Jacket Copy

Books, authors and all things bookish

« Previous | Jacket Copy Home | Next»

The Last-Minute 'Rapture' Reading List

It's simple. You want to know about the "rapture"? Read the Bible. Turn to the Book of Revelation.

Of course, you won't see anything there about the rapture happening Saturday. But that's the scuttlebutt: The rapture is coming at 6 p.m. Saturday.

As just about everyone knows by now (save for Bret Easton Ellis, who was nothing but confused when asked about it at a reading Thursday night in Los Angeles) the date May 21, 2011, was picked as the rapture by Harold Camping.

Camping, who runs the Family Radio ministry, is a rapture guy. In fact, he once predicted that the rapture was coming Sept. 6, 1994. The failure of the end of the world to arrive at that time only spurred him to revamp his analysis -- and so he came to May 21. A number of Christian believers have been spreading the word that come Saturday, those whom God has saved will ascend to heaven.

As Maud Newton writes in the Awl, people who truly believe that the rapture is nigh make huge life changes; as a child, she was suffused with doomsday fear. NPR spoke to a couple who quit their New York City jobs and moved to Florida to proselytize about the end of the world. "We budgeted everything so that, on May 21, we won't have anything left," 27 year-old Adrienne Martinez told the reporter. The New York Times reports on a family whose teenage children were trying to make plans for college without the help of their parents, who believe there is nothing but heaven to plan for.

The rest of us sinners will be left behind. Which brings me to your Last-Minute Rapture Reading List.

1. "Left Behind: A Novel of Earth's Last Days" by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins. Published in 1995, it kicks off a 12-volume series of novels that illustrate the rapture. Worried you won't have time to read them all? Get a taste by watching the 2005 film "Left Behind: World At War" starring believer Kirk Cameron.

2. "The Book of Revelation for Dummies" by Richard Wagner and Larry R. Helyer. The yellow-and-black "For Dummies" series turned its attention to the Bible's Book of Revelation in 2008. But should you take seriously a book about the end times co-authored by a man named "Helyer"?

3. "The Late, Great Planet Earth" by Hal Lindsey with C.C. Carlson. Newton cites this as the granddaddy of end-times novels, and it sets the bar much lower for entrance to heaven than Camping's theology. It was a 1970 New York Times bestseller.

4. "1994?" by Harold Camping. In this 1993 book, Camping predicted the end of the world would arrive in 1994. But just in case he was wrong, he added that question mark to the title.

5. "The Bible." Go back to the source.

6. "The Inferno" by Dante Alighieri. It's the "Scared Straight!" of 14th century epic poetry. After you're done with this, you'll want to be saved.

7. "I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell" by Tucker Max. If Dante doesn't scare you off sin, the prospect of being trapped in eternity with Tucker Max might do the trick.

8. "Heaven Is for Real" by Todd Burpo with Lynn Vincent. The story of a little boy who sees heaven and lives to tell about it has been burning up bestseller lists. I mean, flying.

9. "God Is Not Great" by Christopher Hitchens. End-time reading for skeptics and nonbelievers.

10. "The Survivors Club" by Ben Sherwood. Thinking you'll be left behind? Learn tactics and strategies from survivors of  mountain lion attacks, natural calamities and concentration camps.

11. "The Kama Sutra" by Vatsyayana. If the rapture happens without you, why not enjoy yourself? The ancient Hindu guide for lovemaking includes practical advice for sexual intercourse, including a number of illustrations. It's available for download many places, including Apple's iBookstore, where it's currently No. 12 on its free bestseller list.


Apocalypse when? May 21 and other doomsday dates on film

Five post-apocalypse TV shows to watch while you're waiting for the "rapture"

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo: Giving notice of the Rapture this week in Tampa, Fla. Credit: Jim Reed / The Tampa Tribune / Associated Press Photos

Comments () | Archives (74)

The comments to this entry are closed.

Hmm... I wonder what the Bible says about all this. Let's open it up and see.

Ah, here it is, in Matthew 24, verses 35 and 36...

"Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away. But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone."

Oh, and 1 Thessalonians 5:2...

"For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night."

My goodness. I guess it's a good thing I paid attention in church so I wouldn't be taken in by such heresy.

Take a little sip of, love potion number 666.

Maybe we can do some cloning and legalize same sex marriage once that rapture kicks in!

How freaked are we going to be if a massive earthquake actually happens in New Zealend at 6pm!

the little boy meeting his deceased sister he was never told about defies any criticism. salvation is free. just ask Jesus to save you. that's it. why not get in on it?

If the God of the Bible does indeed exist and created all things, then that God is the ultimate creator of that which is imperfect and impure such as intrinsic Evil, Union leaders, American Idol and hard-plastic wrapping. Since this God is All-Knowing, then this God knows that some of his creations - and his other weekend projects - are fallible and best to pay no further attention to. Thus, by syllogism - since humans are clearly amongst the most fallible of animals - it is clear that if God does exist that He would have given up on humans a long time ago and therefore any human belief that God will return to redeem, save or have a weekend BBQ with them is, at best, a foolish thought.

If you believe in God, you must logical believe that God has given up on you and your species due to the fact that human beings are clearly a lost cause. There will be no Rapture: There will be, unfortunately, yet another season of American Idol.

The rapture will happen but not on his date.The Bible says Know one will know the day or hour ,but we will know the season .things in revelation are unfolding before are eyes .Rfid Chip Mark is here,peace treaty in Israel soon.7 year Tribulation Period soon to start.The Maker is Stirring himself to move in the earth .God loves you and wants you to spend Eternity with him.


Given that the zombies don't take us all down tomorrow..... Make sure and get your official "I survived the zombie apocalypse of 2011" tshirt at 2011apocalypse.com!!!

In this case the Bible is actually CORRECT. Don't forget that it does predict the occurrence of False Prophets --- and here they are.

If it means that we will finally be rid of the born again, brain dead, I say 'bring it on' and good riddance.

You're getting paid to "be funny" or write with ironic humor, but regardless of whether Camping (who is not God) is right or not about the rapture occurring tomorrow, this piece is incredibly disrespectful. Judgement day will come, as promised. It's not a day of "doom" for those who have studied the Word of God and see its truth; instead will be a day of celebration :) There is an eternity to look forward to should anyone make effort to find truth and faith.

I look forward to all of the suicides of Christians that believe it will "bring them to Jesus faster" and all of the suicides after by the Christians who were crushed by the revelation that IT'S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.

After the rupture, more then likely there will be quite a few hot wives left behind. I mean, there's bound to be a few who have "sinned" with the pool boy, et al, and may not be able to follow their husbands to heaven. So, I propose a site where these poor left behind miscreant hot wives (and you know who you are) can go to find understanding and companionship in their time of need. If interested: Please go to a certain Oyster type House in Studio City on May 22nd at around 8:00 pm. Depending on your hotness, there maybe free drinks involved. Ask for Lew, or if he's busy, then Bealzabob.

Seeing as I'm a bible reading individual and did spend a good amount of time reading around where Camping is talking about I have to say he is grasping at straws.

He ignore one single fundamental passage about the second coming and that is that no one knows when except God.

Oh and on that note Happy Apocalypse Day everyone.

The Book of Revelation "for Dummies?"

As if there's another kind?

There goes the Republican base for 2012...

Some people have stated if there is no law about this. Sorry people but in the USA for some time just saying its a religions thing and you get a free pass.

It happens more than we realize it just happen to the level of this level.

That said thanks for the 100 million spent on this it really was a nice thing to do for stimulating the economy.

There a podcast show called "irreligiosophy" funny show but they have talked about this kind of thing and it has happen a lot of time and every time people lost their shirt on it.

Now wait just a ding dang second here...if the world ends tomorrow, then what happens on December 21st, 2012?!?! I mean, I've been ordering 2009 Bordeaux futures like there's no tomorrow, since they'll be bottled, and shipped in late November, 2012. And that's just in time to drink in the 2012 apocalypse. Now if the there really is no tomorrow tomorrow, then I've wasted all my kids inheritance for nothing. I wonder if I can still get a refund...

What's really scary is Newsweek took a poll and found 55 perc of Americans believe there will be a rapture eventually. Coocoo coocoo.

"As long as the world is turning and spinning, we're gonna be dizzy and we're gonna make mistakes."----Mel Brooks

Nobody is truly able to predict a rapture. The best way to appease our fear is to live each day as if it's our last. I don't mean going wild and crazy. We must be nice and kind to others. We must learn to forgive those who hurt us. We must make the best of everything even when things don't turn out the way we want. Most importantly, we must follow our passion. Let's not be afraid to laugh. It's perfectly okay to be happy. Trust me, happiness is not a sin. If we learn to live our best possible lives then we will never have to be afraid of the rapture.

The Bible? The Rapture is not even mentioned in the Bible. Some people will believe anything ... Anyway it's All Good in New Zealand!!

Still here!

I'm thinking about the guy who ran up his credit cards in preparation for the rapture. Let's see, you borrow money you have no intention of repaying because you plan on skipping town. I believe that's called stealing. Interesting morality these folks have.

« | 1 2


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...


Explore Bestsellers Lists





Tweets and retweets from L.A. Times staff writers.