep 07, 2011 rated it liked it
This book was...interesting to say the least. Apocalypse Culture is composed of articles, letters and stories that have a "relation" to the fall of humanity or will induce the apocalypse.
Some of the stories are vulgar and descriptive. There were times I caught myself riding the bus reading to myself and making the silliest faces of disgust, strangers probably thought I was crazy!
Some of the stories were just plain interesting, things I have never thought about.
Because this book is FULL of dist
David Nash
Aug 12, 2013 rated it did not like it
One word summary: clumsy.

The essays are so poorly written that actually reading the items is more unpleasant than the subject matter.

The authors attempt to legitimise their thoughts by using long, complicated sentences and big words that they do not even seem to understand.

The overall impression just comes off as little boys rebelling against the norms of their parents - and in the process inadvertently reinforcing those norms.

I've always had a great respect for books and usually give away books
Some of the effect is spoiled by reading this in 2016, knowing the 30 years of future history that many of the essay writers herein did not. But there's a lot of just-plausible-enough conspiracy theory and bizarre history for a very entertaining read. ...more
I'd give this book one million stars if I could. An olde tyme favorite I read the shit out of. It may be kind of dated now, but it's so awesome you shouldn't give a crap about modernity or pop/cultural relevance. ...more
Mano (Leslie)
Jan 21, 2008 rated it really liked it
whoa and a half. do not read if you are easily disturbed.
Jan 27, 2008 rated it really liked it
A classic in the crackpot weirdos genre.
Feb 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing
What a blast this book is, a total freakshow from a time when the freaks seemed to be coming from the woodwork.
Jan 27, 2010 rated it really liked it
This is a great collection of interviews and essay on the socially irrational. A lot can be learned on the alternative state of humanity.
Mike Hunchback
Jul 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
It might be the best book.
This book comes across as a bunch of crap just to strike you with its clever writing and unexpected seriousness.
In fact, despite its legendary status, "Apocalypse Culture" is more than a collection of essays on trashy fads and underground culture; or rather, yes - that's exactly what it is, but the authenticity of all its sources makes it terribly serious at its core, therefore not to be simplistically discarded as smut.
These short essays were collected in the late 80s and early 90s and cover a
Dec 30, 2012 rated it it was ok
The first time I heard about this book was maybe half a year ago. At first, I only wanted to read the Fakir Musafar interview but after doing some research I found out that the rest of the book might be interesting as well.
Now that I'm finished with it, this can be confirmed. Some of the essays (but mostly the interviews) were really interesting but usually they only scratch the surface so most of the time I was left a bit disappointed. On the average, the first part of the book was "ok" but in
Stephen Conti
Jan 31, 2008 rated it really liked it
those who think that being cool meant reading ReSearch magazine kept me from reading what is actually a cool book, (any book that talks about fred flinstone and barney ruble eating shit... gets an A+ in my book). Essays range from the sexual liberation of necrophiliacs to strong cases against art and agriculture..... I was sent to an anarchist book store when I worked for a socialist (just out of college) to get a book on cesar chavez..... I went back to his office with this book in my bag..... ...more
Jul 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing
If you are jaded and think that you've seen and heard it all, Apocalypse Culture was the book that ripped the lid off of the most recent outbreak of millenarianism. Here are the immanentizers of the eschaton, rattling their pricks and brandishing their swords. This is a sick cavalcade of corpse-fuckers, alien lovers, black magi, Bizarro religionists, exalted and debased conspiracy theorists, artistic murderers, etc. There is something to shock pretty much everyone. It's also gripping and often u ...more
May 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
It is false to judge this book based on your perceptions of the individual essays contained therein. The real value comes from their totality: the shocking realization of how pervasive millenarian nihilism has become. Whether or not such despondency is called for or not, the simple fact that people are responding to the modern situation with apocalyptic attitudes - and actions - is a startling and sometimes thrilling reality. Parfrey's brilliance is in recognizing the through line between these ...more
Apr 21, 2010 rated it it was ok
I know that this book has been called controversial, but, for the most part, I'm not really sure why. Perhaps it was more shocking when originally published, but at present most of the subjects of the articles are discussed in great detail on the internet. The poor editing made it really tough to read, and don't bother with photographs if they are so grainy a reader can't make out what they portray. I was disappointed, and I'm surprised to see so many rave reviews. ...more
Feb 05, 2008 rated it really liked it
There are some things in here that are lame, like an interview with a serial killer, and there are some things that are unbelievably awesome, from a brief essay on secret bombardments of electromagnetic radiation (stadiums make great receptor dishes, apparently) to a semiotic analysis of children's cereals to a deconstruction of the symbolism surrounding the first atomic bomb tests. ...more
Matt Sears
Mar 09, 2012 rated it liked it
A collection of essays from the 90s (and earlier) about such taboo topics as the occult, self castration, trepanation, eugenics, etc all written with plenty of anger and paranoia. Mostly interesting stuff with some different viewpoints, but just as much falls flat due to preachiness. Definitely worth the price of admission, but expect to do a bit of skimming.
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Modern Man in Search of a Soul
  • The Penguin Book of Hell
  • The Christ Conspiracy: The Greatest Story Ever Sold
  • The Future of the Mind: The Scientific Quest to Understand, Enhance, and Empower the Mind
  • America's First Dynasty: The Adamses, 1735-1918
  • Redcoats and Rebels: The American Revolution Through British Eyes
  • The Men Who Lost America: British Leadership, the American Revolution, and the Fate of the Empire
  • Dancing With Myself
  • The Hedonistic Imperative
  • The New Prison Sissy: An Intense Gay Erotica Story
  • Koko Takes a Holiday (EBK, #1)
  • The Optimism Bias: A Tour of the Irrationally Positive Brain
  • Liberty's Exiles: American Loyalists in the Revolutionary World
  • Alias Shakespeare: Solving the Greatest Literary Mystery of All Time
  • The Forbidden Experiment
  • Son of the Morning Star: General Custer and the Battle of the Little Bighorn
  • Between the Acts
  • Endgame: Bobby Fischer's Remarkable Rise and Fall—From America's Brightest Prodigy to the Edge of Madness
See similar books…
Adam Parfrey was an American journalist, editor, and the publisher of Feral House books, whose work in all three capacities frequently centers on unusual, extreme, or "forbidden" areas of knowledge. ...more

Related Articles

“I'm in a weird place because the book is about to come out. So I'm basically just walking around like a raw nerve and I'm not sure that I...
41 likes · 8 comments