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

by Lauren Redniss

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» See also 134 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 44 (next | show all)
RGG: A piece of art as much as a biography and science treatise. Fascinating, approachable, but not as easy a read as the format might suggest. Noteworthy. Reading Interest: YA+
  rgruberhighschool | Feb 18, 2019 |
Perhaps not the most academic Curie biography, this is more like, the perfect coffee table book for your favorite engineer or physicist. It is awesome for what it is - a graphic novel about the Curies and the fallout of discovering radiation - but it is not quite a great graphic novel or biography. ( )
  jeninmotion | Sep 24, 2018 |
I read this because I heard it was the next Big Read choice for UW. Not sure if that's true or not, but I like to think so. The art work is incredible. ( )
  gossamerchild88 | Mar 30, 2018 |
This is just such a unique book, a pleasure to experience. The bizarre illustrations seem perfect and the juxtaposition of Marie Curie's life alongside stories related to the modern adaptations of her discoveries was ingenious. I'm not prone to reading about science but this was a brilliant literary take on one of the greatest scientific minds and the author's diligence to telling her story really shines through. ( )
  JOlson724 | Jul 30, 2017 |
My only quibble with this book is the way the main narrative of Marie Curie is frequently interrupted with tangential stories; it reminded me of reading a textbook or a newspaper, where you have to hold your place and go back, or skip ahead and return. Other than that, it was an informative, entertaining, and beautiful read; the author/artist has a very particular style, her human figures reminded me a bit of Modigliani's. There's a note at the end describing her artistic process. ( )
  JennyArch | Dec 27, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 44 (next | show all)
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.
added by jlelliott | editNature, 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. . . .
 
The electricity in “Radioactive,” however, derives from the friction between Ms. Redniss’s text and her ambitious and spooky art. Her text runs across and over these freewheeling pages, the boundaries between word and image constantly blurring. Her drawings are both vivid and ethereal. Her people have elongated faces and pale forms; they’re etiolated Modiglianis. They populate a Paris that’s become a dream city.
 
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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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Catastrophism, a geological theory championed by zoologist Georges Cuvier, holds that time lurches forward in sudden disasters.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0061351326, Hardcover)

Amazon Best Books of the Month, December 2010: Lauren Redniss’s brilliant biography-in-collage is an astounding portrait of Marie and Pierre Curie, the husband-and-wife team who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1903. Broken into seven chapters (introduced with scientific terms that hint at the stories to come), Radioactive fuses quotes from the scientists themselves with ones from the Curies’ own granddaughter, engineering and weapons experts, and even atomic bomb survivors that form a most interesting and informative narrative. Redniss’s styling doesn’t end with the way she tells the story: Radioactive is as visually stunning as it is factually rich. She jumps from black-and-white sketches to vibrantly colored depictions of the young couple’s courtship, collaborations, and eventually Pierre’s unexpected death. Within the stark pages of the chapter titled “Isolation,” the reader feels Marie’s loss; then in “Exposure” we watch as she falls in love again--this time under more controversial circumstances. Despite personal challenges, Marie continued to be ambitious and eventually became the first female professor at the Sorbonne, winning a second Nobel Prize in Chemistry. In Radioactive, Redniss shows a similar determination. Through her moody, evocative collages, she captures the drama of the Curies’ lives and their contributions to science and medicine, sending the reader on a one-of-a-kind historical and biographical journey that any curious mind will appreciate. --Jessica Schein

A Look Inside Radioactive: A Tale of Love and Fallout
Click on the photos below to open larger images.

Despite the tight quarters in his lab, Pierre Curie managed to find room for the delicate and grave foreign student. Marie Sklodowska and Pierre Curie wed on July 26, 1895. In 1900 Pierre strapped a tube of radium against his arm for ten hours. “To his joy, a lesion appeared,” reported his daughter Eve.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:08 -0400)

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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