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John

Long Beach, CA USA
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  • 5
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The Hunter Killers audiobook cover art

Engineering, History, and Heroism

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-26-19

This is a great read/listen: a well balanced and thoroughly researched book weaving together the personal stories of some very brave aviators, the history of the extended Vietnam conflict, and a little bit of aerospace engineering. Good narrator, too.

Columbus audiobook cover art

Terrible narration

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
1 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-18-18

.. at least my wife and I thought so. We liked Bergreen's Marco Polo but this book's narration was unlistenable and we gave up after an hour or so. Can't comment on the content. I'd recommend giving its sample a listen before committing.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Rocket Billionaires audiobook cover art
  • Rocket Billionaires
  • Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and the New Space Race
  • By: Tim Fernholz
  • Narrated by: Erin Moon

Actually had some top-level engineering details..

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
2 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-08-18

.. seems to be rare amongst these type of books. This made up for the fact that the reader couldn't pronounce words like Lagos, Soyuz, or NASA.

Wheels Stop: The Tragedies and Triumphs of the Space Shuttle Program, 1986-2011 audiobook cover art
  • Wheels Stop: The Tragedies and Triumphs of the Space Shuttle Program, 1986-2011
  • Outward Odyssey: A People's History of Space
  • By: Rick Houston
  • Narrated by: James Killavey

Shuttle Astronauts - Not Shuttle

Overall
1 out of 5 stars
Performance
1 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-18-16

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

First a qualification: I gave up on this book about two thirds of the way in.

For me it was very much too focused on astronauts - not the shuttle program itself. Even with respect to the individual stories of astronauts, I personally wasn't impressed: there were a lot of astronauts who rode in the shuttle, I think the author would have been better served focusing on a few, rather then trying to write a little about all/most of them.

In any case, be forewarned - this is a story of astronauts, not of the massive and complex engineering endeavor that was the shuttle program (even discounting everything pre Challenger). If you're very interested in the former, this may be a good read/listen for you.

Has Wheels Stop: The Tragedies and Triumphs of the Space Shuttle Program, 1986-2011 turned you off from other books in this genre?

Wheels Stop has definitely not turned me off from my favorite subject: aerospace.

Would you be willing to try another one of James Killavey’s performances?

I was not a huge fan of the narrator, but I wouldn't necessarily by-pass an interesting looking book just because he's reading it.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

For me, this book had very few redeeming qualities (again, I gave up about 2/3 of the way through).

I guess, in retrospect, the secondary title - 'Outward Odyssey: A People's History of Space' - perhaps should have tipped me off. I took it to mean the book was going to be a broad overview of the Shuttle Program. What it apparently meant was that it is (for the most part) a history/discussion of people who went into space (aboard the Space Shuttle).

0 of 25 people found this review helpful

The Misfit Economy audiobook cover art

One Sentence, Different Adjectives

Overall
1 out of 5 stars
Performance
1 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-12-15

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

A different book.

What could Alexa Clay and Kyra Maya Phillips have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

The authors should have included some content/information/back-stories. The book seemed to be a collection of repetitive, superficial anecdotes. I can imagine it's a very tough subject to research, but in depth stories (w/ data, real character analysis, etc) could have been very interesting.

Note: we gave up about 1/4 of the way in.

Would you be willing to try another one of Emily Woo Zeller’s performances?

Yes.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Misfit Economy?

All the scenes involving text written by the authors.

Any additional comments?

The premise was interesting; actual content: disappointing.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Dreams of Other Worlds audiobook cover art

You won't learn anything new here..

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
2 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-03-14

What disappointed you about Dreams of Other Worlds?

If you're an engineer looking for behind the scenes stories of the trials and tribulations of these impressive programs, or a lay person wondering how these missions go from concept to operations, look elsewhere.

There is very little content wrt the design conceptualization, development, and operations, the political battles, etc etc that the scientists and engineers both at NASA and its contractors surely go through.

The author, instead, just gives us a chronological list of unmanned exploration programs, talks briefly about their science packages, and discusses how various programs get kids from around the world involved and interested. Great [to be read with sarcasm].

In short, very little useful information, not too many good stories, etc.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful