Monday, May 06, 2013

Radioactive by Lauren Redniss

This book was the 2012 Go Big Read selection at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Here is a link to the online version of a feature story I did for Isthmus about Go Big Read and about this book.

While I appreciate what is innovative and interesting about this book (the illustration process, the graphic nonfiction format, the author-designed typeface) it didn’t satisfy me as a reader. It wasn’t a true biography, nor was it a comprehensive analysis of Marie Curie’s impact on science, but instead some kind of weird hybrid in a pretty package. And that typeface: Tiny hand-rendered light blue type on a dark blue background. On some pages it could have been Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet for all I could tell. Yes, my eyes aren’t as good as they used to be, and I realize that some allowances must be made for the sake of art, but this was a book, for crying out loud, not an exhibit at an art gallery. What good is a book that you can’t read?

(Book 14, 2013)


Savvyworkinggal said...

I am so glad I read this. I was going to take this one with me on an upcoming vacation. Thanks for the heads-up. Nothing is worse than not having a good book to read while on vacation.


Just picked up a book with a metallic jacket that made it impossible to read the blurb on the inside cover. Really wanted to scream at the publisher that this is not going to sell many books. If I was the author I would have protested.

Shelley said...

I agree. I am continually amazed that publishers would put out a product that causes their most prized target audience (older people--we read!) to squint.

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