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Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie: A Tale of Love and Fallout Hardcover – December 21, 2010
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A Look Inside Radioactive: A Tale of Love and Fallout
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|Despite the tight quarters in his lab, Pierre Curie managed to find room for the delicate and grave foreign student.||Marie Sklodowska and Pierre Curie wed on July 26, 1895.||In 1900 Pierre strapped a tube of radium against his arm for ten hours. “To his joy, a lesion appeared,” reported his daughter Eve.|
“[A] sumptuously illustrated visual biography….Radioactive is an incisive look at science’s greatest partnership.” (Vogue)
“One of the most beautiful books-as-object that I’ve ever seen.” (Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love)
“[Radioactive is] a deeply unusual and forceful thing to have in your hands. Ms. Redniss’s text is long, literate and supple…Her drawings are both vivid and ethereal…Radioactive is serious science and brisk storytelling. The word ‘luminous’ is a critic’s cliché, to be avoided at all costs, but it fits.” (New York Times)
“Radioactive is quite unlike any book I have ever read—part history, part love story, part art work and all parts sheer imaginative genius.” (Malcolm Gladwell)
“Absolutely dazzling. Lauren Redniss has created a book that is both vibrant history and a work of art. Like radium itself, Radioactive glows with energy.” (Richard Rhodes, author of The Making of the Atomic Bomb, winner of the Pulitzer Prize)
“Radioactive offer innumerable wonders. Colors suddenly bloom into tremendous feeling, history contracts into a pair of elongated figures locked in an embrace, then expands again in an explosive rush of words. In this wholly original book about passion and discovery Lauren Redniss has invented her own unique form.” (Nicole Krauss, author of The History of Love)
Top Customer Reviews
First, the little things: the author created her own type based on the title pages of the New York Public Library; through evident hard work and determination, she tracked down astonishing anecdotes, photographs, gravestone rubbings, x-rays, and little known facts; the bibliography includes a breathtaking spectrum of sources, from interviews, lectures, biographies (in English and French), scientific journals, classified documents, correspondence, maps, notebooks, newspapers, scientific society proceedings; the illustrations are stunning. What unfolds on pages 83 - 85 is profoundly affecting and viscerally unforgettable. I am embarrassed by the number of superlatives in this paragraph.
Now, the big thing: this book, like the story it tells, is a miracle.
The reviewer below is entitled to his opinion. But may I offer a counterpoint. On page 94 Marie recalls a day in the meadows with her family, picking flowers. And there is an illustration of buttercups. Pages later, when Marie learns that Pierre is dead: "The flowers he had picked in the country remained fresh on the table." And then, let's say for curiosity's sake, you flip to the Notes and see this citation: "flowers...on the table." Curie Archives, microfilm, 4300.
Perhaps you will "learn" "more" from a Wikipedia article.Read more ›
The first half is filled with excitement and discovery - new elements and new romance.
The second half is much more somber, to put it mildly.
Last night, I put the book down, turned off the lights and discovered: The book GLOWS IN THE DARK!
(An extra star for that)
I love science, love the stories of scientists and their lives and was given this book for Christmas 2011 after a review on NPR. I found the book hard to read - disjointed. The book is about 8.5 x 11, is large and is as much about some very creative artwork as it is about the Curies. The font used has an in interesting story behind it, again creative, but not the most legible. The actual text could be crammed into about 20 pages with a 12 pt. Garamond font. The book is beautifully published here in the USA! I know, I know - I'm not being very creative and perhaps missing the point when I view this as strictly a book about two of my heroes and their science. I would strongly suggest using the look inside feature on Amazon to get a sense of the layout of the book before buying.
"Radioactive" glows in the dark.
And that's just the start of the charm and beauty and high intelligence of an oversized book that mixes text and art, documents and narrative, to tell a story that starts with the story of the Curies and then radiates outward.
Image-and-text --- like a non-fiction graphic novel?
Sure, if the non-fiction graphic novel had been drawn by Matisse and Warhol and researched and written by John Didion. The author's description should be the start of you moving closer to the screen and reading more slowly: "a visual book about invisible things --- in this case, radioactivity and love."
"Radioactive" is such a bitch slap to traditional thinking about books and biography and the subject of radiation that --- the metaphor is inevitable --- it really has no half-life. This is a reading/viewing experience you'll never forget. And when you need to give a book to someone who has "everything," it's the obvious choice.
The subtitle --- "love and fallout" --- is the hint that this is a book of mystery and magic, for Marie and Pierre Curie, though two, shared a love so deep they lived and thought and worked as one. And then, as we consider what happened to them, and what their discoveries have meant to the planet.....
But the core of the book is the story of these two great scientists. Marya Sklodowska, a brilliant student from Poland, came to Paris to study at the Sorbonne. In 1894, she met Pierre Curie, an iconoclast who taught physics and chemistry. How deep was their love?Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I was totally unprepared for the unusual qualities of this book. The history therein, was interesting. The artwork's style, was purposeful, tho' not my style. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Mrs. Harriet Burch
100% would recommend! It's a heavy read, obviously there's a lot of radiation involved, but it's so dark and beautiful and haunting.Published 5 months ago by Craftyem
I found this book to be spectacularly engaging, beautiful, and well thought out. Every image choice and every inclusion of biographical, scientific, and historical information... Read morePublished 5 months ago by sparkosaurus
An absolutely BEAUTIFUL work. The information presented in a truly unique way is all encompassing. I felt I'd received more than a quick look into Marie Curie's life and work. Read morePublished 6 months ago by BC
Not only does this book draw a reader in smoothly, by the story-telling and pictures, but it delivers inspiration, history, perspective, honesty and detail. Read morePublished 9 months ago by feather pen
'Radioactive' is everything I hoped for and more. This book is fascinating on several levels.
1. Read more
So I order this to read for our book club, thinking it would be just a normal account of the Curies' discovery of radioactivity. The book arrives. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Roger Brunyate
Apart from being an excellent book, an entertaining read,...I happened to leave this book under the nightlight next to my bed. When I turned out the lights the book lit up! Read morePublished 13 months ago by Victoria Poland