This book seemed like a scatter shot of information about how different countries plan for space travel. Some of the information is really interesting, a lot of it's not. I just couldn't get into it.
I loved the information and the unique insights this book offers. It's a twist on the typical view of life in the space program and it does try to serve a good amount of humor. I wasn't taken with Sandra's narration however. Overall it felt a little dull but still presented some interesting stories.
I enjoyed this book even more than I thought I would. It's very well researched and goes into impressive detail, but Mary Roach is such a good writer she saves the material from becoming dry. I'd never consider the difficulty of, say, using the toilet in space, but it's quite a feat of engineering to successfully pull it off. This book considers not just the heroics of space travel, but the day to day life as well. What if you can't stand the guy you're stuck in the capsule with? How miserable does life get after two straight weeks in a space suit? A fascinating listen, well narrated, that I can listen to more than once. Highly recommended!
The book content is interesting. But if the audio version is any indication, the format of the book is like a school book report. There is a "note" (indicating, I guess, a footnote) every 2 minutes. This book has more reference notes that a thesis. It may work in the print version, but it is incredibly annoying and unforgiving. An audio version of this type of book should have been modified for the medium so as not to detract from the enjoyment of the book. I'm not even halfway through and I'm gritting my teeth in anticipation of the next annoying "note" that I may need to make an extra appointment with my dentist.
And the author's humor is not coming through at all so that when a wry or humorous comment is made, it at first seems to be just an odd comment. Then, a couple of sentences later, it becomes vaguely apparent that an instance of humor may have just taken place. This may be the narrator's fault, I'm not sure. I'd have to read the print version to know for sure, but I'm barely certain I'm going to make in through to the end of this audio version so, at most, I might get a sample on my Kindle to see if the written word is more conducive to Roach's writing style.
Also, it's hard to know who is saying what and when a new section is being introduced so be prepared to rewind again and again. As with the humor, this seems like the narrator's issue, but I'd have to see the print version to be sure.
It's a shame, because the book's premise is so enticing.
Sandra Burr's performance is totally transparent, and connects you directly with Mary Roach's experiences interviewing astronauts and NASA officials past and present about the more unusual aspects of living in zero gravity.
This is a very interesting book, but nothing to do with preparing go to mars at all, it is all about space travel in general. I was hoping for some specific challenges associated with a mars mission.
Also the author spends too much time on the absolute miniature of some of the more dull aspects of specetravel. We'll yes thats the point of the book but some snappier editing would have been appreciated
this might be the worst narration i've heard. its actually a fairly decent book and an interesting topic but i cant tolerate the narration. please take a sample listen before you purchase this book.
This book got so much press I had high expectations......they were not met.
the content is interesting but the intensely repetitive format gets irritating quickly. how many times do we have to here "note" followed by mildly amusing facts and largely irrelevant antic dotes. This book has huge potential that just wasn't met in my opinion. the author is a brilliant researcher and would no doubt be a riot to speak with in person but the format of this book reads like a power point presentation complete with excessive bullet points. The narrator has not got the voice or personality to read highly ironic content such as this. she sounds like she's reading the phone book line for line.
Expectations - not met, Press - over hyped. But still a talented non fiction writer just needs spit and polish and an entirely new narrator.
Too long and repetetive. This book did not live up to expectations. Far too much emphasis on astronauts bowel habits
I loved this book. Mary Roach wrote an insightful, quirky and fascinating book. Sandra Burr was a wonderful narrator. I would recommend Packing for Mars not just someone who has an interest in the space program but to everyone who has ever wondered what it really takes to even get to outer space.