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Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie: A Tale of Love and Fallout

de Lauren Redniss

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6644626,191 (4.15)140
Presents the professional and private lives of Marie and Pierre Curie, examining their personal struggles, the advancements they made in the world of science, and the issue of radiation in the modern world.
Afegit fa poc perkkita, biblioteca privada, ChristinaSeo, kira_, tmennel1, kirbypet
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Es mostren 1-5 de 46 (següent | mostra-les totes)
I'd checked this out before and not gotten to it, so I was determined to read it for this readathon. Once I started, it seemed especially appropriate to be reading while I was in the midst of The Making of the Atomic Bomb, because of course there are dozens of interconnections.

I've read a lot about Marie Curie, but never an actual biography, so it was gratifying to learn more about her life. I loved the graphic format of this book -- with all its inclusions of drawings, illustrations, and photographs. It does shift back and forth a bit in time, which is sometimes a bit disorienting. This isn't just a story about the Curies, but also about the radiation they discovered. And Redness's opinion of radiation seems to fall a bit more on the negative side than mine, but okay.

A remarkable book, and I'm glad to have read it. ( )
  greeniezona | May 1, 2021 |
Radioactive: A Tale of Love and Fallout is an unusual graphic biography by author-illustrator Lauren Redniss. It has recently been adapted into a film directed by Marjane Satrapi (of Persepolis fame), which is how it came to my attention, though I have yet to see the movie. Redniss tells the stories of Marie and Pierre Curie, two of the most important scientific minds of the early 20th century, chronicling both their personal and scientific lives.

Some who understands art could give a much better description than myself, but I found Redniss’ style to be something of a cross between Pablo Picasso and Terry Gilliam. I’m admittedly ambivalent on the aesthetic aspects of it, though the cyanotype printing process that Redniss employed does beautifully fit with the themes of the work. The whole book is permeated with a certain sadness, one which comes from the reader knowing what radiation poisoning is, unlike the pioneers of radiation theory.

The work itself is somewhat hard to classify, sometimes shifting between dry biographical prose and “fairy tale” poetry, interspersed with discursive discussions about everything from Hiroshima to Chernobyl, and even a few primary documents. In terms of sheer factual content it’s not particularly dense – you’d probably learn just as much reading a few Encyclopædia Britannica articles – but it’s the way that the story is told that grabs you. Redniss clearly did her research – the endnotes are filled with references to the personal papers of the Curies themselves – and has interviewed a wide spectrum of individuals with some connection to the world of radioactivity. (Though I’m going to be a pedantic nitpicker and point out that the original Godzilla was not created by hydrogen bomb fallout, as the “Radioactive Bestiary and Garden” alleges, but merely awakened from His ancient slumber by hydrogen bomb testing.)

On the whole, Radioactive does a good job of providing humanizing insights into the life of Marie Curie, but struggles a little when trying to explain where she fits in to the history of scientific discovery. Much of the discursive sections seem to hold the Curies at least partially responsible for the world of nuclear weapons that followed them. While there are brief discussions of the other scientists who paved the way for the Manhattan Project, I think the framing places too much credit/blame on the Curies for the secondary consequences of their discoveries. Great if you’re searching for nuggets about the lives and the world of the Curies, but it should definitely be supplementing some other source. ( )
  pvoberstein | Dec 14, 2020 |
Recommended by Audacia Ray
  roniweb | May 30, 2019 |
RGG: A piece of art as much as a biography and science treatise. Fascinating, approachable, but not as easy a read as the format might suggest. Noteworthy. Reading Interest: YA+
  rgruberhighschool | Feb 18, 2019 |
Perhaps not the most academic Curie biography, this is more like, the perfect coffee table book for your favorite engineer or physicist. It is awesome for what it is - a graphic novel about the Curies and the fallout of discovering radiation - but it is not quite a great graphic novel or biography. ( )
  jeninmotion | Sep 24, 2018 |
Es mostren 1-5 de 46 (següent | mostra-les totes)
Writer and artist Lauren Redniss's Radioactive is no ordinary biography of Marie and Pierre Curie. The story of radioactivity, one of the most exciting discoveries of the past 100 or so years, is brightly visualized through Redniss's imagination in her illustrated book. Ideas, scientific choices, motivations and insatiable passions unfurl in her elegant cyanotype drawings and are enacted by ethereal figures set into motion by the author's eloquence.
afegit per jlelliott | editaNature, Giovanni Frazzetto (Web de pagament) (Jan 6, 2011)
 
The short history of modern graphic storytelling has produced plenty of books whose visuals dwarf the text. Occasionally, the tale trumps the art.

Rare is the book that marries great fiction or nonfiction with visual elements that wow the viewer and have a purposeful, amplifying connection to the text. So put this one on your list.

The illustrated biography of Nobel Prize-winning scientist Marie Curie also explores some of the well-known unintended consequences of Curie's work in radioactivity. And the book incorporates contemporary voices of those whose lives would've been vastly different -- better and worse -- without Pierre and Marie Curie's discoveries.

All of that informs Ms. Redniss the visual artist, who places her story against a backdrop of historical photographs, collage and neoprimitive drawings, many finished with a special process that lends a graphic glow to some pages. It echoes the energy that lights up skeletons in X-rays and illuminated radioactive watch dials during World War I. . . .
 
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With apologies to Marie Curie, who said, "There is no connection between my scientific work and the facts of private life."
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Catastrophism, a geological theory championed by zoologist Georges Cuvier, holds that time lurches forward in sudden disasters.
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Presents the professional and private lives of Marie and Pierre Curie, examining their personal struggles, the advancements they made in the world of science, and the issue of radiation in the modern world.

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