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

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3.38  ·  Rating details ·  7,496 ratings  ·  1,121 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
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Hardcover, 320 pages
Published July 12th 2011 by Doubleday
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Average rating 3.38  · 
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 ·  7,496 ratings  ·  1,121 reviews


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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 in it is:
1. weird and creepy (not to mention potentially dangerous- are moon rocks scratchy?), and
2. 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
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Barbara
Apr 04, 2016 rated it liked it



Astronaut collecting moon rocks

This is a (sort of) true story about the July, 2002 moon rock heist pulled off by NASA intern Thad Roberts...and presumably what put Thad on this foolish course.


Thad Roberts

Thad grew up in a strict Mormon community in Utah. Even so, temptation got the better of him and Thad had sex with his high school girlfriend Sonya. Confessing to this when he was at the Mormon Missionary Training Center got Thad thrown out of the church and banned from his family - apparently f
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Becca
Dec 16, 2011 rated it did not like it
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
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Janete
Dec 07, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, a NASA intern simply steals several fragments of moon's rocks to sell them for $ 100,000 to improve his life and that of his girlfriend, who was his accomplice, along with the thief's best friend. For me, it was an OK book, not a fantastic reading because it should have maybe about 60 pages less. And besides, 2/3 of it was very slow and I just started to find the reading interesting from chapter 27 (the book has 43 chapters). ...more
Ann
Aug 12, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
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
Ainsley
Apr 09, 2012 rated it did not like it
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.
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Gary Schroeder
Aug 08, 2011 rated it it was ok
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
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Diane in Australia
I seem to be in the minority on this one. Such is life. I found this whole escapade to be so damn stupid. Just stupid. Stupid.

I will let Mara's review ... which is tremendous! ... speak for me. Please, have a read of it.
Mara's Review

2 Stars = Blah. It didn't do anything for me.
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Josephine
Sep 16, 2011 rated it liked it
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
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Becky
Mar 19, 2012 rated it did not like it
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 didn ...more
Jill Hutchinson
Apr 22, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: true-crime
Ok, it is a slow day so let me think up something exciting to do....hmmmmmm, how about stealing moon rocks from NASA's Johnson Space Center and sell them on the internet. Since I am in love with a hot little classmate at JSC who I met a month ago, it will make us even more in love and soulmates forever.

Now if that makes sense, you might like this true story of Thad Roberts, a rather brilliant nerd who worked at JSC in a co-op program and was a rising star with the scientists there. His ultimate
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Haley
Jan 15, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Lance Charnes
Sep 25, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: true-crime addicts deep in withdrawal with few other options
Ultimately, a heist book is all about the heist. Fiction or non-fiction, the reason we put up with scurvy dogs and bad decision-making is to read about how they did it: how our miscreant lead characters beat the system/alarms/Mob/cops/whatever to rip off whatever it is they took. The more complicated or ingenious or risky, the better.

The back-cover copy of Sex on the Moon: The Amazing Story Behind the Most Audacious Heist in History promises a helluva heist: a NASA intern grabs "the rarest o
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Jill Heather
Jul 28, 2013 rated it it was ok
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
Lena
Nov 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing


Is there anything more radiant and all consuming as love? Could anything look more crazy from the outside?

Thad Roberts was a survivor of Mormonism. As a teenager he was told he was no longer worthy to serve god for loving his girlfriend and cast out with nothing. He married that girlfriend, became a triple major at the University of Utah, and an intern at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. That sort of self made man is an American legend. I think in another life he might have been the
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Mike
Jul 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
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Drew
May 07, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
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
Stefanie
Oct 20, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Josh Childs
May 17, 2016 rated it did not like it
For his next act, the author will express the story of Rasputin as a Hardy Boys adventure novel.
Tami
Oct 05, 2011 rated it liked it
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
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Cameron
Sep 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Terris
Aug 03, 2017 rated it liked it
This is a very interesting story of a young man in the NASA program who decides to steal samples of moon rocks and sell them. Wow! And this is nonfiction! It was a very good story and well-written, however, I wasn't always that crazy about the book. Maybe because the main character is so full of himself, always trying to convince the reader how smart and awesome he is (IMO). But that was probably how he really was, otherwise he wouldn't have had the guts to do what he did!
So, in the end, it was
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Vonia
Intriguing true story read about Thad, who takes moon rocks from one of his mentors. Moon rocks are, understandably, worth something in the billions to trillions and are illegal to even own. I felt Mezrich's writing was a little too "journalistic" for it to be a really good, immersive read. In other words, it did not read like a novel, but maybe it shouldn't... I also felt Mezrich was too empathetic towards Thad, rationalizing throughout the novel many of his actions, although he did try to stay ...more
Kend
Three stars because the events themselves are fascinating, but the people are reprehensibly bad and the style is not to my taste.

A little background here: Mezrich's approach in this book is to lean almost exclusively on one person's recollection of events, to present that person's recollections in a close third-person point of view, and to dispense with all of the usual scaffolding of a nonfiction work—even something closer to creative nonfiction than biography. Because his source and linchpin f
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Jaime F.
Ben Mezrich's best work by far is 'Bringing Down the House'. Here, Sex on the Moon, lacked that intensity and adrenaline pack induced to us with 'Bringing Down the House'. The book is readable but you can easily get frustrated to where the story is leading you. Nothing memorable to note on this book other that at times it was way too silly and childish group of characters.
I'm being very generous with my rating here.
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Lauren
Feb 09, 2020 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Paul
Aug 11, 2019 rated it did not like it
The perpetrator in this book (Tad Roberts) was reckless and selfish and seemingly a master of self-justification and rationalization and it would be easy to cast him as a villain. My most charitable reading of this book is that the author was trying to humanize Roberts and show the events of the theft from his perspective and way over-shot it and created this celebration of juvenile delinquency. Unfortunately, this book just felt gross to read. I can only hope that the author did not get to pick ...more
Nancy
Aug 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
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David
Aug 06, 2011 rated it liked it
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
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A ballsy aspiring astronaut steals moon rocks from NASA in Sex on the Moon, a work of true crime by the author of The Accidental Billionaires:The...
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“I once knew a beautiful young woman that didn't believe in forever. She became my forever.” 2 likes
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