'“Read has produced a fascinating and well-organised book, a formidable combination of leg-work and head-work.” —TheIndependent “Read’s taut, riveting probe of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear plant explosion and its aftermath reveals the full magnitude of the disaster as perhaps no other book has done.” —Publishers Weekly “A top-notch take on a man-made catastrophe and its chilling consequences.” —Kirkus Reviews “The Chernobyl disaster gets the James Michener treatment from Alive author Read, who characterizes all the main participants in the tragedy and grippingly shows the mix of ineptitude and heroism with which the Soviets responded to it. More detailed than earlier Western accounts, more readable than any Soviet account.” —Library Journal “Piers Paul Read’s Ablaze recounts not only the dramatic events themselves, but the entire dismal history of the Soviet Union’s reckless disregard for safety as it attempted to wean the country off of fossil fuels by converting to nuclear energy. . . . What’s more, Read tells this story without resorting to the flamboyant overstatements of docudrama.” —Los Angeles Times '