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Crash Test Girl

An Unlikely Experiment in Using the Scientific Method to Answer Life’s Toughest Questions
Narrated by: Kari Byron
Length: 6 hrs and 26 mins
4.4 out of 5 stars (17 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Kari Byron - former host of the wildly popular, iconic cult classic MythBusters - shows how to crash test your way through life, no lab coat required.

Kari Byron's story hasn't been a straight line. She started out as a broke artist living in San Francisco, writing poems on a crowded bus on the way to one of her three jobs. Many curveballs, unexpected twists, and yes, literal and figurative explosions later, and she's one of the world's most respected women in science entertainment, blowing stuff up on national television and getting paid for it! 

In Crash Test Girl, Kari reveals her fascinating life story on the set of MythBusters and beyond. With her signature gusto and roll-up-your-sleeves enthusiasm, she invites listeners behind the duct tape and the dynamite, to the unlikely friendships and low-budget sets that turned a crazy idea into a famously inventive show with a rabid fanbase.

The truth is, Mythbusters was never meant to be a science show. But attaching a rocket to a car, riding a motorcycle on water, or lighting 500 pounds of coffee creamer on fire requires a decent understanding of chemistry, physics, and engineering. 

Thus, the cast and crew brought in the scientific method to work through each problem: Question. Hypothesize. Analyze. Experiment. Conclude. 

And as Kari came to learn in her own life, not only is the scientific method the best approach for busting myths, it's also the perfect tool for solving everyday issues, including:

  • Career 
  • Love 
  • Creativity 
  • Setbacks 
  • Money 
  • Sexuality 
  • Depression 
  • Bravery 

Crash Test Girl reminds us that science is for everyone, as long as you're willing to strap in, put on your safety goggles, hit a few walls, and learn from the results. Using a combination of methodical experimentation and unconventional creativity, you'll come to the most important conclusion of all: In life, sometimes you crash and burn, but you can always crash and learn.

©2018 Kari Byron (P)2018 HarperAudio

What listeners say about Crash Test Girl

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Worth reading/listening to

The life story is amazing big eye opener on mythbusters and showbiz. Was good that this was read by Kari gave a lot of extra emotion and made the story stronger. Worth the purchase!

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Wonderful window into Kari Byron

The opening chapter comes across as forced and stilted. That is the-sum total of my dislike for this book. The rest is a pleasure. It is good that Kari those to read this herself. Her voice adds a measure of honesty and truth to the narrative. I hoped that this book would she'd some light on the abrupt exit of Kari, Grant and Tori. I was not disappointed. I was scared that the #me-too connotations would shatter my love for the Myth Busters franchise. Go ahead. Get this book, it is human.

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  • Espen Urkedal
  • 25-06-2018

Fascinating and captivating

Loved the book. The way Kari used different myths the process behind them to present different aspects of her life was great. There was never a dull moment, and her presentation was full of nuance. My only complaint is that the book had to end. Would definitely recommend buying this book.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Darrin J. Lane
  • 15-06-2018

Kari is amazing and so is this book!!!

Learning about Kari’s sometimes difficult and always inspiring life has been entertaining and thought provoking. I’ve loved watching her on TV and now I love her even more! Great job, Kari! I can’t wait to see what you do next!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Caleb
  • 11-05-2018

Great book

This was a great book, and I love that it was read by Kari herself, it's like her sitting in your living room telling you her life story.

4 people found this helpful

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  • JK
  • 26-03-2019

Give this to your daughter to read !

As a father who named his daughter after a half Klingon chief engineer, I have always believed in empowering girls to do whatever their hearts desired. Crash Test Girl both warms my heart about the potential for girls in science, but also acts as a painful reminder that the work is unnecessarily harder for girls vs boys. Crash Test Girl is everything you expect from the author, but a heck of a lot more. Kari does not hold back the rough times, and I think this is essential in telling her story, that working hard on something you love outweighs the bumps in the road. Parts of this book I shared with my daughter, because I want her to know that women in Science, Technology, Arts, Engineering and or Math, is not a mountain, but more of a flight of stairs you take a step at a time. Inspiring, thoughtful, and engaging. I came out the end of the book with a greater appreciation for the struggles faced by women in this field - and more importantly, vow to be part of the change that will make these struggles something of the past.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 31-07-2020

Good times

Loved Kari for ages and love hearing about her in her own words. Definitely enjoyable. Confirmed!

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  • Kelly
  • 23-07-2020

my favorite Mythbuster!

when I found out that kari had a audio book I was stoked to hurry up and buy it and listen to it. Got me through two days of work. thank you kari for sharing your story.

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  • Photo and Music Guy
  • 13-07-2020

Good, but wished it had focused more on her work.

It's a good book, Kari is certainly an interesting person, who has a pretty eventful life story. She's a classic success story by taking chances, and making the most out of what she could. She has some great insight as well. However, I would have liked more stories from her shows, and behind the scenes information. Much of the book is her regular life, which we all have, and isn't that different from everyone else. Typical of biographies, she focuses a lot on parts that aren't as interesting, while not putting a ton of her interesting work stories. Not bad, and her reading it herself is great!

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  • Jack Daniels
  • 07-06-2020

Fascinating insights into the real Kari

The story of Kari and how she got to the show and beyond is truly a fascinating tale of strength, courage, and a lot of luck. This book is everything you ever wanted to know about Kari, but was afraid to ask. In fact, the listener may learn some things they don't want to know. Crash Test Girl kept me interested all the way through it. Her narration makes the audio version doubly good. Kari's delightful sense of humor made the miles go by fast. I'm glad I listened to it and give it my highest recommendation.

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  • William
  • 27-04-2020

Endearing

I always liked Kari. This book taught me even more about her and and her mindset. Great listen.

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  • Janine
  • 25-04-2020

Glad I bothered

Although not a book I would normally have picked up , I'm so glad I did. She has certainly taken full advantage of what life has to offer and has done so with a gusto that many others should aspire to. Glad to find out about what happened with Mythbusters and what she went on to do. Kari is someone who I could definitely look up to.

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  • Kutal Mete Tekin
  • 31-05-2020

Different than expected, in a good way.

As a Mythbysters fan I was expecting a basic "this was my work life" which I would have been happy with. But at the end it had more to offer. I did get the behind the scenes information about Mythbysters but it did not end there. Beyond that, I found the authors life experiences to be extremely relatable which I think will help my personal development. Also she narrates the book with great enthusiasm.

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  • MAD FOX FPV
  • 04-07-2019

lack of scientific method.

If you are a maker or mythbuster fan this might not be for you, maybe try "everything is a hammer". If you are a Kari Byron fan then this is a good look into her life.

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  • Ian
  • 07-07-2018

Repeats a bit at the end - but otherwise good.

Repeats a bit over the last couple of chapters. Great to hear about behind the scenes at Mythbusters - amazing what they put up with.