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

Extended Audio Sample Too Far From Home: A Story of Life and Death in Space Audiobook, by Chris Jones Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (172 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Chris Jones Narrator: Erik Davies Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2007 ISBN: 9780739342008
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An incredible, true-life adventure set on the most dangerous frontier of all—outer space.

In the nearly forty years since Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, space travel has come to be seen as a routine enterprise—at least until the shuttle Columbia disintegrated like the Challenger before it, reminding us, once again, that the dangers are all too real.

Too Far from Home vividly captures the hazardous realities of space travel. Every time an astronaut makes the trip into space, he faces the possibility of death from the slightest mechanical error or instance of bad luck: a cracked O-ring, an errant piece of space junk, an oxygen leak . . . There are a myriad of frighteningly probable events that would result in an astronaut’s death. In fact, twenty-one people who have attempted the journey have been killed.

Yet for a special breed of individual, the call of space is worth the risk. Men such as U.S. astronauts Donald Pettit and Kenneth Bowersox, and Russian flight engineer Nikolai Budarin, who in November 2002 left on what was to be a routine fourteen-week mission maintaining the International Space Station.

But then, on February 23, 2003, the Columbia exploded beneath them. Despite the numerous news reports examining the tragedy, the public remained largely unaware that three men remained orbiting the earth. With the launch program suspended indefinitely, these astronauts had suddenly lost their ride home.

Too Far from Home chronicles the efforts of the beleaguered Mission Controls in Houston and Moscow as they work frantically against the clock to bring their men safely back to Earth, ultimately settling on a plan that felt, at best, like a long shot. Latched to the side of the space station was a Russian-built Soyuz TMA-1 capsule, whose technology dated from the late 1960s (in 1971 a malfunction in the Soyuz 11 capsule left three Russian astronauts dead.) Despite the inherent danger, the Soyuz became the only hope to return Bowersox, Budarin, and Pettit home. 

Chris Jones writes beautifully of the majesty and mystique of space travel, while reminding us all how perilous it is to soar beyond the sky.

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Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cheryl | 2/18/2014

    " It is interesting, sometimes technical buy not overly. Good bio on the 3 main characters. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Eric | 2/12/2014

    " When the Columbia made her final descent into fire on February 1, 2003, the seven who died aboard weren't the only astronauts affected by it. Aboard the International Space Station, the crew of Expedition Six--Commander Ken Bowersox, Flight Engineer Nikolai Budarin, and Science Officer Don Pettit--suddenly found themselves stuck without a ride home, at least for the time being. This book is their story, as well as the story of the Columbia, and of the mission controllers in Houston and Moscow who worked to get the three men home. (They made it, all right--aboard the Soyuz TMA-1 capsule--but that was an adventure in itself.) Chris Jones tells the story in a dramatic yet factual manner, creating an "Apollo 13" for the 21st century. I've been a longtime space buff, and this mission was of particular interest to me (note the commander's name); I found out about this book reading an Esquire magazine in a doctor's waiting room, and immediately knew I HAD to have this book. And I was right. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Hilary | 2/3/2014

    " Interesting and readable look at space travel in this century "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Maggie Leschuk | 1/21/2014

    " I only rate books a 5 if they keep me up at night. Or if I find myself constantly thinking about them. Or if I find myself constantly telling people about them. Well Too Far From Home definitely falls into this category. I LOVED this book and it wasn't just the engineer in me. There's drama, history, and just plain interesting facts. Enjoy! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sam | 1/15/2014

    " Great read. I will never look at space travel the same again. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Karen Morrill-mcclure | 12/18/2013

    " Started out really interesting (to me) describing life in space, then got bogged down in following all the main characters training and road to becoming astronaut (or cosmonaut). Really lost my interest. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jim | 12/1/2013

    " Not my favorite, but a good story. Could easily have been told in half the pages. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides | 8/28/2013

    " An interesting read - sort of like Riding Rockets but more gloomy. Interesting to read about modern Russian/American collaboration, and the space program under Clinton. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ak | 5/19/2013

    " Interesting and educational, occasionally beautiful, thoroughly conveys the dangers and rigors and discomforts of the shuttle and station. A bit sprawling, and slow going for long stretches -- could easily have been half the length. Still, glad to have read it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chris | 3/23/2013

    " First of all, I love stories about space exploration. This book is an example of why I don't read a lot of regular fiction, because true stories like this are, for me, so much more fascinating. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Eliza | 12/10/2012

    " Excellent book, it'll grip you till the end. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 David | 10/23/2012

    " Great book. Good history of the space program, shuttle, international space station. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bree | 8/26/2012

    " Oh, that all nonfiction were this well written. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Candy | 5/16/2012

    " Three American astronauts who were stranded at the International Space Station after the space shuttle blew up in 2003. They literally had to figure out how to get themselves home from the Moon. Amazing story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Elaine Conner | 4/25/2012

    " Fascinating account of life in space aboard the International Space Station and the efforts to bring the men back to Earth after their ride home had exploded. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Steven Dzwonczyk | 3/5/2012

    " This book gives you a real feel for the problems associated with long-term visits to space. It gave me a good perspective on NASA today. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joe | 2/3/2012

    " I don't remember this story getting much coverage in the aftermath of the Columbia disaster. Made me want to read more about the history of the Soviet space agency. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Luann Moore | 11/19/2011

    " Interesting look at the Space Program. Different from other stories previously popular (like Apollo 13 or The Right Stuff). Fun to see what life really might be like not on Earth. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nate | 4/8/2011

    " Very interesting book. Learned a lot about the space program and its history. Also, it was really interesting to hear about the lives of these astronauts who were stuck in space for such a long time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Paul | 2/8/2011

    " Just in terms of insider astronaut/cosmonaut history, lore, and gossip, this would be a great read, but add the true story of the American and Russian space station crew that was stranded in orbit after the Colombia space shuttle was lost on re-entry, and it's a *really* great read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Karen | 6/15/2010

    " Started out really interesting (to me) describing life in space, then got bogged down in following all the main characters training and road to becoming astronaut (or cosmonaut). Really lost my interest. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ak | 4/11/2010

    " Interesting and educational, occasionally beautiful, thoroughly conveys the dangers and rigors and discomforts of the shuttle and station. A bit sprawling, and slow going for long stretches -- could easily have been half the length. Still, glad to have read it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Steven | 1/12/2010

    " This book gives you a real feel for the problems associated with long-term visits to space. It gave me a good perspective on NASA today. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nate | 9/9/2009

    " Very interesting book. Learned a lot about the space program and its history. Also, it was really interesting to hear about the lives of these astronauts who were stuck in space for such a long time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joan | 8/31/2009

    " I read very little non-fiction, but a friend recommended this book and our tastes are usually similar. Interesting story and insight into how astronauts think and why they are different. They had a few books, but I kept thinking I'd never surrivive without my library! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michelle | 7/11/2009

    " At times this feels more like short biographies of the astronauts who were aboard the International Space Station than a book about life aboard the space station itself. It was an interesting read, but I would have appreciated less fluff and more science. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chris | 7/5/2009

    " First of all, I love stories about space exploration. This book is an example of why I don't read a lot of regular fiction, because true stories like this are, for me, so much more fascinating. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Elaine | 6/22/2009

    " Fascinating account of life in space aboard the International Space Station and the efforts to bring the men back to Earth after their ride home had exploded. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Snail in Danger (Sid) | 6/11/2009

    " An interesting read - sort of like Riding Rockets but more gloomy. Interesting to read about modern Russian/American collaboration, and the space program under Clinton. "

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About the Narrator

Erik Davies is an accomplished audiobook narrator and voice-over actor. His stage credits include G.R. Point, Unpublished Letters, and Flats Fixed. Some of his television and film appearances include ER, Third Watch, and a starring role in the hit indie comedy High Society: A Pot Boiler. His audiobook narration has won three AudioFile Earphones Awards.