Nicole's Reviews > The Radioactive Boy Scout: The Frightening True Story of a Whiz Kid and His Homemade Nuclear Reactor

The Radioactive Boy Scout by Ken Silverstein
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's review
Jul 09, 2010

it was ok
Read from July 13 to 14, 2010

This book started out as a magazine article, and I'm pretty sure it was a GREAT article. As a book, it's only mediocre. Kind of unfocused - long stretches of back story on nuclear power, the Boy Scouts of America, etc. I usually love this sort of detail, but here the presentation is either dry/boring or weirdly axe-grindy. I agree that the collusion b/t the production and regulation arms of the nuclear power body is disgusting, and that the Boy Scouts organization skews conservative...but it's a stretch to connect these things to the narrative at hand.

Which itself is also weird. I assume that lots of interviews were conducted to create this book, but the whole thing is told 3rd person. Not a single quote from David? That's awfully odd. The whole thing might be accurate but the way it is written makes it seem like the author did as David did, using only research and details that support the story he'd already decided on.

Bleah. This is an amazing story. It shouldn't have been such a preachy slog to read...

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