**spoiler alert** I was initially excited to read this book. I've always enjoyed heist movies and count Oceans' 11 and The Italian Job as a couple of**spoiler alert** I was initially excited to read this book. I've always enjoyed heist movies and count Oceans' 11 and The Italian Job as a couple of my all time favorites. And since I knew nothing of the real-life heist, or the perpetrators, beforehand, so I came into it with a clean slate wanting a fundamental question to be answered: Why?
Sadly, I walked away highly disappointed. The main character, by all accounts, had it all: a beautiful wife, a great education, and a promising future as a NASA scientist. One would think it would take a lot to throw all of this away. Unfortunately, the author never even attempts to craft a convincing thesis, with reasons ranging from money, to love, to the advancement of science, to fame. This is the main reason I walk away dissatisfied because I never have a clear view of what was going on in Thad's mind.
Unfortunately, that was not the only problems I have with this book. Ben Mezrich, at this point in his career, is pretty much writing a book as a precursor to a screen play. His style of novelization makes it a better "story," but does leave questions about plausibility of it all. In the book, we're lead to believe that everyone in Thad's life is a stunningly beautiful person, including the college-aged NASA co-ops. Somehow, Thad is also the social-life of NASA, wooing other coops along with aged scientists and NASA veterans.
You would also think a novelization of true events would e the number of plot holes. Unfortunately, there are many. Why did a intelligent girl, who had barely known him a month, go along with this? Why did Thad "suddenly" decide to raid Gibson's lab instead of the moon lab? How did he and two other girls described as "tiny" manage to lift a 700-pound safe into a vehicle, out of a vehicle, into a vehicle again, and into a dumpster? What exactly could have happened to the notebooks that led to his harsh sentence (sorry, "I don't know" doesn't cut it for me knowing its coming from a convicted liar)? I'm sure these holes will be fixed or removed from the eventual movie, leading to even greater questions of plausibility....more