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Editorial Reviews

Deeply moving in its ability to engage, An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth is written by NASA Astronaut and YouTube star Colonel Chris Hadfield with the complete and unabridged audiobook narrated by the author. Hadfield’s writing is exquisite, his stories exceedingly entertaining and wisdom unbounded. His lifelong determination to make his dreams come true is tremendously inspiring. This is one of those books that makes you look internally at yourself and your life and question if you’re living it the way you should. Available now from Audible.

Publisher's Summary

An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth is an inspirational memoir of space exploration and hard-won wisdom, from an astronaut who has spent a lifetime making the impossible a reality.

Colonel Chris Hadfield has spent decades training as an astronaut and has logged nearly 4,000 hours in space. During this time he has broken into a Space Station with a Swiss army knife, disposed of a live snake while piloting a plane, been temporarily blinded while clinging to the exterior of an orbiting spacecraft, and become a YouTube sensation with his performance of David Bowie's ‘Space Oddity' in space. The secret to Chris Hadfield's success - and survival - is an unconventional philosophy he learned at NASA: prepare for the worst - and enjoy every moment of it.

In his book, An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth, Chris Hadfield takes readers deep into his years of training and space exploration to show how to make the impossible possible. Through eye-opening, entertaining stories filled with the adrenaline of launch, the mesmerizing wonder of spacewalks and the measured, calm responses mandated by crises, he explains how conventional wisdom can get in the way of achievement - and happiness.

His own extraordinary education in space has taught him some counterintuitive lessons: don't visualize success, do care what others think, and always sweat the small stuff. You might never be able to build a robot, pilot a spacecraft, make a music video or perform basic surgery in zero gravity like Colonel Hadfield. But his vivid and refreshing insights in this book will teach you how to think like an astronaut, and will change, completely, the way you view life on Earth - especially your own.

©2013 Chris Hadfield (P)2013 Pan Macmillan Publishers Ltd

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Fantastic story read by the author with passion!

What made the experience of listening to An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth the most enjoyable?

Listening to the details of space life from the author himself.

What was one of the most memorable moments of An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth?

Details of the re-entry of Chris Hadfield and his crew in the Russian Soyuz spacecraft.

Which character – as performed by Chris Hadfield – was your favorite?

Himself!

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Not really - it would have taken too long, but I liistened to it twice a day for a week and loved it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Simply excellent

enjoyed every minute of this book. thank you Chris for sharing a piece of your fascinating life with us.

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A sensation to both read and listen

This is an excellent books not only for it's exceptionally recherché yet scintillating aphorisms it contains. Nonetheless, this book would be highly worthwhile to peruse.

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awesome.

by far the best book I have encountered this year. the story itself is amazing, and the conclusions presented by Chris are inspiring.

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Authentic and excellent

What did you love best about An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth?

The authenticity of the narrative. The (mostly) gripping storylines. The useful, first-hand insight into the life of an astronaut. The very useful lessons from it.
What I really enjoyed, is that Chris Hadfield doesn't "preach" on what to do and what not. He doesn't give a 10-point self-improvement list of things to learn or do. He simply tells his story, and the perceptive reader can apply the lessons Chris had learned to his/her own situation, or not.
There are precious jewels hidden in Hadfield's story. Take this one example: "No situation is so bad that you cannot make it worse."

Who was your favorite character and why?

Chris Hadfield himself, of course. But then, his sons and wife seem to be worth getting to know better.

Which character – as performed by Chris Hadfield – was your favorite?

Chris Hadfield himself.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No, but I did recommend it to several friends and gave it as a gift to one friend.

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An awesome tale

Totally loved listening to this book: the voice is sincere and friendly, you almost feel like you're in a conversation with the author.
This is not a philosophy book, nor anything that tells you how you should behave... Chris just recounts his life and how he got through a wonderful range of experiences, as you'd expect from a long time friend.
Definitely one of the best books I've ever read!

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Amazing view on competence, training and life

Would you consider the audio edition of An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth to be better than the print version?

Definitely.
I always loved Chris Hadfield, even more when he started doing youtube videos on his second trip to the ISS.

Having him to read his own story, with his own inputs was amazing.

He has passion in his voice and can express the feeling of what is happening in the book with vivid detail.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

There were plenty of those, how he views competitiveness, challenges and overall training and hard work, were to me at least, groundbreaking.

I never thought about the mindset he has, how he views the world and his job and dreams.

Any additional comments?

This book really lives up to the title.

I was expecting your run of the mill, shallow tale of daily life of an astronaut, with little to nothing I could or would be able to relate.

I was dead wrong.
This book was amazing and more than just a "Hey it's hard to be an astronaut", the way he views life is to me completely new, a completely different, better, point of view.

I'd buy everyone a copy of this book if I had the money.

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An awe inspiring book

To be honest I had never heard of Commander Hadfield. I stumbled uppon this book on the internet. What a piece of luck! Chris Hadfield takes us with him in a amazing voyage that zips through time, space, body and soul.
Like him I also saw the Moon landing as a child, and also wanted to be an astronaut. This book has helped me fullfill part of that dream, and gave me a different, better perspective of my life right here, on Earth. (I'm not a native speaker, apologies for misspelings and mistakes)

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A humble person telling an incredible journey

Chris Hadfield is a great astronaut and a great man. In this book he manages to tell a story, the story of his becoming an astronaut and manages to make it an ethical work. Space exploration and his work at NASA lingers in the background but it's the incredible work ethic that transpires, as a sort of a guiding light that manages to be the real protagonist of this amazing voyage.

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Amazing story

I loved every minute of the read! A must read/hear for everyone who ever dreamt of becoming an astronaut or has big dreams in general.

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  • chikwan
  • 03-01-14

Thoroughly enjoyable

What made the experience of listening to An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth the most enjoyable?

He's got a great expressive voice for telling His story. It's much more than a narrative of his journey into space (although everything he does tell us about space is fascinating and even exciting), it explores his philosophy for life in general and gives much food for thought.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Ben
  • 12-02-13

Inspiring, insightful and interesting

Would you listen to An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth again? Why?

From humble beginnings, here is someone who had a dream and followed it to completion. Often stating he has been lucky, which everyone needs a little of....but actually, I think it is more like inspiration and perspiration.

The book is very good, especially for anyone interested in the life of the modern day astronaut, and wants to delve deeper than simply knowing what it is like to take off and walk in space. At a time when I am finding elements of my job dull, it is refreshing to hear that, I am not alone out there, but as opposed to letting that get on top of you, you should always make the most of it....

What other book might you compare An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth to, and why?

Moondust

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Sue Bayliss
  • 03-13-14

Rocket Man

I remember when Chris Hadfield was in space. I remember watching the you tube videos and thinking how cool it looked. When I saw this audiobook I thought I would give it a go. I have never been one to dream about space or being an astronaut, so approached it with an open mind. Chris Hadfield was one of the first Canadian astronaut's and his story is excellent. It is has much a story about dedication and ambition as it was about space and being an astronaut.

Very good listen and very entertaining story.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Kez
  • 03-13-15

More memoir than diary.

Any additional comments?

This book is more about the preparation for his mission to the ISS than a standard autobiography with many chapters about his life and upbringing, which I'm grateful for.

This is a very enjoyable listen for anyone interested in the space program and that side of science and engineering in general and I really appreciated the detail that Hadfield puts into this side of things in the book. I was interested in what astronauts do in the traning and prep time before their missions. I also appreciated the writing about the impact his choice of career had on his family, it's covered in a powerful and reflective, but never sappy way.

Hadfield is not the best narrator, but to be honest, this is to be expected, I'm pretty sure he makes a far better astronaut, so yes there are better narrations on the site, but I still thoroughly enjoyed listening to him read his book.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • D. Faulkner
  • 03-19-15

Interesting stuff

Interesting guy, interesting life, interesting book. More of a personal diary than a philosophical memoir but pretty good none the less

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • David Hickey
  • 03-19-15

Best listen to date

Chris has done a remarkable job detailing his life up to this point. Just kind of person you want to be one if the pioneers a stand out from our time though I would guess he would disagree. Listening to this grips you from start to finish, an all round humbling experience that is made all the better with Chris himself being the reader. Enjoy.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Martin
  • 03-16-15

Truly exceptional

Fascinating story. Inspiring messages. Exquisitely written and read. This guy should be a role model for us all. Definitely recommend.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • mr
  • 03-15-15

Enjoyed

Very interesting insight to astronauts life by a grounded thinking person, enjoyed the story and insight into space travel. Thanks

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Helen
  • 02-25-15

Excellent

This is a brilliant book which I couldn't stop listening to. I really liked listening to Chris Hadfield reading it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Thomas
  • 03-07-14

Well worth a listen

This was not the autobiography I expected. Hadfield gets that out of the way in about two chapters, and spends the rest of the book discussing the intricacies of preparing for and experiencing his final mission, and applying his philosophy to everyday life. In that regard, this book is unusually accurate to its title, and is a must-read for anyone pursuing a challenging career path.

Hadfield is excellent at demonstrating how every individual in the ISS project is playing an important bit-part, including the astronauts themselves. He speaks humbly to an almost infuriating degree - at times I found myself wishing he'd get on with acknowledging how awesome at everything he had to be to end up where he did. Occasionally his philosophy can be a little shallow, assuming that everything in life will turn out for the best (well, DUH, if it didn't you wouldn't have become an astronaut!) but he accompanies this with a very healthy acknowledgement of the risks that he would never have flown.

This wasn't the autobiography I expected, but the details on NASA are fascinating, and it is inspiring to listen to someone who aimed for the sky and made it.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-06-17

A spectacular and humble insight into one continuous lifetime of applied dedication

This audio book is a must for anyone wanting to support their journey towards their aspirations. Chris' pragmatic and humble explanation of his story and the lessons he has learnt is a captivating and thought provoking narrative that parallels everyday life, despite the awe-inspiring nature of his adventures. You won't regret listening to this!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Matt
  • 04-13-17

What a legend!

Mate - if there was ever a story of sheer determination and focus towards one's life goals, the story of Cmd Chris Hadfield's journey into space tops it!

I am not one to usually read biographies, but I remember the fantastic photography, and awesome 'in-school' Q+A sessions that Chris did whilst in space, and thought it would be an interesting character to read about.....I was not dissappointed. There was plenty of space related technical jargon to keep even the staunchest of space nerds (like me!) happy, but also a nice smattering of background story of the effect his single-minded drive had on his family and friends. He can do a pretty good job at narration too!

I heartily recommend this one to all.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jason
  • 04-25-15

Brilliant book by a brilliant human

Could have happily gone on listening to Chris' life well after the book was over.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • SK
  • 05-17-18

Miles better than most BS "self-improvement" books

I've read many books on self-improvement, but they're usually full of the same-old hype and "go get'em, tiger!" messages. They're also mostly written by people who make a living out of selling books about self-improvement. This book, however, is different. Chris actually walks through every detail of how he achieved his goals, the process, the people he met, the problems and how he solved them, and how he planned his progression.
The book is full of great lessons you don't hear from other authors, and he shares very real and normal personal issues his family overcame.
Most of all, this book is GENUINE.
It is currently my favourite non-fiction of all time.

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  • Mrs Dianne E Nilsson
  • 11-20-17

Love this book!

Chris writes about life, ambition and pure focus to achieve ones dreams. Very inspirational and a guide for us all.

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  • janemitc
  • 11-13-17

Great insight into a life

Great insight into a profession only a very small %would ever achieve. The hard work and ongoing dedication is something that is extremely inspiring. The pragmatic view on life about will kill you next and have a plan for that, great read worth it, will be listening to this one again

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  • Jyoung
  • 02-20-17

Fascinating

Where does An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I loved listening to this book and I was able to listen to it with my kids which made it even better. I gave my husband the written version which he wasn't able to get through but I found listening to the story interested and it kept me captivated

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  • Al
  • 01-22-17

Pretty good

I've always been interested in space related stuff. Not thean amazing book but enjoyable nonetheless. I enjoyed the insights he gained along his career.

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  • Greg
  • 01-16-17

Chris is the best known astronaut if last few year

Super interesting book explaining inside out the space travel , Hatfield 's biography as well as important lessons of life. good motivation and excellent narration, as you feel the memories coming to his own voice. thanks, best book about space so far

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  • Jspaull
  • 10-15-16

Awesome

I absolutely loved this it brought out the little kid in me . Just hearing about space travel and the ISS the way The Colonel says it is awesome . What a great story