All That Is Solid Melts Into Air

Darragh McKeon

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All That Is Solid Melts Into Air

All That Is Solid Melts Into Air Under a crimson dawn sky Artyom Telvatnikov stands in a field of cows his fingertips glistening with warm blood that streams from their ears It is April and ten miles away above the Chernobyl

  • Title: All That Is Solid Melts Into Air
  • Author: Darragh McKeon
  • ISBN: 9781443418843
  • Page: 125
  • Format: ebook
  • Under a crimson dawn sky, Artyom Telvatnikov stands in a field of cows, his fingertips glistening with warm blood that streams from their ears.It is April 1986, and ten miles away, above the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, clusters of sparks fill the air, inflaming the final years of the Soviet Union, inciting its citizens to actions of brutality, mystery and terrible beautUnder a crimson dawn sky, Artyom Telvatnikov stands in a field of cows, his fingertips glistening with warm blood that streams from their ears.It is April 1986, and ten miles away, above the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, clusters of sparks fill the air, inflaming the final years of the Soviet Union, inciting its citizens to actions of brutality, mystery and terrible beauty Grigory, a surgeon working in the wake of the disaster, in a place where all natural order has been distorted, is forced to question everything he has known In Moscow, his estranged wife, Maria, a former dissident, struggles to free herself from the constraints imposed upon her by the state Her nephew Yevgeni is a nine year old piano prodigy whose sense of rhythm is rapidly eroding.In All That Is Solid Melts into Air, Darragh McKeon blends an array of these and other characters into a strikingly visceral portrait of a place and a people in the midst of terrifying change.Praise for All That is Solid Melts into Air This daring and ambitious novel blends historical epic and love story with a detailed and moving description of the Chernobyl disaster and the fall of the Soviet Union Darragh McKeon handles the struggles of his characters with care and compassion and creates a book rich with resonance far beyond its historical moment Colm T ib n Brilliantly imagined in its harrowing account of the Chernobyl disaster and exhilarating in its sweep, All That is Solid Melts Into Air is a debut to rattle all the windows and open up the ventricles of the heart McKeon creates a thrilling appearance of ease, while he delves deep and forges new territory for the contemporary novel The book is daring, exhilarating, generous and beautifully written History is rendered here as a rising choir of contradictory demands McKeon probes the forgotten corners of human experience and makes them properly valuable Throughout it all, he writes with an ear for the quiet captivations of the human heart All That is Solid Melts into Air marks the beginning of a truly significant career I cannot say it loud enough McKeon is here to stay Colum McCann Darragh McKeon has crafted a quietly monumental portrait of Soviet particulars and human universals The confidence, insight, and above all deep feeling mark All That is Solid Melts into Air as an astounding debut Charles Foran

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      125 Darragh McKeon
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      Posted by:Darragh McKeon
      Published :2019-02-15T08:59:07+00:00

    One thought on “All That Is Solid Melts Into Air

    1. Jeanette"Astute Crabbist" on said:

      PsssstThis is now available. April 29.It took me a long time to read this book. There's a lot going on here, and it requires some concentration to keep track of all the characters in various locations as they weave in and out of each other's lives. Along with an account of the aftermath of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, we also follow the lives of other Soviet citizens in the years leading up to the revolution that shattered the Iron Curtain. We see the unrest and the despair resulting from a life [...]

    2. Rebecca McNutt on said:

      All That is Solid Melts into Air is a book unlike any other, featuring a shocking plot and lovable characters, each of whom find their lives disrupted in ways stranger than fiction.

    3. Barbara on said:

      I loved this book which is probably a surprising response to a book that tells the story of the people who lived around Chernobyl at the time of the meltdown The story of Soviet sheer incompetence is mind boggling. This is fiction, but describes what happened to people living around the failed nuclear reactor. The oppression of the Soviet system is described in numbing detail. Yet the humanity of the characters shines through. It is a tribute to the human spirit that some survived this disaster [...]

    4. Michael on said:

      All that is Solid Melts into Air tells the story of the Soviet Union in 1986. A nine year-old piano prodigy continuously falling victim to bullies, a surgeon throwing himself into his work to avoid the emotion pain of a failed marriage, a former dissident struggling to free herself from political constraints. Everyday Russians trying to make life work in this repressed state; that was until a disaster in Ukraine changes things.Most people who know me know that I am a fan of Russian literature an [...]

    5. Jessica on said:

      This books reminded me a lot of A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, only set in the aftermath of the Chernobyl disaster instead of the Chechen war. The book has the same dark themes and a similar structure of interlocking threads moving in circles around each other and through time -- a doctor sent to deal with the fallout, his ex-wife working in a factory that could benefit from some organized labor, her nephew who could become a piano prodigy if it were a different time and a different place, [...]

    6. Lauren Hopkins on said:

      I don't want to totally trash this book because it was really well-written but I don't understand how someone can take a topic as fascinating as Chernobyl and how it caused a fundamental crack in the Soviet state and make it unbearably boring. I cared about one of the roughly ten or so featured characters, mainly because most were given almost no depth or conclusion, and those that were given something to work with were completely unfulfilling. I think it was well-researched, especially in terms [...]

    7. Emma Flanagan on said:

      There has always been something mysterious about Russia. Something about this vast country far beyond the comprehension of most Europeans, which spans Europe and Asia. Even more so when one looks at the period of the Soviet Union. We still know very little about what happened behind the Iron Curtain. There are few other countries which feel both so removed from our lives other than maybe China and of course North Korea. Its a daring move therefore for a writer, particularly a debut novelist, to [...]

    8. Olive (abookolive) on said:

      Need to think over my feelings on this one. Right now it's a 3.5 for me. It was enjoyable but the pacing was strange and, quite honestly, distracting.

    9. Donna McCaul Thibodeau on said:

      I was excited to read this as many of my GR friends rated it four or five stars. For some reason, it just didn't resonate with me. I found it hard to get into and the characters seemed thinly fleshed out and hard to like. The book was hard going for me, I had to keep picking it back up to finish it. I probably would have stopped reading halfway through were it not for the fact it was a quarterly read by one of my groups here. The three stars reflect the portrayal of the Chernobyl incident, which [...]

    10. Allan on said:

      This debut novel by Irish author Darragh McKeon has been widely lauded by critics and other writers alike, and after reading the book, one can understand exactly why.Set mainly in the USSR in 1989 in the aftermath of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, the narrative follows a number of different characters and tells the story of the after effects of the accident, both environmentally and on humans, the resulting government cover up, as well as giving the reader the sense of the beginnings of di [...]

    11. Pamela on said:

      Rarely do I give five-star ratings to books with copious amounts of disturbing content and language, let alone read them. However, Darragh McKeon’s bold and daring debut novel - All That Is Solid Melts Into Air - is deserving of five-stars and more. “Workers burst out from the canteen and the locker rooms . . . They run into the bowels of the building finding stricken bodies: men foaming at the mouth, writhing listlessly on the floor. Radiation has already worked its way through their cells, [...]

    12. Marianna Neal on said:

      2.5 out of 5 starsI originally gave this book 3 out of 5 stars, but after thinking about it I had to take it down to 2.5 because I just can't get it to 3. This actually makes me sad, because I was really looking forward to reading All That is Solid Melts Into Air, and it ended up disappointing me. It had a lot of potential and some beautiful writing so why was I bored reading it? Especially taking into account the fact that the Chernobyl tragedy is an incredibly potent topic. Maybe the author wa [...]

    13. Melissa Crytzer Fry on said:

      Wow. This was an incredible read: lush, lyrical prose on a sentence-by-sentence level, with breathtaking imagery and description. The stories of the four main characters were introduced separately but woven together like a fine tapestry.I can’t say enough about this book. In fact, I don’t know why it didn’t garner higher acclaim and far more reviews than it did. For me, it was THAT good and shed such a necessary light on a topic that is still covered up today, despite its lasting repercuss [...]

    14. Terri Jacobson on said:

      This book provided me with a wonderful reading experience. It's the story of a group of people in the Soviet Union from the time just before the fall of the Berlin Wall and just after. The primary plot revolves around the nuclear accident at Chernobyl. The writing is deep and profound. The characters are well developed and they really grab you. The description of the actual nuclear accident at Chernobyl is awesome. The title of the book is explained in the epigraph:"All that is solid melts into [...]

    15. Jessica McCann on said:

      Yesterday, I finished reading ALL THAT IS SOLID MELTS INTO AIR. Today, I already miss the people in the book terribly. Yes, I know they are fictional characters; that is the magic that fuels this novel. Darrogh McKeon has created full-bodied, living, breathing, feeling characters – mistreated, yet resilient; impassive, yet loyal; flawed, yet perfect. Add to that the author’s beautiful prose, his amazing talent for descriptive storytelling, and this is a book that will linger in my mind for y [...]

    16. Thomas on said:

      I found it hard to get into this book. The first fifty pages were slow going. I found the subject matter very depressing,i.ehuge numbers of people dying unnecessarily after the Chernobyl disaster. I did like the author's description of the vivid colors in the sky. I rate it 3.5 out of 5 stars(rounded down to 3).

    17. Terri on said:

      Original review can be found at kristineandterri/2I received this ARC from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. The expected publication is March 11th 2014.I am a big fan of stories that take place during periods of historical significance and this story did not disappoint. I admit that I do not possess a great wealth of knowledge about Russian history or the events that occurred at Chernobyl as I was too young to be interested in the world outside my door. This is the m [...]

    18. Amy on said:

      Ohgoodness I am utterly shattered by this book. I cannot even put into words how haunting and heartbreaking it is and yet, one of the most beautiful things I've ever read. Let me start by saying I received an ARC of All That Is Solid Melts Into Air in exchange for a review. The plot sounded interesting enough but wow I didnt expect ANYTHING like this! The stories of the characters in this novel will stay with me for many years to come. I cant get them out of my head even now and my chest literal [...]

    19. Katie on said:

      I picked this book up because I saw Olive at ABookOlive on Youtube hauling it and I instantly knew that I needed to read a historical fiction novel about Chernobyl. Also I'm trying (and failing) at reading more Irish authors this year which made me even more pumped to pick this up. Honestly I rather enjoyed it, it was a nice break from all of the science fiction and fantasy I've been reading of late, I've been missing historical fiction. I thought this book was well written and well researched. [...]

    20. Angie on said:

      Gorgeous. If there was one word to describe this book gorgeous would be it. After I read a book, I like to wait a day or so before I review it to let what I've just read sink in. I finished this novel last night, and I cannot stop thinking about it.All That Is Solid Melts Into Airby Darragh McKeon is one of those books that will stick with you, impact you emotionally, and cause you to spend hours researching Chernobyl. This novel is the closest to perfection that I have read in a long time. McKe [...]

    21. Mary Ann on said:

      This is a very difficult book to review, as a reader I found it very well done, but; the emotional roller coaster it has me on, I can't describe. The hardest part to accept is that it seems to have changed nothing, and people continue to live in harm's way. I also read the Original essay which was in back of book I read. Very sad & scary.

    22. Zaz on said:

      An average book about a terrible event, used as a sad background, and flat characters, used to picture the harsh soviet communism.The book follows the story of several characters: a kid deported after Chernobyl disaster, a doctor sent to the event, his ex-wife and her 9 years old nephew. They have to deal with the soviet life, the imposed silence and the threat of being imprisoned.The writing didn’t work for me, it didn’t flow enough and the pace was slow when something thrilling was expecte [...]

    23. Linda on said:

      Miraculously they find the operating manual, damp but usable. They locate the section. There's a section. Ears numb from the piercing alarm. Eyes streaming. A section. Scanning through pages. A title: "operational Procedures in the Event of Reactor Meltdown." A block of black ink, two pages, five pages, eight pages. All text has been wiped out, paragraphs hidden behind thick black lines. An event such as this cannot be tolerated, cannot be conceived, such a thing can never be planned for, as sur [...]

    24. Serf on said:

      I wasn't a major fan of this or the authors writing style. I felt there were too many themes going on for him to focus on any one in particular to do it justice. Flits between telling the chernobyl story to the marriage break up to the industrial issues to the teenage anxt and on and on.

    25. Jess on said:

      I bought this book when I was doing some retail therapy in Cambridge on the day after the General Election. The cover is gorgeous; the title is unusual. I sat and read until the bit where the nine-year-old musical genius, Yevgeni, has his finger broken. I reckoned it was good enough to buy, so I did.This book is about the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, but there’s only one chapter about the accident itself. The rest is about its effects on a cluster of characters. There is a surgeon, his ex-wife, [...]

    26. Sarah on said:

      Quite a book, and a slightly disjointed mix of historical snippets, gently retold personal histories and dramatic scenes, these last in hard (hard, hard) light I'm not sure it all hangs together as well as it might but there is some powerful writing here, and a well-balanced, not too widely flung, tale of some of those caught up in the gears of Chernobyl and perestroika and what have you. I feel it slightly fails to root itself in Moscow and Minsk, KGB and samizdat and Lubianka and endless queue [...]

    27. Kasa Cotugno on said:

      The nuclear disaster at Chernobyl has come to represent former Soviet Republic in its waning years. Although it happened 5 years before the dissolution of the central state, it appeared to pave the way. But it is the human element that makes this book important. There are three central figures, but their lives are enriched by those around them more than the disaster. One could draw similarities between this and other pivotal events, for me, most notably, the government's reaction to the first re [...]

    28. Betsey Brannen on said:

      As I recently finished Ken Follett's "Fall of Giants" (Century Trilogy, Book One) that so grandly captures the beginnings of Soviet life, that I felt this would be an excellent follow-up, a book that chronicles the stunning end to Communism (if you feel that the Soviet Union held the standard of communism to which other countries must be held). McKeon more than adequately captures life inside the crumbling, yet terrifying society that is Soviet Russia. From pogroms to manipulative employers, fro [...]

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