Maureen M's Reviews > Sex on the Moon: The Amazing Story Behind the Most Audacious Heist in History

Sex on the Moon by Ben Mezrich
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's review
Aug 15, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: non-fiction, reviews
Read in August, 2011

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 hits on another tale of a bizarre brainiac. Through interviews and records, he reconstructs Roberts' successful 2002 attempt to steal moon rocks from a high-security lab in Houston and his unsuccessful attempt to sell them in Orlando, Fla. We meet Roberts as he rebuilds his life after being disowned by his family for conduct unbecoming a young Mormon. We root for him as he strives for success in college and cheer when he wins the coveted co-op position at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. But we recoil when he hits on the idea of stealing and selling moon rocks and cringe as he moves toward the ridiculous rendezvous where he expects to unload the historic cargo for the outrageous sum of ... .$100,000. Again, what was he thinking? Since this is a true story, the end is never in doubt. But Mezrich manages to keep the cord of suspense tight from beginning to end, even through improbable scenes like the one that inspires the title. Again, though Mezrich does much to explain Roberts' motives, you're still left wondering what was really going on in that brilliant, brazen brain.
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