Visit Sunny Chernobyl

Visit Sunny Chernobyl

And Other Adventures in the World's Most Polluted Places

Book - 2012
Average Rating:
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For most of us, traveling means visiting the most beautiful places on Earth--Paris, the Taj Mahal, the Grand Canyon. It's rare to book a plane ticket to visit the lifeless moonscape of Canada's oil sand strip mines, or to seek out the Chinese city of Linfen, legendary as the most polluted in the world. But in Visit Sunny Chernobyl , Andrew Blackwell embraces a different kind of travel, taking a jaunt through the most gruesomely polluted places on Earth.

From the hidden bars and convenience stores of a radioactive wilderness to the sacred but reeking waters of India, Visit Sunny Chernobyl fuses immersive first-person reporting with satire and analysis, making the case that it's time to start appreciating our planet as it is--not as we wish it would be. Irreverent and reflective, the book is a love letter to our biosphere's most tainted, most degraded ecosystems, and a measured consideration of what they mean for us.
Equal parts travelogue, expose, environmental memoir, and faux guidebook, Blackwell careens through a rogue's gallery of environmental disaster areas in search of the worst the world has to offer--and approaches a deeper understanding of what's really happening to our planet in the process.

Publisher: New York : Rodale : Distributed to the trade by Macmillan, 2012
ISBN: 9781605294452
1605294454
Branch Call Number: 363.73 BLA NVD
Characteristics: xiii, 306 p. : maps ; 24 cm

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m
Mountainlover
Oct 29, 2015

This author uses flippancy and juvenile humour to hide his partially informed and random approach to the issues at hand. Just because some people don't have any other option than to live or work in the very polluted places depicted doesn't make the pollution more valid or excusable. Blackwell substitutes trivialism for thoughtful discussion, and thereby detracts from a conscious and objective approach to the crisis. His only solution is that "you get used to it" and thereby come to appreciate the pollution. It seems breaking up with his ex-fiance is just as motivating as his publishing deadline in writing this book. What is his point? Does he even know?

l
lukasevansherman
Dec 07, 2014

You should also check out "Garbage Land" by Elizabeth Royte.

k
kepicturewoman
Apr 18, 2013

I enjoyed this book. I read but do not consider myself a reader - rather a listener to books on tape - but this book kept me going. It was refreshing not to feel depressed that we've trashed the whole world. I seem to sign one petition after another - it is stressful. If you want to get in depth about any of the places he visits, there are plenty of books. Rather, he interviewed and travelled with people who live in these places. Did you realize there are 12 superfund sites in Seattle and over 100 throughout the State of Washington.

c
cmm740
Apr 09, 2013

An excellent book about pollution, but not of the sanctimonious kind. An easy, light read, despite the heavy subject matter, and quite funny at times.

r
RobinByrd
Feb 06, 2013

I only read the chapter on Chernobyl, and though I liked his writing, I thought it was essentially a "surface treatment" of the place. He didn't really know much about the place. It's okay if you're looking for an entertaining read... this is definitely that, or introductory sort of info, but if you're very knowledgeable about the disaster, you'll find it disappointing and a little flippant.

o
ownedbydoxies
Feb 02, 2013

The author visits the worst environmental disasters in the world, among them the Alberta oil sands, and what's surprising is his humanitarian and often humorous outlook even while documenting how damaged the earth has been by the activity he's describing. Excellent book, very very well-written. It's always a bonus to me when a writer is self-deprecating and honest and this one is.

ijaeger Jan 06, 2013

This book reads as a collection of unrelated newspaper articles and not as a cohesive story. The presented facts are interesting

j
JohnnyArch
Oct 29, 2012

This has to be one of the most informative, interesting and tongue in cheek humorous novels I have read in a long time.
The author takes you on a ride through the worlds dirtiest, smelliest, and environmentally disastrous locations within our globe. This stuff isn’t just textbook research, the guy actually made a yearlong holiday/work project out of it. Andrew Blackwell actually got in and soaked up the rads at Chernobyl, wallowed in India’s Yamuna River as well as enjoyed a toxic tour of Port Arthur, Texas.
Not just for the macabre glory of it, this novel reveals many insights to environmental disasters ongoing and flourishing on our small planet. You will not find any tree hugging commentary’s or radical green organizations to subscribe to within the pages either. Things are what they are and you are left to take in the realism any which way you choose.
The black humour is strewn throughout and really makes for enjoyable reading. You may even come to the horrific realization, as did the author that these environmental repulsions which many of us humans live, work, eat & bathe in, can even be revered after a while as...normal!
Warning disclosure to all to Greener’s; hug a tree and save a whale immediately before and after commissioning this book to your in tray.

By John Archibald, September 2012

g
greencat
Sep 12, 2012

Wow. Alberta Oil Sands is chapter #2! Good book. Can't keep nature or people down. Author is humourous and insightful.

c
ClaireM_W
Jul 11, 2012

One has to smile as the author, looking for ghastlyness is repeatedly disappointed - until he reaches India and China.

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