Sex on the Moon: The Amazing Story Behind the Most Audacious Heist in History
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Sex on the Moon: The Amazing Story Behind the Most Audacious Heist in History

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3.34 of 5 stars 3.34  ·  rating details  ·  4,397 ratings  ·  803 reviews
Thad Roberts, a fellow in a prestigious NASA program had an idea—a romantic, albeit crazy, idea. He wanted to give his girlfriend the moon. Literally.

Thad convinced his girlfriend and another female accomplice, both NASA interns, to break into an impregnable laboratory at NASA—past security checkpoints, an electronically locked door with cipher security codes, and camera-...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published July 12th 2011 by Doubleday (first published January 1st 2011)
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Mara
Allow me to begin by firmly stating that in my oh so humble opinion, having sex in a bed with a stolen moon rock 1. is weird and creepy (not to mention potentially dangerous- are moon rocks scratchy?) and 2. is NOT the same thing as having sex on the actual moon. If you had sex on a down comforter would you run around telling people you had sex on a goose? I'd hope not for a whole host of reasons, but that's beside the point.

It's hard to truly communicate my level of disdain/dislike for this boo...more
Becca
I borrowed this book from the kindle lending library because there is no way I am putting money into a fund that enriches the moon rock-thief Thad in any way shape or form.

This book is written in typical Ben Mezrich style which makes it a fun and almost believable read, and for any Johnson Space Center employee, you will laugh out loud when you read it... mostly due to the lack of basic fact checking. How hard was it for the editors to hire a fact checker anyway? And we're not talking just exag...more
Ann
I had high expectations of this book. It had so many of the elements I like : a daring heist - science- outer space....It came with impeccable credentials, in the shape of a highly respected author (Ben Mezrich). And yet, I can't give this book more than 2 stars. And that is simply because I feel it violates one of the most central dogmas of the genre : get multiple perspectives. The story of Thad Roberts, a gifted NASA intern, who decided to steal some precious moon rocks from a NASA lab in ord...more
Gary Schroeder
This is a manuscript for a movie. In recent interviews Ben Mezrich has been very open about that. He writes books from the very beginning in the hopes that they will be optioned for movies. And it shows.

Mezrich, author of "The Accidental Billionaires," the book upon which the Facebook movie "The Social Network" was based, went in search of his next great true-story thriller. What he settled on was the tale of Thad Roberts, a student enrolled in NASA's Cooperative Education Program who turned thi...more
Josephine
Some reviewers have likened the true story behind Ben Mezrich’s “Sex on the Moon” to “Ocean’s Eleven” — which I take issue with because, while Thad Roberts was smart enough to get into Houston’s Johnson Space Center Cooperative Program, there was no real finesse to how he orchestrated the heist to steal “used” moon rocks that were destined for the trash.

When I heard author Mezrich on John Tory’s show on The Live Drive, I had the same reaction that most people probably had when they hear about th...more
Ainsley
May 11, 2012 Ainsley rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: My enemies
Shelves: it-sucked
It's one thing to read a detailed description of a sexual encounter in a work of fiction or even in a work of non-fiction, provided that the author of the piece is one of the participants in the act. But reading some writer's trite and heavy-handed account of sexual acts that supposedly took place between two other people? Eeeeeeew.

Add the considerable ick factor to generally lousy writing, poor research and the author's addiction to hyperbole (and stupid titles), and you have one crappy book.
Becky
The story itself is pretty interesting -- it took some smarts for this guy to steal real true moon rocks direct from NASA. But the book was abysmally written. From the movie scene-style descriptions to the book jacket -- "Catch Me If You Can" meets "[some other movie I can't remember]" -- it's obvious the author and publisher were just trying to get this made into a movie & didn't really care whether it was actually written well. The research seemed shoddy, too. The author cites "people who...more
Stefanie
Three stars is being very generous; two and a half would be more accurate. Although the core of the story is interesting--how could the theft of moon rocks from the heart of NASA not be?--the lead-up to the crime takes blooming forever. You know what? We the readers do not need to know about every group excursion Thad planned between his start at NASA and the crime, among other things. The chapter openers that went into intense descriptions of ultimately mundane details got old quickly too. Some...more
Haley
Let's be clear about one thing: this book will (or at least should) make a terrific movie. The story of Thad Roberts' multi-million-dollar NASA heist is fascinating, exciting, and surprisingly under-reported. All the ingredients for the the next big blockbuster are there: a brilliant but troubled protagonist, a passionate love story, and a high-stakes robbery--all set against the larger-than-life backdrop of the NASA Johnson Space Center. The facts of the story are, all in all, super cool--that'...more
Drew
An interesting story about Thad Roberts and several co-conspirators who stole a number of valuable samples of moon rocks from the Johnson Space Center in Houston. Some reviewers have compared the chronicled escapade to a spacey version of "Oceans 11." I think that is giving a bit too much credit to both Roberts and Mezrich. While an interesting story about the theft of a national treasure, the fact that three interns could steal such valuable material, makes NASA look like a bunch of bumbling id...more
Cameron
The fascinating story of a Mormon kid turned NASA intern turned cat burglar makes for a great read. Especially when the basis for the whole thing is, what else, love. The author does a great job of telling the story of Thad Roberts, the man who brazenly stole several million dollars worth of moon rocks from a NASA lab based on the romantic ideal of giving his girlfriend the moon, in a way that makes him relatable and tragic. Yet it does not delve too far, and even with the one-sidedness of the a...more
Mike
I am a big Ben Mezrich fand and have read all of his books. To me, Sex on the Moon is his best work and shows his maturity as a writer. He has a very distinct style and voice that I think I would instantly recognize anywhere. In this book, that style seems to hum.

One thing I like about all his books is that he captures the excitement and unlimited-seeming possibilities that go with graduating from college and deciding what you want to do with your life. I don't know many other authors who have c...more
Jill Heather
Despite the author's best efforts, he doesn't make Thad even slightly sympathetic. It's also not clear that he spoke to the other two major people in the heist (according to Thad, they were involved but everyone pretended they were seduced at trial, but this is hard to believe), who are described mostly as being really beautiful and awesome looking in a bikini. (All the women are described based on how totally hot they are -- it's really shocking that every single NASA scientists who is a woman...more
David
Sex on the Moon is not about sex on the Moon, but it is about a bright but troubled NASA intern, named Thad Roberts, who decided to throw away a promising career for himself and three friends to steal a small amount of Apollo Moon rocks. The whole story is told from the perspective of Thad, by Mezrich, in a well written and very engaging fashion. In the beginning I felt some compassion for the young Roberts as he deals with an overly strict family life and there is an undercurrent through the st...more
Cassi aka Snow White Haggard
I feel like the summary of this book is misleading and that's my biggest problem with this book. This is NOT a story about a man who wants to give his girlfriend the moon.

This is the story of a brilliant nasa coop, raised and banished by Mormon parents, living from bill to bill, who loses track of himself, of his beautiful wife, and screws up his life. He's thinking of stealing and selling the moon rocks before he even has a girlfriend. I really don't like it when synopsis trick you like this.

Th...more
Nancy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tami
Mezrich's retelling of the true story of Thad Roberts' theft of 101 grams of moon rocks insists on painting Roberts as a modern-day Robin Hood who just helped himself to some scraps, that NASA itself had labeled as "trash", as a grand gesture of love towards a woman. But I wasn't convinced. I saw him more as self-centered and egotistical, so amazed by his own IQ that he felt "entitled".

Although based on the actual events, the book is fictionalized to read like a novel. But as such, it was disapp...more
Lisa Nelson
Dec 03, 2011 Lisa Nelson rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Lisa by: Mom
Currently Goodreads has this book rated at an average of 3.34. That sounds about right to me.

My Mom insisted that I read this book a couple of weeks ago and I'm glad I picked it up. The story was interesting to me for several reasons. First, I knew the main character Thad Roberts had Mormon roots and that part of the story intrigued me. Next, I love a good heist. Lastly, I am pretty sure this is the first book I have ever read about NASA and Johnson Space Center and I really enjoyed learning mo...more
Zachary
Mezrich does a great job telling this true story in a suspenseful fiction-style narrative. The book was hard to put down, even though I didn't find the main character to be very sympathetic: his inner life, at least as described by the author, was repellingly superficial, and it was sad to watch his pathological need for social approval drive him to commit such a colossally pointless crime.
Julie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Pb
The title of “Sex on the Moon” is a celebration of the moment when Thad Roberts and his girlfriend become the first people to have sex on top of moon rocks – the booty of their recent heist. I am intrigued by the first half of the book. Thad, the main character, is an overly precocious coop student at NASA Johnston Space Center. Thad dreams of being an astronaut on Mars. He has amazing adventures like being in the space shuttle simulator during a test and working in the big tank that is the larg...more
Scott
This is the true story of what the author terms ‘the most audacious heist in history’. It is the account of Thad Roberts, a college student from Utah who decides that he would like to become an astronaut and applies for a prestigious internship at NASA in Houston. He is accepted and immediately becomes a rising star in the space program. As part of his training he is exposed to the famous ‘moon rock’, samples brought back from the moon during the Apollo lunar missions. These samples are some of...more
Marci
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Beth
The book is about an intelligent young man, Thad Roberts, who became a co-op (like an intern) for Johnson Space Center in Houston. With aspirations of becoming an astronaut and eventually the first man to set foot on Mars, he was overjoyed to have this opportunity. Raised as a Mormon, his family disowned him when he was booted out of the missionary program. He and his girlfriend married young and didn't have much money. Feeling insecure, Thad decided to reinvent himself at NASA and spent time or...more
Maureen M
Thad Roberts is smart enough to get into an elite internship program at NASA and daring enough to sneak into off-limits parts of the Johnson Space Center. But when he puts those smarts and daring together and decides to steal and sell moon rocks, you find yourself yelling at him, "What are you thinking?!" Ben Mezrich answers that question in "Sex on the Moon," a ripping yarn of the crime of the Space Age. Mezrich is the author of the book that became the hit movie "The Social Network." Here he h...more
Nenette
I've read one review by someone from inside NASA saying the author did not get all his facts straight about some things he wrote about the facility and the JSC program. If I don't put so much weight on that, and just bank on the note saying the author pored over court records, plus his acknowledgment of Thad Roberts being so open to him, I'll say this is one true story that I enjoyed reading.

I couldn't count the times I shook my head while I was reading, and I continued to do so up to now I'm w...more
Mainon
I know some people have issues with Ben Mezrich (author of Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six M.I.T. Students Who Took Vegas for Millions and The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook, both of which, by the way, were made into decent movies). I'm not terribly familiar with the controversy, but I think it has something to do with him taking liberties with the facts and still calling it nonfiction.

I have absolutely zero independent knowledge about the real-life events tha...more
Andrew Shuping
I received this book as part of LibraryThing's early review program.

It's taken me this long to write the review because it took me this long to plow my way through the book. There was absolutely nothing really enjoyable at all about it for me. First of all is the title. I mean seriously, this is supposed to be the most audacious heist in history? I mean if he was writing about the theft of the Mona Lisa then sure. But this? Not hardly.

And then we move onto the hero/criminal of the story, Thad Ro...more
Norah
I don't think a book about a heist is supposed to make the reader sad. I think it's supposed to be exciting to live vicariously through the daring thief. Of course, you understand that he will get caught. But that's part of the life of crime, right? And while in prison he can read philosophy, plot his daring escape, and eventually end up living on a private island, sipping margaritas.

But this book -- it made me sad. Why? I suppose because it wasn't about a daring, charming criminal who pulled of...more
Nancy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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What is your opinion on Thad Roberts 7 38 Jun 03, 2014 08:32AM  
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2850
Ben Mezrich has created his own highly addictive genre of nonfiction, chronicling the amazing stories of young geniuses making tons of money on the edge of impossibility, ethics, and morality.

His upcoming book, SEVEN WONDERS, is a departure of sorts--a high stakes epic thriller that Publishers Weekly calls "An Indiana Jones for the 21st Century." Brett Ratner’s imprint with Running Press, RatPac P...more
More about Ben Mezrich...
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