It took me about a year to read Dark Sun: The Making of the Hydrogen Bomb. It’s not that I didn’t like the topic, it’s that I don’t care enough about the science. There is a lot going on in the book. You have the science going on in this book. A LOT OF SCIENCE. Not just the science, but the people. Between the Russians and the Americans… I lost track of people. I stopped caring. I skimmed through the science because I would still be reading it if I didn’t.
We talked about this when I was at knitting this past Sunday. I knit with a small group of very smart women on Sunday mornings. I am up thanks to Cedric who officially refuses to sleep past 6:30am (even if we go back to bed and he is exhausted). We often talk about the books being read while we knit. The topic of World War 2 books came up this week and we talked about my personal boycott on World War 2 related novels.
Side note, I am currently reading Young Men and Fire, which happens right after WW2. It doesn’t count on my boycott because it’s about fighting fires and jumping out of planes to do so. It should be fun and I may get a copy for my sister-in-law Bethany.
Anyway, we were talking about how this book made me feel like I would like spy novels because my favorite part of Dark Sun was the espionage and political/social response to it being uncovered. I mean, I was completely engaged and may have started skipping the science faster so I could get to the next installment of the spies. I was engrossed by the Rosenbergs and Oppenheimer (who was not a spy, despite being constantly accused of it).
One bit of science I did take away from this was Heavy Water and what it actually is. Check out that link for a youtube video that shows a neat experiment with it.
I am not saying this book is bad. It just wasn’t for me… except portions. I am far more inclined now to read history books about nuclear espionage from the mid-20th century. It is fascinating how few did it for political ideology.