The book begins with a visit to the town of Pripyat in the Ukraine, a place of utter despair as Sir David Attenborough calls it, and when you read his description of what he is seeing and realise it was the site of the nuclear power plant ‘Chernobyl’, then it’s easy to understand why the bleakness. In 1986 when it exploded as a result of bad planning and human error, it left an environmental catastrophe that Sir David Attenborough draws a shocking comparison to our current unfolding environmental catastrophe, the decline of our planets biodiversity. It is a book of hope though too, explaining how if we act now, we can alter our greatest mistake.
As I was reading this book, I found myself holding my breath, willing things to go right even though I knew the outcome. At one minute cheering on the inside, touched by the honesty and humanity of all the medical staff involved and then almost in tears, and this is all by page 42!
I’m sitting by a beach reading ‘Caught Inside’ the story of Chris Blowes, a young South Australian who on Anzac Day 2015 was surfing in the wrong spot at the wrong time and was attacked by a great white shark – not once, but twice.
The miraculous circumstances that led to him being saved by mates, carried up a cliff in a remote area of Eyre Peninsula in South Australia, dedicated hard work by health professionals and then his subsequent recovery is quite incredible.
Some people might find this book is a little heavier going to read, I know I did, but I also think it’s a really important one to read. I want to love reading Tim Winton books but I do find his use of language goes over my head sometimes. I find his elaborate and complicated manner of writing makes me have to think too hard to find reading his books easy, but if you can get past that or don’t have a problem with it, he certainly has a way of describing the Australian landscape, lifestyle and people completely and precisely.