In this open-hearted compilation of essays Green makes room for irony, beauty, joy, belonging, anger, sorrow, grief, and the whole spectrum of human emotions in spite of apparent doom and gloom. I almost passed off picking up The Anthropocene Reviewed. But the positive reviews convinced me to do otherwise. And I ended up absolutely loving this witty and poignant collection of essays which is really a memoir.
This book has been out for one year now, but personally I picked it up at the right time. In the weeks before I picked up this book I was on a downward spiral from reading too many climate change pieces and the IPCC report. The incessant atmospheric rivers in the Pacific Northwest only made it worse. Green talks about conventionally icky issues such as depression and ecological extinction with down to Earth playfulness- which did wonders to reduce my anxieties. I highly recommend getting the audiobook.
Lastly, I became a huge fan of the concept of ending chapters with 5 star ratings. The idea is that our reviews of books, movies, dinners, etc are not true reviews of those things but instead these reviews are miniature memoirs of our own private experiences of those things. And it is precisely what I’m doing here. We’re all leaving bread crumbs of our own memoirs on the internet. I find that idea mesmerizing. As I rate this book, I’m reminded that I can’t really review or rate this book, what I’m sharing is my subjective experience of it. With any essay collection, you are bound to adore some essays and for other essays, you wish you had skipped them. And this is one of the more successful essay collections I have come across.
I give the The Anthropocene Reviewed five stars.