Review: All That Is Solid Melts into Air
Being in Milan has left me with less time to read books and more time to see new things. Which I definitely do not mind! And you probably don’t either, as it results in more posts about cool things to see and do in Milan/Italy. In between all the trips, I do find time to read and I have been steadily finishing my Black Classics (read my post in those here). I have also finished a different book, as in not a Black Classic or a ‘normal’ Classic, and it is called ‘All That Is Solid Melts into Air’ by Darragh McKeon.
What’s the book about?
The book is about the meltdown at the Chernobyl Power Plant. But it is not really about the meltdown itself, more about how it effected people in the Soviet Union. It follows the lives of a surgeon, who will be in charge of the clean-up and really feels the limits of the way the Soviet Union is run, a young farmers boy who lived very close to the farm, another young boy, a piano prodigy, and his aunt who live in Moscow. The aunt ends up being the ex-wife of the surgeon and the surgeon ends up treating the young farmers boy, so in the end all stories intertwine.
What did I think of it?
I was drawn to this book because it looked like an interesting time/place setting. In the end that was also what I most enjoyed in the book, the way it talked about the meltdown and how everything went afterwards. It was very interesting to read the different perspectives of people who’s lives where affected in different ways. I most enjoyed the story lines of the surgeon and the farm boy. The plot around the piano prodigy and his aunt I cared a lot less about and I could even have done without the piano boy all together. His aunts story was about the rebellion trying to rise again and it was interesting, also to see what they did to her as a result of a previous try at working in the rebellion, however the most interesting was still the bits about the Chernobyl Plant and the way it was dealt with.
In the end the book became very difficult to finish, I just did not really care anymore and it probably also had to do with the fact that it focused more on the piano boy and his aunt. However I think the ending suited the book and it was a nice ending.
Should you read it?
I don’t know. You should read it if you are into reading about history, because it does give interesting perspectives on different kinds of lives affected by Chernobyl and it tells you a bit about how the government handled the situation. Don’t read it if you have other things you really want to read. For me it is a definite three stars out of five in that I did not think it was a really bad book and I don’t regret reading it, but I also did not enjoy it so much that I will be shoving it in peoples faces. If that makes it more clear how I feel the book :P
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