I’ve always maintained a passing interest in space travel and with my burgeoning love of Sci-Fi starting to develop, I thought that this was the right book to pick up. With Packing for Mars, Mary Roach takes the reader on a journey through the bizarre history of space travel and the toll it takes on the human body and psyche.
It turns out that my passing interest in space travel was just that – a passing interest. I found myself constantly drifting off during chapters and having to rewind over and over again which slowly became an exercise in frustration. That being said, there were some things that I found interesting. Scientists theorizing what would happen to the human body when subjected to zero gravity was mind-blowing. The knowledge that we have today about space travel is something we can certainly take for granted when looking back at how little we knew to start.
Apparently, my love/hate relationship with audio books is far from resolved. When you plug in those headphones and commit to listening to someone read you a book, you better hope that the reader does a good job and has a pretty tolerable voice. Unfortunately, I feel like Sandra Burr just didn’t do it for me. I’m not sure why – maybe it had something to do with the dry way she approached the material. There’s a lot of humor in here and I feel like Burr just couldn’t portray the subject matter in a right way.
It really hurts to hit Mary Roach with such heavy criticism because I can tell she was passionate about the subject material. However, as a casual consumer of space travel history, this book couldn’t grab me and keep my attention for longer than the odd chapter. I definitely intend to check out something else Roach has written and take the traditional reading route.