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Friday, October 31, 2008


I guess this is the dark side of online shopping... I've ordered a book last week, Chernobyl 1986 by Vic Parker. I have received an email confirmation today, that I may pick up my copy at the Oxford Border's store. I was really looking forward to the good read, especially that it was about such a rarely discussed topic that captures my interest.
To my surprise, the book was not really a book - I should call it a brochure with merely 50 pages, and large typography. This is not the worst part of, it - the book is meant to a young audience as the author describes her target readers. One thing is that I can hardly imagine the crowd of teenagers interested in the nuclear disasters, who is not quite ready for the adult books.
I personally think that the style is too patronizing even for young people, the writer treats the reader (even if young) as an idiot, and spells out common sense knowledge, especially in a book about a fairly obscure topic. The worse is yet to come: the text is plagued with the usual "I'm a humanities graduate, so I can afford to write bullshit relating to science" attidude. There is a great deal of inaccuracies, and misleading "facts". I don't recommend it to anyone to be perfectly honest. Oh well, "shift" happens. (owing this pun to Scott Adams)

1 Comment:

irving said...

I recently finished reading "Voices from Chernobyl" by Svetlana Alexeivich. It is a book of individual testimonies by surviving liquidators, high officials at the time, and civilian victims.

This book captures the human costs of Chernobyl brilliantly and hauntingly. A very moving and interesting read.
by the way, thanks for making such a great blog. Not too much is dedicated to this event.