An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth

  • by Chris Hadfield
  • Narrated by Chris Hadfield
  • 8 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

As Commander of the International Space Station, Chris Hadfield captivated the world with stunning photos and commentary from space. Now, reading from his first book, Chris takes listeners deep into his years of training and space exploration to show how to make the impossible possible.
Chris Hadfield decided to become an astronaut after watching the Apollo moon landing with his family on Stag Island, Ontario, when he was nine years old, and it was impossible for Canadians to be astronauts. In 2013, he served as Commander of the International Space Station orbiting the Earth during a five-month mission. Fulfilling this lifelong dream required intense focus, natural ability and a singular commitment to "thinking like an astronaut."
In An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth, Chris gives us a rare insider's perspective on just what that kind of thinking involves, and how earthbound humans can use it to achieve success and happiness in their lives.
Astronaut training turns popular wisdom about how to be successful on its head. Instead of visualizing victory, astronauts prepare for the worst; always sweat the small stuff; and do care what others think. Chris shows how this unique education comes into play with dramatic anecdotes about going blind during a spacewalk, getting rid of a live snake while piloting a plane, and docking with space station Mir when laser tracking systems fail at the critical moment. Along the way, he shares exhilarating experiences, and challenges, from his 144 days on the ISS, and provides an unforgettable answer to his most-asked question: What's it really like in outer space?
With humour, humility and a profound optimism for the future of space exploration, An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth offers listeners not just the inspiring story of one man's journey to the ISS, but the opportunity to step into his space-boots and think like an astronaut - and renew their commitment to pursuing their own dreams, big or small.


What the Critics Say

"[T]he real treat is Hadfield's presentation. His familiar and natural demeanor draws the listener in from the opening lines. All the joy and wonder he feels about space travel and life is conveyed through a masterful use of pace and tone, while flawless transitions lead to an equally effective delivery of the reflective passages. This appealing audiobook certainly allows Hadfield to add 'narrator' to his impressive list of accomplishments." (AudioFile)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Good, but not without flaws.

The writing is a bit choppy. It definitely might have benefited from better editing. Perhaps a rushed release?

I appreciate his outlook on life. He's a highly impressive individual with a very long laundry list of accomplishments and qualifications. Even though I get the feeling that he's a genuinely humble person, the writing style gives a certain aura of self-indulgence. I'm sure this wasn't desired or intentional, but perhaps better editing may have been able to correct a lot of these issues.

Some of the stories are very inspiring and motivational. Others are quite obviously filler.

The narration isn't terrible, but again, a bit choppy. He is able to inject a ton of personality and enthusiasm into the reading, but it also lacks a professional polish.

The inside look at how NASA operates was extremely interesting though. I really enjoyed that.

Overall, it was good! 4 stars. Or perhaps 3.5. It was a good listen!
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- Jay

Fascinating book by a fascinating man

Read by the man himself, this audiobook takes what is a slightly choppy book and makes it into a personal series of stories told directly to you.

I may be slightly starstruck by this, and it may be affecting my judgment but I really enjoyed this tale of space and humanity. The book version is very much written in the style of speech, that is to say it writes like you would speak, not as a formal writer. It is a stylistic choice that grammarians decry, but coupled with this audiobook it works beautifully.

The recording begins slightly choppy, as if there were a few stumbles before Mr Hadfield got into the rhythm of recording this book. As I read along, I noticed a few times words or the order of sentences did not match up to the printed version, so I assume he used one of the final proofs or these small issues were deemed not worthy of editing the tape, which I understand. The room or mike seems to have an airy feeling to it, like there was a hollow space around the mike, but again, that's a little problem.

The story is not linear but follows the theme of the book, that of learning to learn or to be a better and more useful person.
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- Luke

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-29-2013
  • Publisher: Random House Audio