Solid Mystery, Could Have Used Better Time Notations. This is one that is intriguing, yet also a bit slow up front – and sometimes hard to keep track of who/ when we are in any given section. There are four main perspectives – the survivor of a horrific car crash, her daughter, a lawyer, and a new neighbor of the survivor and her daughter – with several others also thrown in at different times – the lawyer’s client and the neighbor’s wife being the main two of these. All interweave at various points all the way through the ending, and indeed the epilogue is almost Fallout style in giving updates on what happens from each character’s perspective. The only real issue I had with the book was specifically the editing, and specifically that it could have used a “Present” header the same way it often used a “3 months ago” header when shifting perspectives. Usually the chapter after the “3 months ago” chapter is from the same character perspective, but now we’re back in the present… except this is only really noted via context clues. Still, truly an excellent book that is much more that it appears at first, with a bit of a thriller at the back of the book in an epic conclusion. Very much recommended.
Ho Lee Schitt! WHAT A RUSH! With this book, Laurence again ups his game and introduces a weapon that is arguably scarier than any he has unleashed yet… particularly since it seems plausibly real. The action, stakes, and sheer terror here are all off the charts, and Laurence pulls no punches. That so much of the backstory is based on documented real world events is arguably among the scariest elements of this book, even if at least some of it is in fact fictionalized so that Laurence can craft the story the way he wants. With all of this noted, this isn’t one of those books that you can just pick up this Book 3 in the series and go, you really do need to read both Book 1 (Extinction Agenda) and Book 2 (Annihilation Protocol) first. At which point you’re immediately going to want this book anyway. And when you finish this one, you’re going to want Book 4 immediately… which is going to make you rain curses of mild inconveniences down upon Laurence as you will likely have to wait a bit for it. 😀 Very much recommended.
This week we’re looking back at one of the most monstrous events in human history. This week we’re looking back on the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima, Japan, on its 75th anniversary through the lens of Fallout by Lesley MM Blume.
Fallout is not the story of the Hiroshima bombing, but of the coverup of its true horrific effects – and one man’s efforts to uncover them. Fallout is the story of the expose Hiroshima, written by John Hersey and published in The New Yorker on August 31, 1946. As Fallout cites the essay heavily while telling the story of how it came to be, and since The New Yorker’s website currently has the essay free to view at least as of the writing of this post in late June 2020, I very much recommend you take a moment to go read the original essay. It really is as powerful as Blume describes, and truly deserves its story being told.
Blume does the singular most remarkable job I’ve ever seen in a nonfiction book in at least one way: Nearly 40% of the text of the ARC I read of this book was bibliography. In my experience, a seemingly comprehensive bibliography averages closer to 25% to 33% of the text of a nonfiction book. Though at least in my ARC edition, the notes were not referenced in the actual text. It is unknown at this time if that was intentional or if that will be fixed prior to publication, but the effect was that it made the story flow much easier without the constant footnote references, so perhaps it is a great thing that they were listed but not directly referenced.
Blume also has a knack for the narrative, and does a remarkable job of keeping what could be a dense and complicated issue taut yet crystalline. Reading this book really gives the sense of being there and searching for the truth, yet also having the hindsight to know which passages and influences will ultimately bare out in the annals of history. Her passion for this particular essay, the history of it, and the history it describes, becomes abundantly clear almost from the first words of this effort.
Hiroshima was an absolutely critical essay for every American to read, understand, and internalize, and Blume’s work here detailing the history of how it came to be should be read right alongside Hersey’s original essay. Very much recommended.
And as always, the Goodreads review:
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