In a world of remakes and re-treads, I've gotta hand it to Nicholas Dickner for coming up with an original plot. Tarmac is about Hope Randall, latest descendant of the Randall family, a clan which is remarkable for a distinct trait: each member firmly believes he or she has predicted the apocalyptic end of the world; and each member (at least so far) is clearly proven wrong as the predicted date and comes and passes without incident. The book is set mosty in the early 90s, as Hope predicts July 18, 2001 will be the planet's final day. As the first gulf war rages on, Hope begins to notice other indications her chosen date might be correct: ramen noodles, which should last pretty much forever, with that particular expiry date; a book by a reclusive Japanese author who has also prophesied it as the end, etc. Hope goes off in search of this author, leaving behind a sort-of-boyfriend to pine after her. I won't spoil the end, but there's some nice twists about 3/4 of the way through the book. Definitely worth reading for those interested in something a little different.