|McMillan's photobook (ISBN 978 3958293977) is much larger than Richter's travelogue.|
Richter's book is an excellent complement to the TV mini-series. Both media expose the failed Soviet Union with the endless lies about atomic energy and contempt the authorities had for the average citizen. Richer writes in a very readable way the results of this human disaster in a handy size travel book. Chernobyl was first a military installation to supply the components of nuclear weapons, cheap energy for the masses was a secondary purpose.
His very comprehensive photos work beautifully with the words. The countryside slowly overtaking anything manmade inside the radioactive area, the rubbish-strewn and decaying buildings are all here plus the attempts by international companies to build the New Arch over Reactor block 4 (apparently the largest moveable structure ever built) to contain the interior contents for at least a hundred years. One photo caught my eye on page 189, it just shows a corridor that is almost the length of the complex but the tiles on the floor are not laid straight and it sums up the ramshackle way the Soviet empire was run, they couldn't even lay floor tiles correctly.
As I've said the photos and text work beautifully together in this smallish book. Photographer David McMillan has covered the same subject with two hundred photos but in a much larger publication (Growth and decay ISBN 9783958293977.) in a traditional photobook format: one photo a page, generous margins and excellent printing.