Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Review: Too Far From Home

Too Far From Home: A Story of Life and Death in Space

Really interesting ride. It's a history of the two astronauts and one cosmonaut who were stuck on the International Space Station after the space shuttle Columbia burned up on re-entry in 2003. Because all shuttles were grounded for a couple years, their ride home had to be jury-rigged (via Russian space capsule) a few months longer than they'd planned.

If the premise doesn't seem interesting, the way that Jones writes about space, being in space, and what it means should make you pick up the book - hearing the details of day-to-day life "on station" makes you want to try it out (but not for too long). He also gives it a sense of scope that often gets lost in more clinical/historical versions. He also slips in bits of space travel history without making it seem overt.

It lost the fifth star in my review because his tactic of telling and the re-telling portions of the story of the station's travails got confusing, especially with the frequent trips to more distant space history. Overall, I'd highly recommend.

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