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.
©2012 Andrew Blackwell (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
I am a 30 year old over-the-road truck driver. I listen to A LOT of audiobooks!
When I saw this book, I was expecting a 10 hour lecture on how humans have destroyed the planet and how we need to run out and hug a tree. This wasn't the case at all. The author presented Chernobyl and other locations as if they were attractions worthy of a tourism pamplet at a travel center. Each location was presented in a thought provoking, descriptive and very entertaining way. It wasn't the GREATEST book I have ever listened to, but it sure was worth the time and money.
Blackwell's travelogue has some interesting parts (oil sands gift store anyone?) and the tongue in cheek manner keeps thing from getting too heavy. A balanced environmentalist view is woven through this recognizing our inherent conflict between conservation and what maintains our lifestyles. Still some parts are more interesting than others and I can't really say I learned a lot from this book. In fact, I found it less interesting and somewhat repetitive the further I read. Still, it is a lightweight page turner that is hard not to like and you can fast forward through parts and probably not feel you have missed anything. The narration is good.
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I enjoyed listening to most of this book because I am interested in science and pollution. Also, Blackwell adds personal information and often writes in a humorous manner.
This is more than just look at the polluted sites. He interacts with the locals, all of them surprisingly adapted to living with their situations. In some places there is ongoing coverup which he tries to circumvent. In other locations the pollution is blatant and the locals are immersed in it on a daily basis.I was not aware of some sites, some sources of pollution, nor the extent of the problems. Compared to the size of the problems, there seems to be little effort to stop/clean up the messes.
I was a bit weary of it all by the time the book ended.
Ax Norman does a great narration of this material.
Interesting information, however it just seemed the India visit was the weakest in information and storytelling.
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