Any description you’re going to find for William Seward Bonnie’s How I Met the Apocalypse will claim that this book of strange verse is meant to be a light-hearted look at drug addiction and loneliness. How light-hearted it’s actually going to be is going to depend on you. Given that Bonnie has repeatedly shown off a knack for dark humor to endure dark times, and considering his ability to make people see the lighter side of things they would initially not assume to be funny in any way, it’s entirely possible that he’ll succeed in doing what the book claims it is going to do. If that’s even what he wants to do.
It’s hard to say with Bonnie. Uncovering his true motives in his varied dance card of verse and other writings is sometimes a challenging venture. Thankfully, if you just want the ride, that is to say, if you want the clown car jammed with these poems to ride through the sights and sounds of a thousand cities burning in unison, you’ll still have a good time.
How do you even describe How I Met the Apocalypse? It’s a dream that you get when the couch has eaten half your spirit, the cough syrup is drowning your organs, and there are too many things to watch on TV. It’s haunting a lot of time, but quite frankly hilarious in a number of places, as well. You can almost certainly read it over the course of an hour, and then go back to the parts you liked best, or at least the parts your memory no longer completely trusts. In other words, it’s a very gentle mind-fuck. William Seward Bonnie has shown himself in the past to be a master of that in a variety of tones and disguises. This is one of his most low-key endeavors, but that doesn’t make it any less enjoyable.
There is a great deal of trippy fun in How I Met the Apocalypse. Half of the fun is in letting Bonnie take you where he wants to go. The second half is in how you’re going to try to make sense of the destinations afterwards.