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Hollywood Wants to Kill You: The Peculiar Science of Death in the Movies

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  60 ratings  ·  34 reviews

'A wonderful book... Delightfully varied... As with all the best science writing, this book doesn't just give answers, it also asks interesting questions.' Daily Mail

'Captivating and intelligent! Who knew death could be this much fun?' Richard Osman

Asteroids, killer sharks, nuclear bombs, viruses, deadly robots, climate change, the apocalypse - why is Hollywood so obsessed

Kindle Edition, 287 pages
Published October 3rd 2019 by Atlantic Books
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Average rating 4.03  · 
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 ·  60 ratings  ·  34 reviews

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Sep 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book has everything, humour, movie references and science told in a quirky, relatable and most importantly of all in a way that a casual reader can understand!
I feel I learned a lot from this, the way it was written and the layout, full of diagrams and jokes and simplistic explanations.
Some topics covered are viruses, climate change, robots, insomnia, plants and many others.
I enjoyed this so much I am buying the partner book Scienc(ish) to go with it.
Such a great read.
Shauna O'Halloran
Oct 15, 2019 rated it liked it
This book was a wild journey!

I was immediately drawn to this book, because of The Terminator cover and the ideas behind it. As someone who has a serious, sometimes crippling fear of death, anything that can potentially give me some piece of mind about it is a winner.
Each chapter describes different ways us humans could meet our demise and comes with a movie that it references as a basis for the idea. The movie quotes, along with the snippets of dialogue between Rick and Michael, give this book
Angie Rhodes
Sep 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned
Wow'! Hollywood Wants to kill you, has to be one of my favourite books of the year, Who knew science could be fun, ? I hated science at school, (even though I am a geek, science eluded me) BUT I have learnt so much from Rick Edwards and Dr Michael Brooks, via their book.
We learn, how we could , die or live , (but mainly die) with the help of movies, e.g Hollywood wants to kill you...WITH ROBOTS, The Terminator (this was for me, the one that terrified me the most, even though we meet Freddy
my bookworm life
Thank you to Readersfirst for this copy.

I enjoyed this one, it was a fun read and something very different to what i usually read. The format is quite similar to a Podcast feel, split into different sections covering different topics and they are then explored further.

It's an easy to follow read, and i liked the illustrations all through the book, also the movie quotes too. It's filled with facts, discussions and an in depth look at why Hollywood always wants to kill people off in various
Nov 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lots of bizarre and thought-provoking facts, suppositions and hypotheses all wrapped into the framework of examining popular movies and their focus upon ways of dying. That is, mainly the ways of bringing mass death to populations. An uncomfortable but fascinating subject.

The style is chatty and cheeky; best friend in the pub. The language is chosen to be accessible to everyman with the scientific terms carefully explained, often with the support of tables, graphs and diagrams. The slightly
Oct 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
An extraordinary popular science book that not only has many cool facts to learn, but is written with lots of humour.

Each chapter describes a potential danger to the world - what can cause humans/Earth to be destroyed. We find out about the possibility of each scenario to happen and what different organisations do to prevent them.

Real-life examples on each scientific topics are quite terrifying and definitely extremely interesting.

Topics are based on movies in which the destruction happens,
James Koppert
Oct 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After the success of Science(ish):The Peculiar Science Behind the Movies, Dr Michael Brooks and Rick Edwards return with Hollywood Wants to Kill You: The Peculiar Science of Death in The Movies. Admittedly at first I was a little reluctant, it sounded a bit too geeky for its own good, so I thought I would read a sample and I couldn't stop. This book is absolutely brilliant. Hollywood wanting to kill you is used in loose terms simply as an excuse to discuss extraordinary and utterly fascinating ...more
e m i l y
Oct 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019, 4-star
Thank you Readers First for my copy of ‘Hollywood Wants to Kill You.’

I absolutely loved this book!

It appealed to me because of the format and how it was more of a factual book than fiction, I was intrigued! It used humour to make the idea of death quite lighthearted (if that’s even possible?) while still being true to fact. There were some parts that stuck with me and I ended up telling friends and family, I felt like I’d learnt so many new things thanks to this book. It really makes you think
Megan Pryce
Sep 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I’m not sure what I expected from this book, but I’ve loved it. It really goes into the several different ways people die in Hollywood films and explains the science and plausibility behind it. Such as: viruses and predators to plants and insomnia! I don’t read many non-fiction books, but I actually loved learning new things in each chapter. It was easy to follow and understand, especially if you’d seen the films. But it didn’t matter if you didn’t know anything about the films they’re relating ...more
Angela L
Oct 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
So I've not finished this book yet but am about half way through - which is enough to understand the tone, style and content.
Essentially the book takes on the Hollywood movies and looks at all the cinematic ways we could die on film and dissects the real science behind the blockbuster.
So far I've learnt about Asteroids (thanks to Armaggedon), viruses (Contagion), global warning (many examples), infertility, robots and predators. I have to say it's all been rather interesting.
The science is
Dec 21, 2019 rated it liked it
Taking a look at how death is represented in popular films then analysing how this stands up to modern science. This is a good coffee table read, some good science snippets for a quick read, not delving too deeply into the science. Humour was mixed in, which is not a bad thing in relation to death, but it really did not blend in well with the interesting science portions.

The authors cover various topics surrounding our mortal demise. This book starts out strongly with some good chapters, death
Insert Name Here
Sep 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Taking specific movies as inspiration, Rick and Michael dissect the science behind various death scenarios and show us how likely - or unlikely - they actually are.

The only thing this book is missing is a chapter on zombies. Maybe that's coming in the sequel (please, guys?) Otherwise, it's a highly entertaining read, intentionally kept simple enough for anyone to follow. I can't speak to the accuracy of the entries, but they seem right.

The authors have interviewed various specialists and expert
Oct 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was such an interesting book. It is informative, and deals with a serious topic, but in a humorous and witty way.

It covers a lot of common Hollywood death scenarios and translates them into real life scenarios - could an asteroid like the one in Armageddon hit Earth? Could we stop it like they did in the movie, or would there be another way of stopping it?

The book also covers a number of topics like this, and I found all of it very interesting. Yes, it's popular science, but for the
Charlotte Booth
Sep 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
“Loved this book.”
Hardback edition

by Charlotte Booth
I absolutely loved this book!

I am not a 'science' person but the way this book is written simplifies the science without dumbing it down.

Each chapter is based on a particular film such as Contagion, Jaws, The Terminator and Nightmare on Elm Street.

Then the 'killer' aspect of each movie is broken down into the science so as to demonstrate how likely the movie scenarios are.

It's true what they say, that true life is scarier than fiction, and
Kerri Selby
Oct 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Hollywood Wants to kill you - the peculiar science of death in the movies, is a witty, interesting mix of movie deaths via viruses, predators, robots etc, and the actual science behind said sub topics.
It's not a book that drones on and overloads you with facts, it swaps nicely between talking about certain movies, then the really interesting science information, then back to the film.
It's filled with funny little drawings as well, and what looks like a 'screenshot' of a some amusing text
Sep 29, 2019 rated it really liked it

'Hollywood wants to kill you' is a fascinating read, from the first page to the last. As soon as I saw this book I knew that I would enjoy it, and it did not disappoint. Before reading this book I hadn't considered how death in movies is made to happen or whether they could even happen in real life, now I know. Since reading this I can't look at films the same way. I enjoyed every part of this read, from the cover, to how Informative it was, the topic/art which I previously knew
Sep 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is the follow up book to their earlier ‘Science(ish): The Peculiar Science Behind the Movies’. Each chapter deals with a different cause of death (a virus, asteroids, robots, climate change etc), using a single film as a discussion point. As with the previous book, how much enjoyment you get will depend on whether you have seen the film being discussed - I really enjoyed the chapters on Contagion and The Day of the Triffids, but not so much the chapter on Geostorm. It is an effective ...more
Mary O'Connor
Nov 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book is completely different to anything else you will read. It takes different scenarios one by one of the different ways Hollywood films use to cause mass deaths. It is written in an amusing way and I found it quite easy to read. It does go into quite a few science based sections, but I found these to be well explained, I do have a science degree though so was used to the terminology etc. used. The authors look at the reality of these Hollywood death situations and assess the likelihood ...more
Kerry Henderson
Oct 03, 2019 rated it liked it
Hollywood has come up with many interesting and terrifying ways to kill us. This book looks at some of the methods and the science behind it.

This was a pretty Interesting read which some really fascinating facts. The book also feature little bubbles from the authors which were funny and broke up the scientific facts. It did get a little heavy at times so the lighter side really balanced the book better. I found the chapter on plants really interesting who knew plants were so clever. The writing
Oct 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Typically, I'm not much of a fan of non-fiction or science books. This, however, was a major anomaly as I am most definitely a fan.
The witty tone of the book was an absolute delight to read - it made for discussions of death to be much more pleasant. (I was a particular fan of the 'text' convos embedded within the book).
Each chapter had it's own perspective to offer and the breaking down of movies (and various means of death) in such a science-y way within each one was both thrilling and
Sep 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book written by Rick Edwards, television presenter and Dr Michael Brooks, journalist.
Both have a scientific and writing background and have produced a well written funny witty book.
It takes the most common Hollywood disaster movie subjects and irreverently takes popular films to delve into the science behind how each variety of disaster interacts with mankind and the facts behind it.
I would never have given this book a second look so I am most grateful to Readersfirst in giving me an
Dec 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I don't usually read books like this but the movie connection hooked me in.
It totally exceeded my expectations, instead of just dry facts recounted, the information was witty and so funny it just made me laugh.
Packed full of movie history and facts blended with science this is also a great way of learning too.
It was chock full with diagrams, illustrations, bullet point snippets of information all told with the authors' hilarious banter.
For science and movie nerds this is a whole heap of fun
Jareth Koncsol
Oct 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My aunt recommended this to me so I ended up buying a copy.
I loved it, this was laugh out loud funny in the way it was written.
It mixes the history of movies past and more modern films and looked at the science behind some of the storyline.
Viruses, killer plants etc just being a few of the topics covered.
Easy to read and the layout was in bite size chunks making it the kind of book that's easy to pick up and put down after reading a quick section.
The banter between the authors was hilarious
Corrina Hughes
Oct 03, 2019 rated it liked it
Thank you to @Readers First for giving me a free copy in exchange for an honest review. I love films and I love reading, so this should have been a match made in heaven. I am half way through the book at the moment and have enjoyed parts of it, such as revisiting all my favourite disaster films. I like how the authors have combined science and films to produce a very original book. However, some of the chapters I have found to be too technical and subsequently have found it difficult to focus, ...more
Oct 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: won-or-blagged
Hollywood Wants to Kill You is a very entertaining and informative popular science book. Each chapter is based on a different way that characters meet their ends in the movies, with reference to one particular film. So the first chapter is Hollywood Wants to Kill You... WITH A VIRUS! and references 2011's Contagion, while chapter two (Hollywood Wants to Kill You... WITH ASTEROIDS!) talks about Armageddon with Bruce Willis. Each chapter then describes the science behind the general threat and the ...more
Sep 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is incredibly interesting and explains the science behind many movie death scenarios in a way that is both understandable (even for people like me with no understanding of science!) and also fun and humourous. It covers a huge variety of things - the chapters I personally found most interesting were the ones on Viruses and Infertility, but I enjoyed all of the chapters overall. I liked that I could dip in and out of this book, reading about a different scenario each time.
I'm not
Oct 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
I learnt so much from this book!

This was not a book I would have normally chosen. The cover alone sort of put me off and I tend to choose fiction over non fiction but I am so glad I read this book. The concept gripped me from the beginning and I was intrigued to find out more. Rick Edwards and Dr Michael Brooks take a method / cause of death from predators to insomnia that is regularly portrayed in movies and analyses the possibility of it. They turn what should be a dark, morbid and depressing
Peta Hooper
Jan 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is brilliant fun, full of movie and science facts.
The information is easily digestible and told in a humourous way.
This is not my usual kind of reading but I really enjoyed this.
I know a bit about movies but very little about science so I felt that as this is a factual I was learning as well as enjoying thbookis at the same time.
Not at all patronising and told in a way general readers can understand this was a good read and the kind of thing you can just casually read and pick up and put
Sep 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
I loved the delivery of everything in this! It’s rare I can really sink my teeth into a non-fiction book as they typically don’t engage me to the same extent (facts are harder to invest into than characters) but I appreciate the humour scattered throughout and the easy, informal tone the book carries itself with.

There was so much to learn in each chapter and I found myself spilling facts even from the segments I was less interested in! Really cleverly written and formatted, almost felt like a
Jan 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really like this book. It’s a similiar to Science(ish) in that you don’t have to be a science geek to understand it. The science in this book is very easy to understand and it is accompanied with good humour and interesting film references. Very enjoyable read
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