Sunday, September 17, 2017

#SneakPeekSunday - Calling Major Tom by David Barnett

Title: Calling Major Tom
Author: David M. Barnett
Genre: Science Fiction
Published: June 18, 2017
Publisher: Trapeze Books
Pages: 304


CALLING MAJOR TOM is a heart-warming and ultimately life-affirming story of a man who has given up on the world... but discovers in the most unlikely way that it might not have given up on him.

We all know someone like Thomas.

The grumpy next-door-neighbour who complains to the Residents' Committee about the state of your front lawn. The man who tuts when you don't have the correct change at the checkout. The colleague who sends an all-company email when you accidentally use the last drop of milk.

Thomas is very happy to be on his own, far away from other people and their problems.

But beneath his cranky exterior lies a story and a sadness that is familiar to us all. And he's about to encounter a family who will change his view of the world.

Sneak Peek Review

I received a copy of this sneak peek from Trapeze Books through Netgalley. This is my honest review. 

I'm back to being me again and didn't read the synopsis before starting this sneak peek, and based on the title, I was expecting a book, probably romance, that involved phone calls between a soldier (Major Tom) and likely his significant other, the two of them separated by an ocean because of a deployment. That's not what this book is about at all. No, this book is about a man named Tom Major (who is also a Major like the military rank now I think), on a one-way trip to Mars to set it up for future settlement (it seems). 

Because this is a sneak peek, I only got a small taste of each of the main characters personalities. This story seems to be told from the perspectives of two characters, Major Tom and Gladys, an elderly woman in England who seems to suffer from Alzheimer's from the brief glimpse I got into her life. At first I was not sure how the two perspectives were connected aside from the fact that they're both British, but I've since come to the conclusion that they spend a lot of time talking on the phone during Tom's trip to Mars. 

I noticed that another reviewer said this book was "on par with A Man Called Ove" and while I cannot say for sure that that is an accurate assessment of the book as a whole, Tom definitely has some very Ove-like qualities to his personality, so I am inclined to believe them. I can definitely see how this story may play out in a somewhat similar fashion to A Man Called Ove as well. 

There was one line early on that made me giggle. There's a bit where Tom mentions that his training manuals indicate that his job on Mars will involve survival and a lot of potato farming, which I feel is a pretty clear reference to The Martian by Andy Weir. That made me wonder if the "training manual" in question is actually a copy of The Martian. From what I can gather about Tom's personality, that seems plausible. 

So would I buy this book? Yeah, probably. Although I'm not in a big hurry to continue reading it, so I'd be inclined to wait for a sale myself. - Katie 

Buy the Book


  1. I love the sound of this book. Might have to give it a read. X

  2. Instant David Bowie earworm - damn it!

  3. Does sound a little similar to The Martian, but I'd also give it a go as I'm a big fan of SciFi reads. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Ha I love when you don't read the blurb and go by the title :)
    This book sounds quirky. I don't think I'd go out of my way to read it, but if it fell into my lap I might read it.

  5. I'm totally fine with something similar to The Martian! Count me in.