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Apollo 13

4.34  ·  Rating details ·  7,366 ratings  ·  523 reviews
In April 1970, during the glory days of the Apollo space program, NASA sent Navy Captain Jim Lovell and two other astronauts on America's fifth mission to the moon. Only fifty-five hours into the flight of Apollo 13, disaster struck: a mysterious explosion rocked the ship, and soon its oxygen and power began draining away. Commander Lovell and his crew watched in alarm as ...more
Leather Bound, Signed Edition, 378 pages
Published 2005 by Easton Press (first published September 6th 1994)
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Edoardo Manzi Yesterday I looked for the book on Amazon and found out it's available in Kindle format!…moreYesterday I looked for the book on Amazon and found out it's available in Kindle format!(less)

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This dialog (taken from the official Apollo 13 technical Air-to-Ground Voice Transcription and reproduced here without permission) between the Mission Control Center and the men aboard Apollo 13 is basically the reason, why this book has been written.

The story of NASA's "successful failure" is a very engaging read, even if you already know the Hollywood movie. There's a lot more information given in this book, the "techno babble" is explained and intelligible to all, and the movie's inaccura
Debbie Zapata
Oct 14, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: saturdaymx
that, Go!

I love NASA speak, don't you? It all takes me back to the days when I was glued to the television set, watching as much as I could of the space flights in the 60's and 70's.

This book tells the story of one of the scariest of all journeys, Apollo 13. And Houston, they sure had problems! The unraveling of the mission is a fascinating story, as are the details of the way it was patched back together in orde
Dec 03, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book some time ago, but it was such a good read I thought I'd review it just in time for the holidays....I think it would make a good gift for nonfiction buffs. I don't know if its age makes it hard to find, but it almost guarantees that it may not be familiar to a lot of readers.

This book is a telling of the Apollo 13 saga, as seen by the commander of the mission, Jim Lovell. If you saw the movie "Apollo 13," you will recognize a lot of details, right down to exact quotes. It also h
May 19, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
On April 11, 1970, Apollo 13 launched from Kennedy Space Center en route to the moon, temporary home to commander Jim Lovell, command module pilot, Jack Swigert and lunar module pilot, Fred Haise. On April 13, minutes after finishing a broadcast touring the Lunar Module (LM), oxygen tank #2 (of 2) exploded, throwing the mission—and mission control, and the world—into chaos.

1. Written as a joint effort between Lovell (commander of Apollo 13) and Jeffrey Kluger, Apollo 13 is a technically dense n
Robert Nagle
May 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book (upon which the film Apollo 13 is based) provides a lot more details and background information about the accident. I’m guessing that science journalist Jeffrey Kluger had a major role in shaping the narrative (which was expertly told and whose chapters alternated between flashbacks and current dramas). The book highlights things missed in the movie: the vast amount of flight experience Lovell already had (having flown twice around the moon), the personal connection Lovell had with ill ...more
Sep 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is very stressful. But in a good way. Even though we all know the story of Apollo 13, and we all know how it ends, the pacing in the book is so good that the harrowing moments are, well, harrowing. There's a fair amount of technical jargon, but it's defined in a way that if you care enough to understand it, you'll understand it. The use of third person POV is effective, giving the reader a needed glimpse into the thoughts and actions of people other than the main character.

I recently
Sean O
May 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well, if you liked this book, you should read "Rocket Men" and probably "The Right Stuff" and "Hidden Figures."

The story of Apollo 13 is the story of how smart people face failure with their best work. It's right up for my preference for "good government" and "history of science and technology" books. The American mission to the moon is full of those kinds of stories.

Kudos to Jim Lovell who made the story not just about himself. Surely he and his wife are central characters. But most of the bo
This work is a recounting of Mr. Lovell’s experience as a NASA astronaut, particularly his fateful Apollo 13 mission, sauced-up to emphasize the human-interest theme to engender mass appetites, meaning Mr. Kluger has taken some grating liberties with his quotations. The result is a readable accounting of a harrowing experience, which, as we all know, ended without loss of life. My mom gave me this book autographed by Mr. Lovell, who lived in her subdivision for a while. After gathering dust on t ...more
Aug 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It was fascinating to read about all that went into getting the Apollo 13 crew back to earth after the explosion of oxygen tank no. 2, told in third person from multiple points of view.
Mar 14, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Houston we've had a problem."

On April 11, 1970, Jim Lovell, Fred Haise and Jack Swigart blasted off from Earth on a journey to the moon. Three days later there was an explosion that ended the mission and almost ended their lives. For four days they barely slept and did their best to limp home on limited power and oxygen. This story describes in detail the actions of the crew and Mission Control to save Apollo 13 from an uncertain fate.

I liked the various perspectives presented from the Apollo 1
Cristina Plaza
Feb 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history, non-fiction
Some might think that this story is over told or over dramatized. If you are one of these people then you need to read this retelling of the story. Co-authored by Jim Lovell, commander of Apollo 13, the book gives authenticity, weight, and just a down right "first hand" feel to the tale. After the prime of the moon-landing days which NASA was emerging from, Apollo 13 seemed to be a "routine" mission into outer space (as if there could be such a thing.) However, a mechanical failure and explosion ...more
Pat Rolston
Apr 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I made the very elementary mistake of substituting a movie, Apollo 13, for this book all these years. Having read numerous books regarding the space program I really assumed that well conceived and directed movie told the obvious story to my satisfaction. How wrong I was not to read this exceptionally written and gripping account of the Apollo 13 mission. I hope for those who haven’t read the book for this reason or any other you take the opportunity to do so and find yourselves stranded 250,000 ...more
Ricky McConnell
This book was a slow read for me. I think it may have been too detailed at some points. It would probably be a real good candidate for a audible book.
More compelling and Hardy pounding than any fictional thriller, this account of the Apollo 13 space mission and it's tense moments (of which there were many!) are told in this account of the program by one of the astronauts on the mission, Jim Lovell. Not only does the authenticity of the story make this a superior listen on this message, but the narration by Fred Sanders is also excellent. If the movie is not enough for you to commemorate the 50th anniversary of this memorable act of bravery by ...more
Kelly Lam
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jamie Collins
This book was the basis for the Tom Hanks movie Apollo 13, and it’s a good read if you love the movie and want to know more about this very nearly disastrous mission to the moon.

It’s written in third person, mostly from Lovell’s point of view, and it doesn’t feel much like a memoir even though the account of the Apollo 13 mission is interspersed with an overview of his early career. (I didn’t know that Lovell was a candidate for the Mercury program, rejected somewhat arbitrarily due to a slightl
Tom Evers
Dec 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I rated this book 5/5 stars, as this book does two things that most nonfiction books I have read don't. This book goes into extreme detail about what happened, and it does it while still making it interesting.
This book, as the title shows, is about the NASA mission Apollo 13, which, on the way to the moon, had an oxygen tank explosion and the crew was unable to land on the moon. One of the things that I think makes this book really cool, along with allows it to be so in-depth facts wise, is the
Jul 17, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Oh my goodness!! This book was way more in depth than I was prepared for. More information than I really cared for. I did like learning about what happen with Apollo 1 and his Apollo 8 flight where they orbited the moon for the first time. And I was very impressed at how much the movie Apollo 13 stuck with the actual events. Some of the dialog in the movie came straight from mission logs. I really appreciated how close the movie stayed true. I know they can't fit in everything and need to change ...more
Jul 03, 2013 rated it liked it
This is one of those books where the story is more interesting than the writing. In my opinion, the book was more technical than the lay man could understand in some parts, particularly in discussing what went wrong (or what they think went wrong). At the same time, I didn't really feel the emotion of the individuals during the plight from this book. I KNEW they must have been crapping their pants, because that's what I would have been doing, but the book somehow is very detached to the emotions ...more
P.S. Winn
Nov 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great story that takes readers back to 1970, a different time in our world and reminds us of what we in America were striving to do. The mission goes terribly wrong and a nation waited and watched as te crew fights for survival using some innovative methods to conquer the challenge.
Amy :)
Nov 13, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Very technical, slow reading. For once, I think the movie was better than the book!!
Proud to have this on my bookshelves. Great approach to the history and the people behind the real-life adventure.
Sarah -  All The Book Blog Names Are Taken
Read it in one afternoon, review to come shortly. Great read!


My book blog, complete with video of Tom Hanks informing Houston there is a problem ----->

First and most importantly, I have always been a little obsessed with the story of Apollo 13. I recently read 'Failure is Not an Option' by Gene Kranz, who you might recall was on duty at Mission Control at the time that Apollo 13 experienced that first explosion that would bring three men in space
Sep 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-medicine
I absolutely devoured this book. Like many of the other reviewers, I had seen the movie and enjoyed it as a nice piece of cinema. But over time, I began to wonder more and more what had really happened. A Goodreads recommendation led me to this book, and I was hooked from page 1. Even though I knew how it all turned out, I was chewing my fingernails!

The story itself is well-known : an explosion rocked Apollo 13, the intended moon landing was aborted, the astronauts found shelter in the cramped
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
James Hammond
Jun 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone that likes reading books about space and science
Possible Spoilers Below!

Lost Moon, now titled Apollo 13 by Jim Lovell is an excellent book if you have any interest in spaceflight, lunar exploration, NASA, or the Apollo missions. Apollo 13 is a very well written book that captures a person’s attention and keeps them desiring more throughout the course of the entire book. In my opinion, the book was for the most part an easy one to follow being as I love reading about space and science books such as this one. I was recommended to read this book
Sep 25, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is an amazing story. I stand in awe of all those involved. Their bravery, intelligence, fortitude and ingenuity are to be commended. However, I didn’t really like this book. The way it was written made it feel more like a novel that a scientific memoire. There was a lot of weird techno dialogue and hokey descriptors with the author writing about himself in the third person. It’s weird. Like this example where Lovell is describing one of his conversations with Huston.

“Jim,” Lousma called, “h
This memoir was as good as they get. I saw the movie "Apollo 13" which was made from this memoir by astronaut Jim Lovell. The book is a fast paced account of how the Apollo astronauts got back to earth after surviving a massive explosion of an oxygen tank on their trip to the moon. This book highlights all those American qualities which are to numerous to include here but are highlighted in this book which documents in great detail the miracle that was the safe return of Apollo 13. This is a mov ...more
Sep 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ten stars if I could. Can restore your faith in humanity and teamwork. Even though the outcome is known, the story as told here is incredible and suspenseful. The addition of memoir dialog and deep backstory prior to 13 is never unnecessary for the lead up. The writing also turns what could read as a drier and hard to understand flight record into a personable account. The combination puts into perspective the massive undertaking spaceflight was in that era. Reading about Apollo 8 completely ins ...more
Aug 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow, what a read this was!! I was only 10 when Neil Armstrong landed on the moon but that day will never leave my memory - I was totally gobsmacked that a MAN could travel, land and then WALK on the MOON - how mind-blowing! Yet the Apollo 13 mission was only a year or so later and I couldn't remember a thing about it. So reading this book was like reading a thriller, although of course I knew the ending. But it literally had me on the edge of my seat, I was (believe it or not) worried for these ...more
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Non Fiction Book ...: Themed BR - Apollo 13 - Jim Lovell - April 3 to May 31, 2020 26 21 May 12, 2020 02:15AM  
What is the best version of Apollo 13? 2 10 Jan 19, 2017 04:23AM  
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This needs to become an ebook!!! 1 7 Mar 07, 2015 01:11PM  
Apollo 13 13 37 Mar 08, 2013 03:47AM  

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James "Jim" Arthur Lovell, Jr., (born March 25, 1928) is a former NASA astronaut and a retired captain in the United States Navy, most famous as the commander of the Apollo 13 mission, which suffered a critical failure en route to the Moon but was brought back safely to Earth by the efforts of the crew and mission control. Lovell was also the command module pilot of Apollo 8, the first Apollo miss ...more

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“Remember where you're standing when the spotlight goes off," Lovell warned me once, when our book was a best-seller and the movie it spawned was in theatres. "You'll have to find your own way off the stage.” 1 likes
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