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Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie: A Tale of Love and Fallout

af Lauren Redniss

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
7604828,983 (4.16)168
Presents the professional and private lives of Marie and Pierre Curie, examining their personal struggles, the advancements they made in the world of science, and the issue of radiation in the modern world.
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» Se også 168 omtaler

Viser 1-5 af 48 (næste | vis alle)
I love the format of this book! The mixture of text and art along with history and commentary is really compelling.

The ratings are all over the place for this book for a good reason. One's opinion of it depends on whether one likes the mixture of art and text and whether one likes how the nonlinear nature of the text. The history of Marie Skłodowska Curie, Pierre Curie, family, and friends is linear. However, the author inserts relevant historical commentary throughout the story which is what many people object to.

As of this review date we assign this book to all of our General Chemistry I students as required reading and so far the feedback has been very positive. Students tend to like the format and while some don't like the nonlinear text, they appreciate the information.

I don't recommend the Kindle version, however. Some people bought it and said it was very hard to read. I suggest the hardback version and make it a coffee table book to encourage visitors to flip through it, ( )
  alan_chem | Feb 28, 2023 |
Great story. Very interesting. Art sucked. ( )
  Brian-B | Nov 30, 2022 |
[Radioactive] is a marvelous book. It's at once a biographical sketch of two pioneering researchers of radioactivity, a truly romantic love story, and a chilling history-of-the-science report. Presented through vibrantly colorful and lyrical, though curiously awkward, illustrations, Radioactive challenges the conventional image of the "Graphic Novel".

Marie and Pierre Curie—and their scientific work— are the subjects. Pierre Curie was born into science, son of a physician working in a neuroanatomical lab. He proved himself early and often, earning a university degree at 16, publishing a scientific paper at 21, and joining the Sorbonne's mineralogy lab to study crystals. Marya Sklodowska, on the other hand, was born into a working class Polish family living in Warsaw under Russian rule. A feature of early education included surprise interrogations by a state inspector who demanded students recite the names of Tzars and members of the imperial family. To get the education she wanted, she joined the Flying University, a clandestine network of a thousand women who met in secret and defied Russian control of education. Nevertheless, at 18, Marya took herself to Paris.

In 1891, the year 32-year-old Pierre began his doctoral dissertation ("Magnetic Properties of Bodies at Diverse Temperatures"), the 24-year-old Marya enrolled at the Sorbonne as Marie. She was one of only 23 female students among the total enrollment of 1800. Having completed degrees in mathematics and in physics in two years, she was hired by a national lab to study the magnetic properties of steel. She was working in borrowed space in a crowded lab until a Polish physicist visiting Paris introduced her to "a scientist of great merit": Pierre Curie. Thereafter, Marie reported on their introduction:

Upon entering the room I perceived, standing framed by the French window opening on the balcony, a tall young man with auburn hair and large, limpid eyes. I noticed the grave and gentle expression of his face, as well a certain abandon in his attitude, suggesting the dreamer absorbed in his reflections…We began a conversation which soon became friendly.

The two immediately began sharing lab space and research. Pierre persuaded Marie to marry him. They had a daughter and named her Irene. They collaborated in all ways, even keeping the same diary. Together they demonstrated the existence of two new elements, radium and polonium (the latter named for Marie's homeland, Poland). For this work, the Curies won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1902.

Radium is simultaneously mesmerizing and deadly. Both Marie and Pierre were captivated by its glow, and while aware of the hazard, they handled the material during long days in their lab. Marie slept with a tiny radium crumb in a vial beside her pillow. Ultimately, the exposure undermined Marie's health, delaying the Stockholm trip to accept the Prize for more than a year.

Marie and Pierre Curie's lives are presented in a straight chronology. But accounts of the dramatic, often terrible but occasional beneficial, impacts of their discoveries, often decades later, disrupt the timeline. The linkage is essential.

The book is entirely Redniss's. She organized the presentation, wrote the text. She laid out the pages. She created the illustrations, using a technique called "cyanoprinting". (The process is an old one and is used to make blueprints.) She added colors to the prints using paints or colored pencils. She even designed the typeface.

The artwork in Radioactive is unique. Not inspired by comic-strip conventions, it doesn't use the comic artist's vocabulary. Too, the book's design bends the conventions of story presentation. There's no grid, no uniform lineup of panels, each depicting an action, a phrase of dialog or a reaction or an emotion. Redniss may have used a grid to guide her layouts, but if she did, it is transparent. The art and the text blocks (which seldom are "blocks") flow across the spreads.

I first read Radioactive about 10 years ago. At the time, graphic novels were comics in the guise of books. Each page presented a grid of panels with cartoon figures and dialog balloons. Redniss's concept blew me away. It was—and still is, of course—a book aglow, perfectly fitting the topics.

It is quite unfortunate that images can't be shown in the reviews, for this is a GRAPHIC edition. Images are so important for anyone to get a satisfactory understanding of the book. Here's what I posted to my thread:
https://www.librarything.com/topic/342172#7856401
1 stem weird_O | Jun 6, 2022 |
This is a book of art and biography and could be considered Graphic Non Fiction. And while it is a biography of Marie Curie it is also the biography of radioactivity. And did you know; that the atomic tests conducted between 1945 and 1963 has time stamped everyone? Author and artist Lauren Redniss deserves recognition for this wonderful book and work of art.

Art: line drawing, transparency, cyanotype print, hand-colored cyanotype print, shading, dimensional, photography, maps, paper cutouts, charcoal rubbing. The author even created her own typeface based on title pages of manuscripts at the New York Public Library. Named it Eusapia LR. ( )
  Kristelh | Apr 7, 2022 |
Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie: A Tale of Love and Fallout by Lauren Redniss was the first graphic novel, besides Maus, that I have ever read. I'm not a fan of the GN. However, this book was fantastic. It was so very interesting and written in a way that a laymen can understand nuclear fission and carbon-14. The love lives of Marie Curie was also interesting. There are many copies of original documents contained within as well as a good amount of end-notes. My only complaint is that there was a lot of white ink on red or orange pages that I could barely make out--I struggled to read a good many pages. I highly recommend this book as a GN, a biography, a NF, and just a plain good read! 176 pages ( )
  Tess_W | Mar 9, 2022 |
Viser 1-5 af 48 (næste | vis alle)
Writer and artist Lauren Redniss's Radioactive is no ordinary biography of Marie and Pierre Curie. The story of radioactivity, one of the most exciting discoveries of the past 100 or so years, is brightly visualized through Redniss's imagination in her illustrated book. Ideas, scientific choices, motivations and insatiable passions unfurl in her elegant cyanotype drawings and are enacted by ethereal figures set into motion by the author's eloquence.
tilføjet af jlelliott | RedigerNature, Giovanni Frazzetto (pay site) (Jan 6, 2011)
 
The short history of modern graphic storytelling has produced plenty of books whose visuals dwarf the text. Occasionally, the tale trumps the art.

Rare is the book that marries great fiction or nonfiction with visual elements that wow the viewer and have a purposeful, amplifying connection to the text. So put this one on your list.

The illustrated biography of Nobel Prize-winning scientist Marie Curie also explores some of the well-known unintended consequences of Curie's work in radioactivity. And the book incorporates contemporary voices of those whose lives would've been vastly different -- better and worse -- without Pierre and Marie Curie's discoveries.

All of that informs Ms. Redniss the visual artist, who places her story against a backdrop of historical photographs, collage and neoprimitive drawings, many finished with a special process that lends a graphic glow to some pages. It echoes the energy that lights up skeletons in X-rays and illuminated radioactive watch dials during World War I. . . .
 
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With apologies to Marie Curie, who said, "There is no connection between my scientific work and the facts of private life."
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Presents the professional and private lives of Marie and Pierre Curie, examining their personal struggles, the advancements they made in the world of science, and the issue of radiation in the modern world.

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