Jun 19, 12
Read from June 06 to 07, 2012
Fantastic book. Granted, I'm a Cold War space program nerd, but it's still a great, great book. It's an incredible story of unlikely survival, but it's also a clear snapshot of America and the already waning space program in the early 70's. Even though it was only the 3rd mission to the moon, it took this disaster to recapture the public interest in space travel. After Neil Armstrong and Apollo 11, apparently the country saw something shiny and lost interest. How's that for limited attention span?
Jim Lovell and Jeffrey Kluger unravel the story concisely and without embellishment. Much like Yeager's book, Lost Moon doesn't glorify the heroics...mainly because it's written by the hero, and they never think of themselves that way. To Jim Lovell it was all business and the book conveys that. This alone was a relief after reading the over-dramatic Moonshot with all of it's flowery descriptors and gushing hero worship (and now I roll my eyes). Thankfully, Lovell picked a solid co-author and avoids any pitfall.
What's truly impressive about the book Lovell's commitment to telling the whole story. It would have been easy for him to focus on his ordeal, but he chose instead to chronicle the entire event, which meant that there are three primary perspectives in the book: the marooned astronauts, mission control, and the families. Through this narrative, he never once allows himself the indulgence of thinking that he had it worse than anyone else involved. This was a terrible and harrowing ordeal for the wives and kids (obviously), but it was also that and more for the mission control team responsible for bringing them home. More than anything, it seems to be a story about perserverance and ingenuity in the face of disaster.
Read it. Love it.