I had high hopes for this book, but it didn't really deliver for me. It comes across as a rather dry, stale retelling of the events that took place - like a history textbook - when it could have been so much more.
It's an interesting slice of American history, and the narrator does a good job, but I wasn't that engaged with the story, and never really cared about any of the characters.
Hard Science Fiction doesn't get much better than this - it's carefully researched, scientifically plausible, and utterly compelling.
It's also got a gripping storyline, and somewhat unusually for this genre a likeable, engaging cast of characters. There are no inexplicable secrets, hidden conspiracies, or dark technologies (the standard staples of near future sci-fi) - just one man using his wit, scientific knowledge and duct tape to stay alive on another planet.
Well narrated and very enjoyable - highly recommended.
This book is actually quite fascinating, and obviously well researched. Teams of very intelligent people have dedicated years of their lives to solving problems I didn't even know existed, and the author does a great job of explaining them. Unfortunately, she also comes across as REALLY annoying, both in terms of writing style, and in some of the personal research anecdotes. The narrator also has a slightly petulant voice, which doesn't help either.
If you can get past the irritating style, it's a good book on space medicine and NASA history, if that's a subject that interests you.
Rather self indulgent, and not nearly as ground-breaking as the description and introduction would have you believe.
This book could have easily turned into a Michael Chrichton-esque piece of sci-fi silliness. Instead, it's surprisingly human, engaging adventure story. More a spy story set in the American Old West than a techno-thriller.
Great listen for anyone who enjoys a good adventure and interesting characters, not just sci-fi fans (the blurb and cover art really don't do it justice).
I'm not necessarily a fan of 'dumbed down' science books, which simply try to be as accessible as possible. But from the title and description of this book, I expected a light hearted and interesting discussion of how to tell good science and bad science apart.
What I actually got was a rather heavy and at times rambling discussion into the philosophy and history of science. Interesting in parts, but not very coherent, and pretty hard work.
I'd recommend Ben Goldacre's 'Bad Science' far more than this one - it's narrower in scope, but a MUCH better listen.
This isn't really a book about Atheism, or 'signs that you might already be an Atheist' (that could have been interesting). Instead, it's the story of a rather annoying man, who just happens to be an Atheist.
In fact, it's really just Penn Jillete's autobiography, loosely tied together with an Atheists' version of the 10 commandments. I say loosely, though the 'commandments' don't actually link in any meaningful way to the chapters that follow them, and are a bit pointlessly obvious.
If you like Penn Jillette, and want to listen to him talk about himself (at length), then you may very well enjoy this book. I don't think he's a very likable person, and I'm even more sure of that fact after listening to this audiobook. I didn't enjoy it.
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