David Bodanis

I Will Survive (Perhaps)

The Knowledge: How to Rebuild Our World from Scratch


The Bodley Head 341pp £20 order from our bookshop

Christmas 2014 and dead bodies are littered outside the barbed wire at the base of a giant wind turbine, a half-dozen cold-eyed National Trust guardians with shotguns standing over them. Some 99.99 per cent of humans on earth have died, in the great plague of mid-2014, and the survivors are desperate for access to what remains of the past.

This, roughly, is one possible setup – he doesn’t go into the details – for Lewis Dartnell’s quite remarkable new book. By showing what technology would be needed ‘to rebuild our world from scratch’, he neatly highlights what hidden knowledge we constantly depend on, how fragile it is and how very much we should respect it. 

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • What a charming, candid blogpost from one of our dear contributing editors. ,
    • RT : The first guess from one of my 1st graders was “death” and such an awed, somber, reflective hush fell over the clas… ,
    • Merry Christmas from Literary Review! Hope your stockings were laden with books, and the tree bending under the weight of further books....,
    • Last minute Christmas gift required? We're offering discounts on all our subscriptions (20% no less!) with the cod… ,
    • In this issue's 'Silenced Voices', Lucy Popescu writes of Thailand's restrictive lese-majesty laws and their latest… ,
    • "Gunn was a disciple of the American formalist Yvor Winters, but Winters’s poetry could never give off such a scent… ,
    • Christmas gift hunting? Why not give the gift of being even better read? We're offering discounts on all our subscr… ,