Will Wiles at Literary Review:
But the word ‘bunker’ also has the scent of modernity about it. As Bradley Garrett explains in his book, it was a corollary of the rise of air power, as a result of which the battlefield became three-dimensional. With the enemy above and equipped with high explosives, you had to dig down and protect yourself with metres of concrete. Garrett’s previous book, Explore Everything, was a fascinating insider’s look at illicit ‘urban exploration’, and he kicks off Bunker with an account of time spent poking around the Burlington Bunker, which would have been used by the UK government in the event of a nuclear war. The Cold War may have ended, but governments still build bunkers, as Garrett shows: Chinese contractors have recently completed a 23,000-square-metre complex in Djibouti. But these grand, often secret manifestations of official fear are not the main focus of the book. Instead, Garrett is interested in private bunkers and the people who build them, people like Robert Vicino, founder of the Vivos Group, who purchased the Burlington Bunker with the intent of making a worldwide chain of apocalypse retreats.