Who hasn't looked up a the night sky on a clear night and wondered what it must be like to soar
through the heavens like an astronaut? Apparently, author Mary Roach hasn't.
Lucky for us, she seems to be much more concerned with important
questions of space travel like, what happens when astronauts puke in their
space helmet? Following the formula of
her previous books, Spooked, Bonk and Stiff, Roach has packed her quirky sense
of wonderment and boldly gone where no author had been before in her new book, Packing for Mars.
For many, space has lost the appeal it once had, but one does not need any previous knowledge or excitement of space exploration to enjoy this book. In fact, a lack of space expertise is exactly what makes this book such an interesting read. Roach is our everywoman and guides the reader through space exploration, asking all of the questions "ordinary" people want to know. For example, how does one go to the bathroom in space? As it turns out, there is not only a NASA manual for such an act, but it is an act that was vigorously and hilariously tested before space flight. These enthusiastic tests allow astronauts in space to focus on number one without stepping in number two, so to speak.
What about astronauts going crazy
in space or dropping from the sky? All
of these questions and many more are answered by Roach. Her style of mixing true facts with personal
experience make this book a fun and informative read. It should also be said that, unlike most non-fiction materials, the footnotes are just as funny and interesting as the rest
of the book.
This book is a must-read for lovers
of space exploration but is the perfect read for those of us who have no
knowledge of anything NASA. This book is
also rare in that it can be enjoyed by an extremely large demographic of reader
including teens and fiction readers who are afraid of non-fiction. Every page of this book is entertaining and
informative ... out of this world (sorry).