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The Sky Below: A True Story of Summits,…

The Sky Below: A True Story of Summits, Space, and Speed

by Scott Parazynski

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Loved this book from the story to the Kindle in Motion features (videos, animated maps, etc--his eyes are even blinking on the cover). Having recently visited NASA, I thought I'd enjoy this book. I did and more. Scott is quite an American hero and we all are blessed for his countless accomplishments. I highly recommend it. ( )
  KarenMonsen | Mar 28, 2018 |
Scott Parazynski documents highlights of his you youth, medical training, the realization of becoming an astronaut, and more, in this ebook enhanced with color images and video.

I find the earlier portions of the book more interesting than the last few chapters, where his ego and selfishness come out clearly, with disastrous personal results. He seems bothered by the consequences of his actions, it not so much that he decides to make any changes.

The best segments are the earlier descriptions of applying to be an astronaut and his training. Perhaps that is because during these portions of his life he was not yet established, so he needed to rely upon working with others to obtain his goals.

Finally, this ebook goes beyond the typical embedded photos by including animations and short videos. These help understand some of the technical details discussed as well as showing you highlights of a few of Scott’s adventures.

For someone so accomplished it is a shame that he is so self-absorbed. He came across as someone I would find interesting to meet and have a conversation with, but I wouldn’t like him as a person. ( )
  BrannonSG | Jan 24, 2018 |
There are only a few experienced space travelers and author Scott Parazunski is one of them. The autobiography covers the strong ego and determination he needed to succeed in his extreme endeavors. There is a mixture of technical descriptions, remote places, and an ultimate experience junkie attempt to balance accomplishments with the challenges of marriage and a gifted child. Telling his story in first person allows the reader to experience the physical challenges but provide a very limited perspective of his relationships.

I received this book through a Goodreads giveaway. Although encouraged, I was under no obligation to write a review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. ( )
  bemislibrary | Dec 31, 2017 |
This is not a very technical book, which makes it easily accessible to all, and I highly recommend the Kindle version because it has lots of pictures, demos and mini videos sprinkled throughout the book which really add to the read. I remember several of the lunar events and voyages recounted in this story. An interesting look at the life of an astronaut. And a mountain climber, 'cuz he was both. Scott is a very intelligent man with a need for adventure. He tries to be pretty humble, but it doesn't always ring true to me. I am sure it was not easy it would have been to be married to him: his adventures took him away from family for long periods of time. If you are a science geek, you will enjoy this one. 3.5 ( )
  Berly | Nov 28, 2017 |

This took an inordinate amount of time to finish, which says a lot about the book given that it's set up to read as someone's series of amazing accomplishments/adventures. Scott Parazynski has accomplished so much in his life: an amazing career as an astronaut, a doctor, and adventure seeker. It should be a great read, and it can be - if that's all you're here for. If you're looking for an introspective memoir, you're best looking elsewhere as Scott rarely has time for self reflection other than inspirational quotes about learning tough life lessons learned during mountain climbs/space walks/whatever insane place he's inserted himself this time.

It was a fun read on the surface, until you begin noticing other parts of his life leak through and are left wondering about the people left in his metaphorical dust. Scott is a very charismatic person, but he is also a very selfish person. Throughout his memoir, it becomes clear that he rarely thinks about the bigger picture, or beyond himself. This was fine, but adding a wife and two children (one of whom is autistic), and one needs to sit down and reevaluate one’s priorities.

Most of Scott’s decisions have really only benefited himself and his NASA family, where Scott gets his ‘that-a-boys’ from. His first wife, Gail, is left to shoulder the responsibility of running house and home, working full time herself, and raising their two kids.

While Scott realizes his marriage is failing, he does the uncharacteristic thing, and hides his head in the sand. For someone who has always gone feet first into the deep end, it’s surprising that he held onto this fractured marriage for so long. Scott goes onto to get a home loan for 40K to tackle bucket list goal of climbing Everest, fails due to a back injury, and tries again the following year. Only after this momentous moment, does Scott finally file for divorce. Someone is has been such a large part of his life only merits a handful of lines in a book, and then it’s off to the next adventure: life post-NASA.

The end of the book features Scott finding a second chance at love, a burgeoning new career, and Scott waxing poetic about how he got here, how he was so fortunate when others were not.

The answer is actually simple, though I doubt Scott fully understands the privilege was he was blessed with.

Tl;dr - if you’re here for adventure, this book is for you. If you want some introspection to go along with your memoir, you’re better off picking another book. ( )
  catwithwifi | Sep 13, 2017 |
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"An epic memoir from a man whose life is defined by exploration and innovation, The Sky Below re-creates some of the most unforgettable adventures of our time. From dramatic, high-risk spacewalks to author Scott Parazynski?s death-defying quest to summit Mount Everest?his body ravaged by a career in space?readers will experience the life of an elite athlete, physician, and explorer"--Amazon.com.… (more)

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