Chernobyl: 2 Books in 1

Chernobyl: Prelude of a Disaster & Chernobyl: The Dawn After: The Unbelievable, Forbidden, Hidden but True Story of the World's Worst and Greatest Nuclear Disaster
Narrated by: Betty Johnston
Series: CHERNOBYL - THE DAWN AFTER, Book 1-2
Length: 6 hrs and 34 mins
Categories: History, 20th Century
5 out of 5 stars (136 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

At 1:23 a.m. in the morning of April 26, 1986, the world was shaken by a man-made nuclear disaster: Unit four of the Chernobyl power plant met historical devastation that night, resulting in lasting ecological, medical, and political effects.

Who was truly responsible for the explosion?

Was it a human error, a technical fault, or mere propaganda?

Read below to discover more.

The causes of such an accident for long remained behind the veil of governmental secrecy. For years, the people remained shocked by an RBMK explosion, and its ramifications remained unforeseen.

The world’s response to the devastation is another story worth hearing.

After 10 years of research, and the observations from the conducted investigations, historical and on-going developments at the Chernobyl, the author, Svetlana Kostenko, has written a detailed and in-depth narrative of this nuclear accident and unfolded all the series of events that led to this eventual disaster.

This audiobook includes two titles:

Chernobyl: Prelude of a Disaster - A Tale of Man-Made Nuclear Devastation

A nominee for the Heorhij Stepanovych Kyrylenko National Prize 2019 and winner of the Best Journalistic Report on Chernobyl Disaster named by Kyiv Today, this book unfolds the events of the worst nuclear accident, also depicted in the world famous Chernobyl 2019 drama TV series, with more in-depth details.

This includes all the series of events, the relevant and collective Soviet nuclear history, which ultimately led to this heart trembling disaster.

Chernobyl: The Dawn After - Apocalyptic Aftermath of a Nuclear Disaster

As the Chernobyl drama TV series of 2019 marked 33 years since the accident of Chernobyl, the Valerij Zayets Prize’s winner and nominee for Pulitzer Prize author Svetlana Kostenko draws a vivid picture of the aftermath of the world most famous nuclear accident.

This second volume is all about the aftermath of this incident, from the widespread effects to the state and world’s response along with liquidation measures.

Paints a complete picture of what had happened and what should have happened along with detrimental consequences!

©2019 Svetlana Kostenko (P)2019 Svetlana Kostenko

What members say

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The Books May be Good..

..but you'll never know unless you can tolerate one of the worst narrators I've ever heard. To be fair, I endured a speech impediment as a child and still struggle to this day with it. I don't know if Betty Johnson is similarly challenged but I can tell you that because of my experience I'd never dream of being a professional narrator. The first audiobook I've encountered in my 25+ years of listening where the narrator caused me to abandon the book before getting through 1 chapter. I plan on reading the Kindle version.

1 person found this helpful

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Well.....

The narrator is absolutely horrible. Lots of interesting content, with poor topic transition. probably would have been better with a better reader who pronounces names consistently and pauses for topic transistions.

1 person found this helpful

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  • BK
  • 12-15-19

Somewhat accurate story with poor narration

The story is factual with a few inaccuracies (based on other books on the subject). The problem is the terrible narration. The narrator seems to struggle through the book and pronounces every Russian word wrong. Not slightly wrong, but absolutely butchered. It is a shame to say, but the narrator ruined the book for me. I’m actually truly disappointed that I wasted a credit on this book. I certainly would not have paid full price for it.

1 person found this helpful

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This book is rousing and instructive.

This book was very easy to follow and understand. This was very informative and brief so the facts were quickly given bare-bones I'm sure there are many many books on this topic but this was a good introduction.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Great info but poor narration

I found these books very interesting. I only gave it 3 stars due to the poor narration which lacked enunciation and had an odd, disjointed cadence which distracted significantly from the content.

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In Desperate Need if Editting

I was completely disappointed. This book, while mostly a good attempt at presenting information, is full of misspellings, speculation, poor grammar, and flat-out mistakes. I’m uncertain how or why a publisher would release what had that potential to be an excellent book without having thoroughly proofreading, fact checking, and editing it. The author is American born and of Ukrainian descent, but I don’t know whether English is her first language or not. I don’t know if the book was originally written in Russian, Ukrainian, or English. If not in English, one would hope an American publisher would have editors fix any linguistic problems or issues with an English translation before releasing the book in English. If original written in Russian or Ukrainian, it’s by no means the fault of the author for these issues.

The narrator on this recording adds insult to injury. She reads the book word for word with no corrections. For example, she reads “window maker” instead of “widow maker.” The narration also contains a plethora of mispronunciations of countries, cities, names, and non-English words. If you’re going to record a book that contains many Russian and Ukrainian words, learn how to correctly pronounce them. It’s as if the producer, director, and narrator made little to no effort on this one. Some words are even pronounced multiple ways within the context of the same chapter, with all of them being incorrectly read.

The history of the Soviet nuclear industry and the Chernobyl disaster are incredibly interesting and important topics. I’ve read several books about the 1986 disaster at the VI Lenin plant and its ongoing consequences. Don’t waste time on this book. Read “Midnight in Chernobyl” by Adam Higginbotham, “Voices from Chernobyl” by Svetlana Alexievich, and/or “Chernobyl: The History of a Nuclear Catastrophe” by Serhii Plokhy instead. These three books are far more accurate and well-written, and the production of the audiobook versions of the books by Higginbotham and Plokhy are excellent. Sadly, there’s no audiobook format for Svetlana Alexievich’s amazing book, which contains firsthand accounts from the disaster’s survivors.

Take a hard pass on this one. I had great difficulty even finishing it because of all its problems. Check out one or all of the above mentioned books. You’ll be glad you did.

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Best to Buy a Book

This book is well written and I would not have finished if I weren't so interested in the topic. The reader started bad, got a little more tolerable and by the end the mispronunciations of names and places, her accent, and repetitions (bad editing/no editing) were like fingernails on a chalk board. I will not purchase a book with this narrator again..she just wasn't my cup of tea.

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Story ruined by narrator

Interesting material but the narrator is abysmal. Poor pronunciation of names, sentence rythm terrible... if there was a way I would say listen to this by another narrator.

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Hard to follow due to narrators cadence

An exciting subject, my disappointment came due to the way the narrator starts and stops every 3 to 5 words. I will get a copy of these books and read them myself. I’m glad this was a gift and I didn’t spend money on them.

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Exhaustive History of Chernobyl and its Effects

Very detailed book covering the lead up to the accident all the way to modern nuclear power in Ukraine and Belarus.

First half is more technical, second half more political.

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  • R Halls
  • 11-07-19

Waste of time and money

As the title says don't waste your time or money with these books there are MUCH BETTER books available on Audible about Chernobyl. Where to begin;

Firstly the narrator sounds like a robotic 5 year old who's first language is NOT English. The absolutely terrible pronouciation (don't even ask how Belarus was pronounced!) along with the dropping of plurals and operands makes for painful listening it's as if it is read by a text to speech engine.

Secondly the mish mash of units makes it hard to follow. Describing something first in meters then describing a part of it in inches doesn't make sense. Also the narrators habits of not mentioning units in some sentences is more painful then when unit abbreviations are read then the unit name is used a couple of sentences later is just headache forming.

Thirdly the science is just plain wrong is some places. The information contained in this book is misquoted and at odds with other (better researched books) and is confused and ambiguous. I could list them but I think the word limit for this review would be exceeded!

I do not recommend this audiobook


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  • Shaffer Malik
  • 09-21-19

A Real Eye Opener

This is a well-researched reconstruction of the events preceding the worst nuclear accident in the 20 century and the subsequent bungling in its aftermath.

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  • Duran Rocky
  • 09-21-19

Excellent Book

I became interested in this story after watching the HBO show Chernobyl. This book is a well written, well paced complete history from the very beginnings of the plant, the accident, and its aftermath.

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  • Hayden Mills
  • 09-21-19

Extraordinary research and writing

Very engaging and important book. The vast number of people involved made it difficult to keep the names straight, especially given that many were Russian or Ukrainian. Wish I had a hard copy of the list introduced at the beginning.

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  • Riddle Brown
  • 09-21-19

Really in depth telling of the Chernobyl disaster

This telling follows several individuals involved and affected by the disaster and lays out a good atmosphere for what things were like in the Soviet union while it took place. Narrator is a little monotone but otherwise really great rendition

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  • Bates Stark
  • 09-21-19

Amazing and comprehensive

Riveting composition of the worst nuclear disaster in history, explicit record of Soviet denial, incompetence and state-established bureaucratic insanity. I've been to Russia 7 times in the past 28 years and I found the story so readily understandable in the context of my own experiences with The residue of Soviet bureaucracy,

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  • Mathews Huge
  • 09-21-19

Haunting

This extremely well researched account of the Chernobyl disaster will leave you both haunted and hungry for more at the same time.

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  • Mcgrath Ball
  • 09-21-19

A very indepth account of the the nuclear disaster

From beta burns to blankets of boron sand, this book is filled with good info.

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  • Ali Austin
  • 09-21-19

Fascinating story of history

The details covered are extraordinary. It’s a piece of history that should never be forgotten and the sacrifice of so many people to contain the disaster is amazing.

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  • Moody Fall
  • 09-21-19

Riveting

I was in my mid twenties when this happened and I had no idea how serious it was. What a frightening story!