Living With A 98-Year-Old Rocket Scientist

Mister B

Christian - Romance - Historical
350 Pages
Reviewed on 11/12/2017
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

This is the story of how one family learns to love again.

Mister B is the self-made man he aimed to become, having pulled himself up from the rope-tied, baggy-pants poverty of Polish immigrants in Rhode Island to become a designer on the engineering team of the space shuttle Gemini. He staunchly argues against church. But is there a story behind his religion?

A. LYNN BYK writes in the interview style she used as a music journalist, now adding a perspective of wit from family drama in the conflict of a multi-generational embrace.

BYK, now the old man's chauffeur and cook, antagonizes Mr. B with her religious ideas born from her concern over what must certainly be his impending death. He answers her in clever repartee. The memoir of Mister B honors the Rhode Island rocket scientist's rise from poverty, and in doing so helps to inform younger generations of a circumspect lifestyle.

Mister B’s voice carries readers through a very funny juxtaposition of energies training the companions to heel at life’s new gait.

BYK earned her Bachelor of Arts in Contemporary Christian Composition and later managed a Berean Bookstore.

The memoir begins in 2013, when Lynn Byk and old Mister B are thrown into an unlikely companionship. Locked in her father-in-law's home, the old aerospace engineer speaks to her from the legacy of his own Polish past and his scientific experience as he must now lean on her for help.

Lynn Byk enjoys living in the Colorado Rockies.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Arya Fomonyuy for Readers' Favorite

Living with a 98-Year-Old Rocket Scientist: Mister B by Lynn Byk is a memoir that reads like nothing I have read in a long while. It is well-crafted, with details that capture the very essence of the day-to-day life of a 98-year-old rocket scientist, his son, Paul, and his daughter-in-law, Lynn. Written in the form of journal entries, the memoir draws readers into the narrator’s perspective and follows the story closely. The memoir features moments of history in Mister B’s scientific work, and his contribution to WWII and the Cold War initiatives. When the couple decides to move into Mister B’s house, they are unaware that an exciting chapter is opening in their lives. Now, the old man is just happy to have people to share his home, but no argument or trick could convince him to allow any renovations to take place in the house. It’s the place he’s occupied with his late wife and he just won’t allow any changes to it.

Living with a 98-Year-Old Rocket Scientist: Mister B is told in a humorous, endearing tone that will arrest the reader’s attention right off the bat, a rollicking ride, and a hilarious story that looks at the beauty of living with an elderly man who has seen many things and who has been at the heart of history. The humor is terrific and the author’s handling of family dynamics is one of the fortes of this narrative. Coupled with witticism and realistic dialogues, this makes for a great read. I was pulled into the story from the very beginning and couldn’t get distracted as I read through the entire book. Yes, it is gripping, and the humanity of Mister B is so wonderfully explored. It is rare to find a memoir that reads like fiction, but this one does. It’s an exciting read!

Romuald Dzemo

Family, spirituality, science, history, friendship, and love are elements that are so brilliantly woven into this inspiring memoir. Living with a 98-Year-Old Rocket Scientist: Mister B by Lynn Byk and Joseph Byk is one of the best memoirs I have read in a while, a story that is laced with wit and humor.

Readers are introduced to a memorable cast of characters — an old rocket scientist who welcomes his son and his wife to live with him. What could have been a tragic experience soon transforms into an endearing story where readers are invited to drink from the wisdom of one who has contributed in shaping history with a revolutionary invention. Paul and Lynn might have thought that they would be a burden to Paul’s aged father when they move into his home, but to their greatest surprise, they encounter the warmth that would transform their lives. The reader follows these characters as they explore family dynamics from one exciting day to the next.

Living with a 98-Year-Old Rocket Scientist: Mister B is a great story of love, a spiritual and cultural odyssey, and an exciting read that will flood the hearts of readers with light and love. It is interesting to notice the protagonist’s journey from humble origins to becoming a reputable scientist. The story is original and the style unique. The first person narrative makes the story even more gripping because it forces the reader to experience the events through the eyes of the narrator, who happens to be one of the key characters in the story. Lynn Byk’s style of writing is awesome and the reader can feel the honesty in the narrative and the keen attention to detail. I couldn’t put the book down.

Divine Zape

A memoir that will have readers rooting for the characters, Living with a 98-Year-Old Rocket Scientist: Mister B by Lynn Byk follows the life of an old man in the company of his son and daughter-in-law. Paul and Lynn Byk decide to move into Paul’s father’s home because of poorly behaved neighbors. It’s a home the old man has lived in for the past 40 years and he now occupies it alone after his wife’s death. This might have been a temporary move to fix a minor crisis, but things quickly change as son and daughter-in-law get to bond with the wise, old and sharp-witted rocket scientist, a man who had played a great role in WWII, the Cold War, and in US history. The reader is pulled into the lifestyle of this family and, as they follow the brilliant humor and the intelligent conversations, they develop a fondness for a character who is legendary and whose wisdom rubs off quickly on them.

One of the things that will get the reader’s attention is the storytelling craft. The author has the gift of recreating scenes and injecting humor and wit into the narrative in a way that draws the reader in quickly. The story is told in the form of journal entries and in the first person, and the POV is carefully crafted. The characters are well explored and readers will feel as if they are part of the physical and spiritual journey of this family. The different themes are woven well into the story. It is impossible to read Living with a 98-Year-Old Rocket Scientist: Mister B without feeling drawn to and connected with the protagonist. Here is a memoir that entertains and informs readers, a well-crafted story that fans of the genre will find delightful.

Christian Sia

Living with a 98-Year-Old Rocket Scientist: Mister B by Lynn Byk and Joseph Byk is an interesting memoir, one woman’s brilliant account of what it feels like to live with a ninety-eight-year-old man. It’s not just any man, but Mister B, a rocket scientist whose beginnings haven’t been as glorious as those of many others, but a man whose contribution to the scientific community and the life of the nation — especially during WWII and the Cold War — can’t be ignored. Mister B welcomes his son and daughter-in-law into the house he once shared with his wife and an interesting journey begins. The reader gets to discover the humorous, witty, and intelligent part of the scientist. Mr. B is a humble individual whose scientific contributions saved many lives.

I found this memoir to be very interesting and utterly engaging. The protagonist, Joseph Byk, has a unique way of seeing the world, is very informed, and he can come across as blunt sometimes. The writing is great and I enjoyed the conversations that are well-crafted. I also loved the form of this book, written as a journal, which allows the reader to follow Mister B’s interactions with others as events taking place before the reader’s gaze. It is rare to read a memoir that isn’t laced with explanations, but the authors have succeeded in taking readers on a delightful ride through the life of a hero just two years shy of a century. Living with a 98-Year-Old Rocket Scientist: Mister B will have you smiling and laughing and rooting for the old man. You won’t forget him easily, even after you have put the book down.

Anne-Marie Reynolds

Living With A 98-Year-Old Rocket Scientist: Mister B by Lynn Byk and Joseph Byk is a memoir told by Mister B’s daughter-in-law. Paul and Lynn move in with Mister B after they were forced to sell their own home. Mister B is getting frail, but he doesn’t really want anyone living with him, making changes to his home. Lynn spends a lot of time with Mister B and offers to write a book about his experiences. This is that book. Writing in the form of a diary, Lynn details Mister B’s experiences of life, right from his early days when he started designing gravity-defying vehicles, to his time in WWII when he was stress testing the reconnaissance planes. He talks of the race to the moon in the Cold War and Gemini, the space shuttle that he helped to design. He even talks about the start of Google Earth. With a spiritual ribbon winding through the story, this is Mister B’s life, the life of a rocket scientist.

Living With A 98-Year-Old Rocket Scientist: Mister B is well worth reading. It was a wonderful story, a journey that few can hope to make, covering almost 100 years of change. The photographs made the true story even more real and were a wonderful addition, giving aspects of the story another depth. I like the way it was written in the form of a diary and, although the timings were not exact as explained at the start, it doesn’t matter – the real grit of the story was there. We got to know Mister B, Lynn and Paul very well throughout the book and we learn what makes them who they are. Mister B has led an incredible life and his family is very lucky to have him, to have walked in his footsteps, if only through a series of reminiscences and photographs. This is an amazing book, and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to learn more about life as a rocket scientist, and everything that goes with it.