The Skimmer

The End

By Marq de Villiers

Thomas Dunne Books; 368 pages

We're doomed. No matter what we do, something is going to get us eventually--a comet already whizzing toward Earth, maybe, or exploding methane gas unleashed by global warming. De Villiers takes a virtual flight around the globe to examine the natural threats to our existence, from earthquakes to tornadoes to plagues. It's a mix of sobering facts enlivened by historical anecdotes. Take, for example, the Portuguese king who became morbidly afraid of buildings after the 1755 Lisbon earthquake or the poisonous red ants which descended on a Caribbean town during...

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