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Failure Is Not an Option Audiobook
Failure Is Not an Option
Written by: 
Gene Kranz
Narrated by: 
Danny Campbell
Failure Is Not an Option Audiobook

Failure Is Not an Option: Mission Control from Mercury to Apollo 13 and Beyond

Regular Price:$38.49
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Publisher's Summary

Gene Kranz was present at the creation of America's manned space program and was a key player in it for three decades. As a flight director in NASA's Mission Control, Kranz witnessed firsthand the making of history. He participated in the space program from the early days of the Mercury program to the last Apollo mission, and beyond. He endured the disastrous first years when rockets blew up and the United States seemed to fall further behind the Soviet Union in the space race. He helped to launch Alan Shepard and John Glenn, then assumed the flight director's role in the Gemini program, which he guided to fruition. With his teammates, he accepted the challenge to carry out President John F. Kennedy's commitment to land a man on the moon before the end of the 1960s.

Kranz was flight director for both Apollo 11, the mission in which Neil Armstrong fulfilled President Kennedy's pledge, and Apollo 13. He headed the Tiger Team that had to figure out how to bring the three Apollo 13 astronauts safely back to Earth. (In the film Apollo 13, Kranz was played by the actor Ed Harris, who earned an Academy Award nomination for his performance.)

In Failure Is Not an Option, Gene Kranz recounts these thrilling historic events and offers new information about the famous flights. What appeared as nearly flawless missions to the moon were, in fact, a series of hair-raising near misses. When the space technology failed, as it sometimes did, the controllers' only recourse was to rely on their skills and those of their teammates. Kranz takes us inside Mission Control and introduces us to some of the whiz kids - still in their twenties, only a few years out of college - who had to figure it all out as they went along, creating a great and daring enterprise. He reveals behind-the-scenes details to demonstrate the leadership, discipline, trust, and teamwork that made the space program a success.

©2009 Gene Kranz (P)2011 Tantor

What the Critics Say

"Plenty of books (and several films) have already tried to depict the space program's excitement; few of their creators had the first-person experience or the attention to detail Krantz has, whose role as flight control "White" his readers will admire or even wish to emulate." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (971 )
5 star
 (609)
4 star
 (288)
3 star
 (58)
2 star
 (13)
1 star
 (3)
Overall
4.6 (890 )
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3 star
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2 star
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Story
4.5 (893 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Jay 07-17-16
    Jay 07-17-16 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good read."

    Listened to it on a 13 hour car drive for vacation. Very interesting if you liked the space program. Great behind the scenes of Mercury and Gemini programs.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ryan Caldarone 07-12-16 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Superb! Go Flight!"

    A tremendous first hand account of the space race, written with Kranz's subtle personality and narrated beautifully by Campbell.

    If you're interested in aeronautics or the history of the US space race, this is a must read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ali 06-14-16
    Ali 06-14-16 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "So slow and frustrating"
    Would you try another book from Gene Kranz and/or Danny Campbell?

    No, his focuses on too much unnecessary details


    Has Failure Is Not an Option turned you off from other books in this genre?

    no


    How could the performance have been better?

    The writing is too slow


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    The story is great but the writing style makes it very boring


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steve Waterford, CT, United States 05-17-16
    Steve Waterford, CT, United States 05-17-16 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    2
    Overall
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    "a excellent book."

    very informative and entertaining book. it's very good to hear the history from one who was there and did it all

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tom 04-07-16
    Tom 04-07-16 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent historical narrative!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Failure Is Not an Option to be better than the print version?

    N/A


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Gene Kranz, he was the main man on these missions.


    What about Danny Campbell’s performance did you like?

    Very good. Although Mr. Kranz would have done a bit better.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes but unfortunately I was not given that luxury.


    Any additional comments?

    I was really impressed meeting Mr. Kranz on a flight from Houston to Atlanta. So many memories. He is one of my HEROS!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mike W. 04-04-16
    Mike W. 04-04-16 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    3
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    0
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    "Excellent accounts of remarkable experiences"

    Historic and motivating life relived for the benefit of us and the future in space.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Grenada, West Indies Grenada 03-30-16
    Amazon Customer Grenada, West Indies Grenada 03-30-16 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    32
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent"

    Very captivating story and narrator. I'm glad it was recommended to me. I will look for other books by the author and narrator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melissa Australia 03-16-16
    Melissa Australia 03-16-16 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    16
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Interesting and detailed, but by no means boring!"

    Great book, really interesting content and well read! A new perspective of space travel history.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Glenn Whicker 02-10-16 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Simply awesome! "

    Space, as a subject matter, can hardly be beat. Conquering it by sheer National determination is breathtaking! This book is #1 in chronicling that history in detail and emotion.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    last.nomad 02-09-16
    last.nomad 02-09-16
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An American on the Moon"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Kranz weaves a compelling story turning technical detail into an interesting and sometimes exciting read. He shows the triumphs and the pitfalls in the race to the moon from his ring side seat in mission control.
    Still, I found the background music of strong American patriotism and idealism very difficult to get through. Readers should be aware this is, in part, commentary on the American political system from right of centre.
    (I'm not American though, maybe they go for this kind of thing?)
    Was really hoping for something a little more a-political. Something that might mean more to somebody who isn't American.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Joseph
    12/12/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fascinating story told by a true NASA legend!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Absolutely! A storey full of little facts you just can't pick up anywhere else....


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    I couldn't pick one specific scene, as I honestly enjoyed the whole storey, but I must say the chapters on the Gemini missions really grabbed my interest!


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I couldn't put it down....we'll take the headphones out in this case!


    Any additional comments?

    A must read (or listen....) for any space enthusiasts!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • PJ
    United Kingdom
    5/10/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fantastic story of a hero"
    Would you listen to Failure Is Not an Option again? Why?

    No. I've heard it now but would listen to other material about the space shots.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    They're all amazing characters: the engineers and of course the astronauts,


    What about Danny Campbell’s performance did you like?

    He managed to be the voice of Gene Krantz.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Interest and admiration for guys who took big risks to achieve huge things. Not sure it could happen now.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • avidreader
    Edinburgh, Lothian United Kingdom
    2/26/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Compelling listening"
    What made the experience of listening to Failure Is Not an Option the most enjoyable?

    Fascinating to hear the story from the ground crew rather than the astronaut perspective


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Failure Is Not an Option?

    Apollo 12 - SCE to Aux


    Which character – as performed by Danny Campbell – was your favourite?

    Gene Kranz


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    By the seat of our pants


    Any additional comments?

    A fascinating story. I've read a lot of books by astronauts but this is the first by a member of the ground crew. Kranz made famous through being one of the flight controllers on Apollo 13 who "got the crew home" does an excellent job of taking us through the story from the initial Mercury missions, taking in all the highs and lows along the way through Gemini to the heyday of Apollo. An inspiring story of men made from the right stuff.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Steve
    SE England
    12/21/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "So make sure you get to the end"
    Any additional comments?

    So how did they really get to the Moon with sixties technology. A fascinating read with a lot of 'superhero team work' reminders but failure to get to the end is not the option to take. The 'right stuff' for mission controllers everywhere.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • K
    Ilkley, United Kingdom
    11/13/12
    Overall
    "Technical account"

    This is a very technical account of what has happened with the US space program. This is delivered in a bit dry manner in which it is difficult to be excited about this book. Too many abbreviations and too many technical details in which is missing the great.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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