Just when you think man has conquered all imaginable places to be explored, there is more...and these new landscapes keep on a'comin. Instead of calling it exploration, it is now referred to as pollution tourism and the author of the book does just that, becoming a tourist to some of the filthiest and toxic places in the world.
In this particular non-fiction book, Blackwell discovers the beauty of nature at Chernobyl, one of the deadliest radioactive areas in the world. Oh yes, the Geiger meter still goes off, but the awesomeness of standing so close to that famous nuclear reactor trumps all danger of getting your organs cooked.
Then there are the other places... perhaps you've heard of them, perhaps not. Come and breathe the toxic air of beautiful South Port Arthur, Texas, where petroluem plants are king. Visit the amazing vistas of the Alberta Oil Sands and witness the vastness of the machinery looking like Tonka trucks compared to the earth they're digging, not to mention the dead ducks in the process. Want something with a little more tang to it? Go to China and visit the town known for taking old computers and technology and refurbishing, melting, and scrapping them in order to make a living in a town that reminds me of Jacob Riis photographs of NYC at the turn of the century.
Let's not forget about going on a refreshing dip in the Yamuna River in India, where you can dive for treasures but need to watch out for the turds...literally. And then there's the enigmatic Garbage Patch, a floating flosam of the world's waste comingling somewhere out there in the Great Pacific....
This is a book that had me scrambling to the internet everytime I finished a chapter to look for pictures, more information, and the facts about these places Blackwell visited. Now that's a sign of an excellent non-fiction book. And what makes it even better? Blackwell is a master of humor in the midst of a serious topic. You'll laugh and be aghast at the same time. HIGHLY recommended.
Recommended by: Naomi Bates, Librarian, Texas USA