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.
Tell us about yourself!
The worst part was the narration by Sandra Burr. If...........she............talked..............any............slower you would fall asleep! I had to listen at 1 1/2 speed, just to listen at a normal pace!
The book itself was ok. Picture a bunch of interesting tid bits filling up a whole book. It was ok for the first chapter, but then found myself fast forwarding and then skipping chapters. I love the idea about space travel and it is interesting to hear how things came about, but this was just too drawn out and bad narration
I have two concerns about this book: First the book is very light on science and technical details and delves extensively into anything which is salacious or indiscreet. The sections on copulation and defecation were interminable.
Second, the author argues that if we don't spend 500 billion dollars on sending men to Mars, the government will waste the money in some other, less interesting way. I don't believe that all government spending is wasted and I'm tired of hearing this narrative from all the "drown it in the bathtub" types who are masking their avarice in a cloak of libertarianism.
Very interesting information about what astronauts "really" do in space. Mary Roach is a very funny author and adds humor to subjects such as vomiting and going to the "bathroom" in space. However, Sandra Burr isn't a very funny reader. There were a lot of lines in the book that were clearly meant to said with a "wink", but her delivery is flat and often not funny. Disappointment in the narrator aside, I did enjoy this book and learned a lot about the challenges of human space exploration. These are issues that we need to deal with if we're ever going to get off of this rock and it was fun to get a different perspective.
This rates WAY down the ladder, if you've heard the autobiographies
of astronauts like Eugene Cernan and Wally Shirra.
Also, the details of body function are gross and boring.
Try again Mary, do a chronicle of the Shuttle missions, only with more
science and less poop and barf.
Roach is a witty writer but needs to start moving outside the box. This is NOT a book about Mars or planning a trip to Mars. It basically lays out for the reader a history of some of the stranger aspects of space flight. A better title would probably have been Space Oddity 2010
Rather than a thoughtful and well organized presentation of the challenges and potential for a manned Mars mission the book is a stream of consciousness discourse that features long digressions into if the space chimps were masturbators and whether or not any pornography has been filmed in zero-g. This book feels like a missed opportunity as it is clear that the author did considerable research.
I enjoyed the information that was for the most part previously unknown but I felt like I was being read to by June Cleaver. I found it to be written a little too personal from the author's perspective. A bit irritating at times with way too many "notes" with the author's comments. I may have found this more enjoyable if I had read it instead of listening to it in the audio format.
DO NOT ATTEMPT TO EAT WHILE LISTENING TO MUCH OF THIS BOOK! To do so may lead to an explosively, vomitous episode.
Other than that it is funny, entertaining, and you will learn more about being an astronaut than you ever wanted to know!
After listening to this, I bought this book as Christmas presents for all my friends and family. Took a little while to warm up to it, but ultimately found myself laughing and fascinated, often at the same time. Wonderful!