The Doomsday Machine

  • by Martin Cohen
  • Narrated by David Rapkin
  • 7 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Today, there are over 100 nuclear reactors operating in our backyards, from Indian Point in New York to Diablo Canyon in California. Proponents claim that nuclear power is the only viable alternative to fossil fuels, and due to rising energy consumption and the looming threat of global warming, they are pushing for an even greater investment.
Here, energy economist Andrew McKillop and social scientist Martin Cohen argue that the nuclear power dream being sold to us is pure fantasy. Debunking the multilayered myth that nuclear energy is cheap, clean, and safe, they demonstrate how landscapes are ravaged in search of the elusive yellowcake to fuel the reactors, and how energy companies and politicians rarely discuss the true costs of nuclear power plants - from the subsidies that build the infrastructure to the unspoken guarantee that the public will pick up the cleanup cost in the event of a meltdown, which can easily top $100 billion dollars.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Absolutely woeful - do not buy

This book is a waste of time - I really tried, but gave up after an hour or so.

This was one of a few books on nuclear technology that I bought (also Command and Control, and Atomic Accidents - both excellent books), but it quickly degenerated into a hyperbolic, highly opinionated piece of trash talk with little fact or supporting arguments for the opinion. I was hoping for some serious analysis of the problems of nuclear energy but ended up glib throw away lines that meandered more than a babbling brooke! I think author's main intention was to trash nuclear technology without much analysis, effort or detail. With more supporting facts, analysis and credible 3rd party opinion it would be greatly improved as the concept of the book is good.

The performance wasn't much better. Although the vocal performance was good, the read kept descending into side notes, foot notes and other excerpts that were poorly performed and integrated. The performer (possibly from the authors text) kept swapping between a matter or fact / factual style of presentation to something you'd expect from a beer conversation at a local bar.

I have a high tolerance for bad audio books and would have let either the poor performance or content go, but with everything being so bad, it was infuriating and a waste of my time.

This is the only book I've considered asking Audible for a refund of and I have a lot of books from them.
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- Greg

Can nuclear power be a bedtime story?

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I'd recommend this for listening while travelling - say on a long road trip. But not as 'bedtime reading', no.


What was one of the most memorable moments of The Doomsday Machine?

The book makes a rather unnatural transiton to audio. But nonetheless, the style is simple and there are plenty of color details. It's definitely not for the casual reader, but for those interested in the topic - is nuclear energy the soltuion tothe world's energy crisis? Is it as safe as we're continually told? it's a friendly voice, giving thoughtful and careful insights.


Did David Rapkin do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

We,, there are no 'characters', but he's certainly got a very suitable voice for the main 'techno-future' theme. I felt occasionally that he tended to carry on where a pause would have been more true to the sense of the text.


Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Certanly not - it's a book to listen to in smallpieces. Fortunately, the structure (seven 'myths') lends itself to that.


Any additional comments?

Difficult project, but good effort.

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- Martin

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-28-2013
  • Publisher: Audible Studios