This is a very thought-provoking novel, for those on both sides of the nuclear weapon/energy argument, and a highly recommended read.
The Chernobyl Privileges may seem like an odd title for a novel inspired by the devastating nuclear disaster of the 1980s in Chernobyl. But then, this is by no means an ordinary novel. Set in the present day, Anthony Fahey is lucky to be working at Her Majesty's Naval Base Clyde, where Britain's Trident nuclear weapons are kept. His expertise is valued over his complicated personal life and chequered employment history. Anthony's life begins to unravel, following an incident at the naval base. For obvious reasons, due to the nature of the work, he is unable to talk to his wife about the incident, but their marriage is already rocky following the death of her Father, and Anthony having to behave in a secretive manner is not helping. Anthony also believes that he knows better, and is more concerned about the incident than his superiors, so begins to challenge and defy orders, landing him in hot water on more than one occasion. No matter how much Anthony wants to believe that he is not defined by his past, it is inescapable and influences all he does. Back in 1986 Anatolii was just a child living in Ukraine when the nuclear incident took place in Chernobyl. First hand he witnessed the impact of the fallout on the first responders, including his Father. Anatolii didn't much want to leave Ukraine, but he wasn't given a choice, and was enforced into a new life in the UK, and a new identity 'Anthony Fahey'. Anthony believes that he can make a difference in his profession, and prevent something like Chernobyl happening again, but he does not understand that you cannot act against the government. Several chapters are interspersed with letters from Anatolii/Anthony's sister, and these are where we really get a first-hand view of how those still living in Chernobyl have been affected. This is a very thought-provoking novel, for those on both sides of the nuclear weapon/energy argument, and a highly recommended read.
Vicky Leigh Sayer, A LoveReading Ambassador
What is the half-life of a secret? Arriving at midlife with a string of failed jobs behind him, Anthony Fahey knows he's lucky to be given a last chance as a radiation monitor at Her Majesty's Naval Base Clyde, where Britains Trident nuclear weapons are kept. Already struggling to keep his marriage together after the death of his wife's father, Anthony finds himself at the centre of an emergency when an accident on a Trident submarine throws the base into crisis.
But as the situation worsens old memories and buried secrets from his childhood reach into the present, and Anthony begins to understand that it isn't only radiation that has a half-life. Inspired by real events, The Chernobyl Privileges is a searing psychological drama that depicts the traumatic experience of surviving disaster. Both heart-warming and tragic, it explores the consequences of decisions we are forced to make and that shape our lives.
|Publication date:||29th March 2019|
|Primary Genre||Modern and Contemporary Fiction|
Closing date: 30/05/2022
In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title.
A really interesting and eye-opening book.
I honestly didn’t know what to expect from the Chernobyl Privileges. What I got was an intriguing look into the life of a radiation monitor dealing with a nuclear accident at a naval base in Scotland interspersed with snippets from his past life in Chernobyl. I have never read anything quite like this. The descriptions of the lives of the survivors of both incidents were truly haunting and somehow Alex Lockwood manages to make the reader experience the feeling of being shell shocked while at the same time taking us right inside Anthony’s mind. It was so realistic that I found myself wondering “Just who is this author and could he really have been at Chernobyl?” A really interesting and eye-opening book.
It is written extremely well and you can tell that an awful lot of research has gone into this book; a very insightful read that is informative and engaging.
This book moves between two different timelines, the present day and the mid-eighties when the main character Anthony is growing up. It follows the life of Anthony and covers the Chernobyl disaster. It highlights the massive impact that this had on communities at the time and the impact that it continues to have years and years down the line. It is written extremely well and you can tell that an awful lot of research has gone into this book; a very insightful read that is informative and engaging. I really recommend this book!
This book is a good read, not surprising it is upsetting at times, well researched and recommended.
I watched on TV first hand when the Chernobyl disaster unfolded in 1986 and knew then the impact would carry on well after our live times. I have watched a lot of factual programmes on this and remember the Ukrainian Club in Bradford helping the children of this terrible disaster. The book tells the story of a Ukrainian Chernobyl survivor who comes to the UK and adopted in the UK. He becomes a nuclear physicist employed in Scotland he is in a naval base. A incident on s nuclear submarine bring the horror of Chernobyl back to him, This is about him facing up to his past and survival. This book is a good read, not surprising it is upsetting at times, well researched and recommended.
An emotional story.
The author takes us into the world of Anthony both past and present. We read & hear some of the dreadful impact & Chernobyl but then see how he tries to move passed that and set up his own life but walking into a similar situation where he can’t tell anyone without compromising his job and his marriage. He battles his conscience and eventually does what is right for him. An emotional story where you want the right outcome for everyone but that isn’t the way life goes.
It's well written, an interesting read.
When he was a boy,Anthony,(Anatolii) lived in a village near the Chernobyl site and witnessed first hand the catastrophe that struck in 1986. Eventually sent away to live in the U.K. the experience has affected his whole life. The story is told through different times in his life, his boyhood being a significant part of it. We find him, at the beginning, working as a nuclear scientist for the Navy. He witnesses another upsetting episode and has a conflict of conscience. Should he expose the incident to the press or keep quiet? The part of the book I found fascinating was the rather harrowing account of the Chernobyl accident. I enjoyed the book, but found some of the lengthy soul searching rather slow. It's well written, an interesting read.
This is a very interesting book.
This is a very interesting book. It tells of a young man, Anthony (Anotolii), who came from the Chernobyl area when he was a young man. He has new parents, Peter and Linda. He lives his life here in the UK as a scientist and works at a submarine base in Gare Lock, Scotland. When a nuclear incident happens it causes many flashbacks, especially when the cover-up starts. The Navy doesn't want the public to know what has happened. He remembers what happened when he was a boy in 1986, during the Chernobyl disaster. Trident is another incident with all the silence within the ranks and the public not being told the truth. This book has been well researched. It is bringing the personal story and political story together. It shows that nothing much has changed and that the political side of everything is to keep us in the dark. I was impressed with the way he wrote about his sister and his life, during the flashbacks and while events were happening in his life, especially with his wife.
It's one of those books that comes along now and then and really grabs you with its story.
This is one terrific book to read, keeping the reader page-turning non-stop. It also brings into reality just how nuclear activity is monitored and managed in the present day. The author has spent a lot of time researching this book. The descriptions of places (I live only a few miles from the UK) is phenomenal and likewise the descriptions of the various people within the book allowing the reader to really feel part of the story. The storyline is excellent and I'm sorry but not giving any information on this as this is one cracker of a book that has to be read without prior knowledge to really appreciate it. One book definitely to be read it's a must-read and you won't be disappointed. It's one of those books that comes along now and then and really grabs you with its story. You will definitely enjoy this book covering many genres!!