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Publisher's Summary

An epic memoir from a man whose life is defined by exploration and innovation, The Sky Below re-creates some of the most unforgettable adventures of our time. From dramatic, high-risk spacewalks to author Scott Parazynski's death-defying quest to summit Mount Everest - his body ravaged by a career in space - listeners will experience the life of an elite athlete, physician, and explorer.

This intimate, compelling account offers a rare portrait of space exploration from the inside. A global nomad raised in the shadow of NASA's Apollo missions, Parazynski never lost sight of his childhood dream to one day don a spacesuit and float outside the airlock. With deep passion, unbridled creativity, resilience, humility, and self-deprecation, Parazynski chases his dream of the ultimate adventure experience, again and again and again. In an era that transitioned from moon shots to the Space Shuttle, space station, and Mars research, Parazynski flies with John Glenn, tests jet packs, trains in Russia to become a cosmonaut, and flies five missions to outer space (including seven spacewalks) in his seventeen-year NASA career.

An unparalleled, visceral opportunity to understand what it's like to train for - and deploy to - a home in zero gravity, The Sky Below also portrays an astronaut's engagement with the challenges of his life on Earth, including raising a beautiful autistic daughter and finding true love.

©2017 Scott Parazynski (P)2017 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

Critic Reviews

"Scott Parazynski's drive, curiosity, inventiveness, and great humor shine through the pages of The Sky Below and will certainly inspire future generations to pursue their dreams with every fiber in their being." (John Glenn, NASA astronaut)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Lots of adventure

I can see why Scott Parazynski wrote a book. If you spent your childhood traveling with world from Iran to Greece, then became a doctor and astronaut, climbed Everest and lived or trekked through parts of Russia, Antarctica and space then you have to write a book. I didn’t really love his writing style, while I’d immediately be the first to recommend astronauts Chris Hadfield and Mike Massimino as brilliant writers, I wouldn’t say Scott’s writing alone would make a book. I also didn’t like the way he just skirted past any credit for his ex wife who was here for him through space travel, Russia, Houston, two kids and a largely absent husband. I know what it’s like to do most of the work as a parent and it’s hard! This lady deserves a medal probably and instead he spends the last section of the book doting over his new wife Mimi. No offense Mimi, but that was unnecessary. The adventures and some of the insights along the way in this incredibly full life make it all worthwhile. What a full life and enjoyable story. I’d give it a go if you like astronaut and adventure stories.

81 of 84 people found this review helpful

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  • Shah Alam
  • Brampton, Ontario, Canada
  • 10-24-17

Fast Paced and Captivating

I was expecting to read about the space-flights and the space-walks of Scott Parazynski but I got a better deal instead.

The book took me beyond — into mountaineering ventures and Antarctica. And lest I forget it even touched on some intimate details of the personal life of Parazynski — leading to his falling in love and proposing in the Scott's Hut in Antarctica. So this is the first time that I’ve had the opportunity reading a bit of romance in a book on space flight. Interesting but a welcome change.

The book is fast paced and you’ll not feel dull at any moment.

36 of 37 people found this review helpful

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From the heart

Autobiographies let us live history with those who lived it. The astronaut autobiographies are so inspirational. It may not make me a better person, but I know what a better person is. An author who also narrates their book gets extra credit and makes the book more meaningful.

I met Dr. Parazynski at NARCON (February 2018 at JSC) and pointed out my preference for the author narrating their book. He responded saying it was an unexpected experience doing the narration. Reading the passages about the difficult parts of his life brought back some deep feelings that affected him. I greatly appreciate him saying that, and it makes the self-narration even more important for author and reader. I'm listening to Mike Kelly's book now and can hear a hint of emotion in the passage about the lost Columbia crew. Makes the story very human and real.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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Not what I thought

Any additional comments?

I didn't really enjoy this like I wanted to as so much of it was about his mountain climbing escapades rather than space travels.The author never wins my empathy over or makes me care at all in the entire read and the reason is this. I have little compassion for some selfish, self centered egocentric boy that builds a family, only to leave them for months at a time because of not only his job, but also his self imposed hobby that are both all about him.To think someone cares so little about their kids and spouse they'd needlessly risk their lives time after time after time and cost the family all it's money, just so he can feel good about his masculinity is outrageous to me. Why be married to someone that's never their either physically or mentally ever at all. He's either gone or planing on being gone his entire life. The space parts were never in depth enough with the personnel feelings or thoughts that would have made it a far better read to me. The book left me cold...just like the space he lived in for months and years at a time.

103 of 112 people found this review helpful

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Amazing, inspiring, epic

My husband I met Scott in 2012 at the South Pole station where he shared his story with those of us working there. As a fellow TCK, I found him very relatable and my husband and I were thrilled when we saw he had written a book. I knew it would be great, but it was even better than I expected! From childhood adventures around the world to exhilarating mountain climbs, a fascinating career with NASA with multiple exciting space missions, joys and sorrows in his family life, a gripping account of an Everest expedition, and much more. He’s a legend, and yet very human. Great, great book. And really well performed for audio, too! Well worth the time.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Life of a modern explorer

I appreciated Scott’s openness about his exciting, yet personally challenging life. He was honest not just about his adventures, but also the toll it takes on family. The book is very inspiring, but serves as a reminder of the sacrifices one must make to achieve the level success he experienced. Astronauts are true heroes and this book doesn’t disappoint in solidifying their place amongst mere mortals.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Amazing story of modern exploration

This book helps to define and describe the bravery and work of those Space Adventures of the 80s and 90s and early 2000s. Too often the heroes of our space exploring past are frozen in the 60s and 70s. This book defines how modern exploration can and should be achieved.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Riveting, emotional, page-turner!

A first-person account with so many awe-inspiring moments in the book. This is nothing short of inspiring and motivating! We can all aspire more to live out our dreams and face our fears after reading Scott's amazing journey. From his life on this planet to the stars above then experiencing the hardships of life and death, this personal account inspires hope in all of us. I truly enjoyed your book, Spike, and can't wait to share it with E-rex. ER

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Very Interesting Man.

Good book about a very interesting man. Have you ever dreamed of going into space? He dreamt it and did it. He also climbed My. Everest, rode luge in the Olympic trials, is a record setting diver and a doctor. I have probably forgotten one or two other things.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Inspirational story

I enjoyed this book and look forward to recommending this book to others. Thank you for sharing with us.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Marco Johnson
  • 05-11-18

Truly Inspirational

A truly inspirational insight into the achievements of Scott Parazynski, Susy Flory has done an excellent job of turning these events/insights into a gripping and engaging listen. Anyone with an interest into Space exploration, mountaineering or simply need help achieving a personal goal will take great inspiration and informative knowledge away with themselves from this. I couldn’t rate it high enough. 10/10

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  • Nathan Hansen
  • 07-23-18

An engaging recount of a pretty remarkable life.

Cheers for sharing your story Scott, it was good to listen to and get an insight into your adventures.