Customer Reviews


9 Reviews
5 star:
 (4)
4 star:
 (3)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A light introduction to the history of one of the heaviest subjects
This graphic novel, subtitled "J. Robert Oppenheimer, Leo Szilard, and the Political Science of the Atomic Bomb", is a good quick read. It's hard for my generation, raised with the fall of the Soviet Union, to appreciate how stupendous the atomic bomb really was. But this book does a great job of making the history of that period accessible. The book is not that...
Published on August 16, 2006 by Dan

versus
1.0 out of 5 stars Fallout falls down
This is the complete review as it appears <a href="http://ianwoodnovellum.blogspot.com/2014/11/fallout-by-janine-johnston-jeffrey.html">at my blog dedicated to reading, writing (no 'rithmatic!), movies, & TV</a>. Blog reviews often contain links which are not reproduced here, nor will updates or modifications to the blog review be replicated here. Graphic and...
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer


Most Helpful First | Newest First

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A light introduction to the history of one of the heaviest subjects, August 16, 2006
By 
Dan (Boulder CO) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Fallout (Paperback)
This graphic novel, subtitled "J. Robert Oppenheimer, Leo Szilard, and the Political Science of the Atomic Bomb", is a good quick read. It's hard for my generation, raised with the fall of the Soviet Union, to appreciate how stupendous the atomic bomb really was. But this book does a great job of making the history of that period accessible. The book is not that short-around 200 pages-but, due to its graphic nature, is very easy to read.

Fallout is really divided into two major sections. The first is concerned with the idea and creation of the atomic bomb, starting from Szilard's ideas in the 1930s and ending with the Trinity test in 1945. The second is concerned with the inquiry into Oppenheimer's advisory position to the Atomic Energy Commission, which occured in the political climate of the 1950s. Both these are worth reading, but the second one, which has much more text-portions of letters are printed along with the graphics-is a chilling reminder of the craziness of that time.

With 6 different authors listed on the cover (and more in the back pages), the illustrations change often enough that you do have to pay attention to know who is speaking. Additional difficulties arise because there are so many characters. I think the book would be stronger if one author had been responsible for all of the graphic content because the characters would be easier to keep track of.

One very nice aspect of this book is the end notes. At the back of the book, extensive text outlines what parts are true and what parts are surmise. As the front of the book saysm "many of the quotes and incidents that you'll think most likely to be made up are the best documented facts." For example, Teller, one of the scientists, denies his similarity to Dr Strangelove, and another, Szilard, devises his own cancer treatment using radiation.

All in all, if you're in for a light introduction to the history of one of the heaviest subjects, Fallout is a good choice.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun and interesting look at the politics of the bomb., August 6, 2010
This review is from: Fallout (Paperback)
I really enjoyed this graphic novel. Initially I bought it intending to use for an 8th grade classroom, but upon reading found the content and writing style to be more academically mature - a greater level of basic understanding of the background issues is assumed, and the historical aspects of Oppenheimer's trial were nicely portrayed in my opinion with use of actual documents and such. So in a way I was pleasantly surprised to find that the novel was a bit over the head of my students and intended for a HS-level and above audience. The illustrations are nice and while there of course is plenty of info that was not included that I'm curious about, the authors had to pick and choose and I think they've done a fantastic job. A quick and fun read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jim Ottaviani and Fallout, March 29, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Fallout (Paperback)
Jim Ottaviani communicates both scientific and historical fact in a comic book way. I usually shun the reading of graphic novels, as most of them communicate nothing more than good story line with little literary skill involved in its text. However, I will read Ottaviani because, whereas he does communicate through a graphic novel, he communicates fact and he does it very well. Fallout is no exception to his writing talent. I would heavily recommend this book to anyone who enjoys graphic novels and I would recommend this book to one who do not enjoy graphic novels. This book is a superbly written with very good pictures. Without a doubt this book scores a five out of five and the author scores a five out of five as well. Along with Alan Moore, Jim Ottaviani is one of the best graphic novelists.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great effort that bombs from the graphic angle, August 5, 2011
By 
Jean E. Pouliot (Newburyport, MA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Fallout (Paperback)
Fallout tells the back story of the development of the Manhattan Project, which developed the atomic bomb. The story focuses on Leo Szilard, a German scientist trying to outrace the Nazis, and Robert Oppenheimer, who led the project. Told by several graphics artist , each with a different style, the story tries to capture the complex blend of personalities who contributed to build the bomb. Oppenheimer is cool, refined and unflappable. Szilard is a ball of fire, running to and fro behind the scenes to get political support for the bomb and to procure graphite or uranium oxide for the tests. Enrico Fermi is aloof, detached and territorial, upset about Szilard's machinations, but wholly dependent on them. The story is fascinating and ultimately turns tragic, as America, newly victorious in the war, starts to turn its suspicions on its own loyal citizens, including Oppenheimer.

The book loses a star for a several reasons. The change in style from one artist to another made it hard to keep track of the characters. Then, too, many of the more interesting parts of the story were found in the Notes section. For instance, when lugging graphite blocks (used to build the reactor in Chicago) became too much for the pencil-pushing scientists, burly football players were enlisted to help. You would have to be psychic to figure this out from the drawings. There were many other instances in which the drawings did not communicate the story very well. In one three-panel section, Albert Einstein is shown thinking about whether to urge President Roosevelt to build the bomb. The Notes tell us that Einstein, a pacifist, was considering the political, moral and scientific aspects of his advice. But without the notes, who would know? And another irritation: the hearings on Oppenheimer's loyalty were flanked by long excerpts from letters written by the Commission and by Opp's lawyer. However interesting it was, I found it odd that a graphic novel relied so heavily on printed materials to tell its story.

Misgivings aside, I found the story interesting and (once I had information from the Notes section) very enlightening. "Fallout" brings to light some of the varied personalities who had to work together to imagine and to construct the bomb, and the personal cost that was borne by some of the participants.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1.0 out of 5 stars Fallout falls down, November 18, 2014
This review is from: Fallout (Paperback)
This is the complete review as it appears <a href="http://ianwoodnovellum.blogspot.com/2014/11/fallout-by-janine-johnston-jeffrey.html">at my blog dedicated to reading, writing (no 'rithmatic!), movies, & TV</a>. Blog reviews often contain links which are not reproduced here, nor will updates or modifications to the blog review be replicated here. Graphic and children's reviews on the blog typically feature two or three images from the book's interior, which are not reproduced here.

Note that I don't really do stars. To me a book is either worth reading or it isn't. I can't rate it three-fifths worth reading! The only reason I've relented and started putting stars up there is to credit the good ones, which were being unfairly uncredited. So, all you'll ever see from me is a five-star or a one-star (since no stars isn't a rating, unfortunately).

I rated this book WARTY!

This graphic novel is a pictorial representation of events leading up to the development of the atomic bomb which was used to almost literally erase the Japanese city of Hiroshima in 1945 and (along with the second bomb on Nagasaki) precipitate the end of World War Two. The bomb slaughtered some sixty thousand people, including twenty thousand Japanese troops, and it destroyed a munitions factory. That seems like a huge number of deaths and it is horrific without a doubt, but more destruction was rained down during Operation Meetinghouse, when the US napalmed helpless civilians in Tokyo, some one hundred thousand people died, and Tokyo was all but leveled; however, nothing has ever been built that's as fearful, as iconic, or as singularly destructive and pernicious as an atomic bomb.

This novel describes the work of the scientists who finally figured out how to bring uranium to critical mass so that it set off a chain reaction and so graphically demonstrated the immensely powerful principle of E=mc². The work began long before it was decided to use the bomb, and it was driven not by a desire to defeat Japan, but out of fear that the Nazis would develop such a weapon.

The black & white artwork is not that great, quite frankly. It's very inconsistent since it’s apparently drawn by more than one artist, and the story, believe it or not, is rather boring. How you can make a story like this boring is a mystery to me, but I had a bit of a time of it in reading this. I gave up about two-thirds or three-quarters the way through where the format changed to one featuring much more more text and a lot less imagery, in some sort of epilogue, which lost my interest completely.

The novel is quite technical in parts, which was interesting to me, but it was also boring to read an almost endless account of some aspects of the story, while other topics flashed by with barely a mention. For example, the obsession with recording the tediously on-going need to build-up a graphite barrier around the core of the nuclear reaction in early testing, was weird and pointless! Depict it and move on already! There also seemed to be some confusion about the atomic number of Plutonium - with 94 being confused with 49. Plutonium had no name back then, and was known only as a number. I'm not a physicist, but there is, trust me, a huge difference between Indium and Plutonium!

So, in short, I can’t recommend this graphic novel.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


10 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fallout is great!, July 17, 2002
By 
William Cunningham (Vestavia, Alabama USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Fallout (Paperback)
Although Fallout is in a comic book format it is serious history. The portraits are accurate. The events leading up to the bomb are covered in depth.
The account of the government's digraceful treatment of Oppenheimer is chilling, reminding us of how the people at the top here were much like the leaders in the USSR.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Good story, January 2, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Fallout (Paperback)
I really like this author, Suspended in Language was amazing as well as Feynman. But this book was just ok. I would of liked to learn more of the process and physics of making the bomb. But it is an amazing story. I reccomend Trinity. A graphic novel on the same subject.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, August 29, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Fallout (Paperback)
Got this for our 11 yr old son who loves physics and he really enjoyed it. He finished it quickly, so I was a little concerned that he was just skimming but he remembered details about the scientists and events and it inspired him to do a little more research on his own. Love the personal details about the scientists.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Haven't read it yet, but obviously not a NEW book, May 29, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Fallout (Paperback)
Just received this book, haven't read it yet. I find it hard to believe that this copy of "Fallout" is a NEW book (which is what I paid for). The back and front covers have worn, curled edges and bent corners. Amazon's return/replacement link will only offer me a refund, not a replacement = not happy.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Fallout
Fallout by Jim Ottaviani (Paperback - December 31, 2001)
$24.95 $13.52
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Search these reviews only
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.