Some products do comparatively well in times of recession: alcohol, chocolate, cinema tickets, cigarettes. But one surprise bestseller of the economic Armageddon is a decades-old science fiction novel about an imaginary economic Armageddon - popular now, its fans insist, because the collapse of civilisation it describes is on the verge of coming true.
Sales of Ayn Rand's 1957 book Atlas Shrugged - a hymn in praise of radical individualism, extreme self-interest and laissez-faire capitalism - are surging as the crisis deepens, according to TitleZ, a service that tracks sales trends on Amazon.
As of yesterday, the book's 30-day average rank on the website was 110, far above its average rank of 542 over the last two years. On 13 January it even briefly outperformed Barack Obama's wildly popular work The Audacity of Hope. Yesterday it was in 55th place, between The Reader and a book on cultivating very small gardens.