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thomcat

thomcat

Currently reading

David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants
Malcolm Gladwell
The Speed of Dark
Elizabeth Moon
Battle Royale
Koushun Takami, Yuji Oniki
Marianne Dreams
Catherine Storr
Coming to Our Senses: Healing Ourselves and the World Through Mindfulness
Jon Kabat-Zinn
Orbit - John J. Nance Overall I enjoyed about as much as I didn't about this book.

First take the premise. Who wouldn't love to be alone in space? Highly introspective stuff here, and most astronauts express some of the same ideas. Next, the laptop link. This was kind of cheesy and not well explained, although necessary for the story. So, assume positive and move on. The politics of NASA and others? Very believable cast of characters there. The female characters? Only three or five with names, all mostly static. I read a few other reviews which cried foul on the landing. I disagree. The author gave the main character glider experience, and landing a glider is a lot of what you need to know about aviation. The main character knew to keep an eye on rate of descent, stall speed. When you sit the average Joe in front of a simulator and say "land that plane", rate of descent is more than half the reason for a crash. Back to the ramblings of a guy who has accepted he is going to die. Interesting to think of, to put yourself in those shoes. The whole world watching? Maybe. Certainly reality TV shows lead one to believe this could happen.

The conclusion? Rough writing in a few patches and wooden female characters made this a harder read than it should have been. The wonder of space and contemplation of the human condition made this a good thing. The fact that the book was the author's sounding board about the meaning of life was a little too clear behind the veneer of the story. 3 stars.