Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Lost Moon by Jim Lovell & Jeffrey Kluger

Title: Lost Moon: The Perilous Voyage of Apollo 13
Author: Jim Lovell & Jeffrey Kluger
Publisher:  Houghton Mifflin Co (1994)

I’m always happy to see anything about astronomy or space exploration in our line-up but I think this pick of Michael’s was even more fun because, with Lost Moon, we were able to check in on advancements in the space program since the original seven Mercury astronauts. Just over a year ago we included The Right Stuff in our series. I think next we'll have to find a combo to include about the shuttle program.

For those that are new to our monthly series, this is when Michael reviews a film adapted from a book which gets a review here. 

Click here for Michael's film review of Apollo 13
at It Rains... You Get Wet

Apollo 13 would have been NASA’s third expedition to the surface of the moon but a malfunction in the service module turned it into a rescue mission. Lost Moon is written by the mission’s commander, Jim Lovell, and Jeffrey Kluger. The perspective of Lovell allows the reader an intimate look at events as they occurred in the lunar and command modules. The authors’ combined research efforts show the work of the hundreds of people on the ground who were part of the mission to get the astronauts home safe.

Without any intention of short-changing this book, this is going to be a pretty short review as I basically just want to say: it’s really good, go read it! Ok, it won’t be that short of a review - But, honestly, it’s really good, go read it! – however it almost could be. It’s about an interesting event in the history of space travel and an enormous engineering and intellectual effort; and it’s all bundled up in a palatable narrative style. It hardly needs my recommendation to make it an easy reading decision.

The technical stuff is there but it’s not going to overwhelm a casual reader. It might not be enough for a tech head but those with a modicum of engineering prowess will probably still be satisfied. The background of the astronauts and the Apollo program is almost seamlessly interwoven with the events of April 1970 which illuminates the wider cultural and scientific environment that encapsulated the seven harrowing days of Apollo 13's flight. 

So, basically, it's really good! Go read it! :) 

Now about that movie... Don't forget to check out Michael's post. 

rating: 4 of 5 stars

Coming up next:  
The Accidental Tourist by Anne Tyler

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, finally reading this chronicle of Apollo 13 specifically, and a good portion of the space program for those entering it, made for a very fine read. Loved the detail and care given to the voyage. I agree it is technical, but quite reachable for readers of all ilk. So glad to have read it. Strange that it hasn't been published in more formats in 20+ years. Only in hardback, paperback, and a very abridged audiobook. No ebook or unabridged audio. It's a damn good work that deserves better treatment, I think. So glad we did this one, Rachel. High recommended, indeed. :-)