In the blink of an eye, Kip Dawson is truly alone and has no way of navigating the ship home. With nothing to do but wait for his fate, Kip writes his epitaph on the ship's laptop computer, unaware that an audience of millions has discovered it and is tracking his every word on the Internet. As a massive struggle gets under way to rescue him, Kip has no idea that the world can hear his cries - or that his heroism in the face of death may sabotage his best chance of survival.
STORY (suspense) - What if you were in orbit around earth and knew you were going to die in a few days? Kip Dawson finds himself in that position after winning a free trip aboard a privately owned space vessel. The pilot is killed early into the flight, and Kip is stranded...alone...and no communication with earth. Or so he thinks. Between frustrating attempts to save his own life, he feels compelled to evaluate his life's mistakes, joys and dreams and write them in a laptop computer he finds onboard. Not expecting anyone to read his words during his lifetime, if ever, he pours himself into his task, writing words which heal, encourage, enlighten. He also accuses his employer of a crime, speaks of wanting to divorce his wife and mentions women he is or has been attracted to. Oops. What Kip doesn't know is that his words are scrolling live in realtime across the bottom of nearly every computer screen in the world. Everyone knows when he sleeps, what he's doing, what he's thinking and have been inspired by his perception, honesty and courage.
But don't discount this book as a boring self-evaluation of someone's life. It's not. There's lot's of suspense, beginning with the takeoff of the vessel and when the pilot is killed. It moves quickly between attempts Kip makes to pilot the ship and attempts on earth to rescue him. NASA, Norad, the President, even Japan and Russia become involved in an attempt to save someone who is becoming a beloved world phenomenon. The plot is made more suspenseful by attempts to sabotage the rescue by those who could gain from the failure of the privatized space program. Is it technically realistic? Probably not, but it was realistic enough for this listener to become totally engrossed in the story. The plot is very unusual and very well done.
PERFORMANCE - The author narrates his own work and does a fine job, although he doesn't really attempt to distinguish between speakers. His S's might be a little "mushy," but I only noticed it because another reviewer pointed it out.
OVERALL - Highly recommended. There is no violence or sex (although Kip talks about sex a little). I might have heard the F-word once, but I'm not sure. Otherwise, I don't think there's cursing. Guys and gals would enjoy this book equally.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful
This is the most delightful, compelling, poignant and suspenseful story I have encountered in many years. The main character found his way into my heart almost immediately. His responses to the terrifying challenges facing him were surprising, believable, and heartening. Since listening to this book, I feel happier about being a human than I have in a very long time.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful
What did you love best about Orbit?
The technical and space flight aspects were secondary to the human drama and the examination of a life and aspects of the human mind.
What other book might you compare Orbit to and why?
None, I have never encountered a book quite like this.
Which character – as performed by the narrator – was your favorite?
No character in particular. It not clear who the narrator is, I suspect it was the author himself. The narrator did not sound like your typical "professional Narrator", but after a short time I could easily understand him. I suspect it was the author because you could tell he had a fondness for the characters. I do think the audio engineering and microphone used could have been better.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
Yes. Wanted to yes, but not with my busy life.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful
One of the best books I've ever listened to. Not a genre I usually read but thought provoking.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful
This is a fascinating book, entirely different than I expected. It is similar to "The Truman Show" in the way that the entire world is involved in his thoughts and he is unaware. His honesty and raw feelings change lives. This is very thought provoking.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful