This is the inside story of how space was conquered, and at what price. Cernan writes candidly not only about the program, but about the high divorce rate among the astronauts, the loss of family privacy that came with celebrity, and the ever-present shadows of death and failure.
©2000 Eugene Cernan; (P)2009 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
There are points in this book in which Cernan describes being on the moon and a VIBE comes across that is truly amazing. I have read/listened to many different accounts of the Apollo missions, but there is something about this one by Cernan that really stuck with me. Much of what he writes I already knew about, but the bits that I hadn't heard of - and especially, the "vibe" - made this book a real treat to listen to.
Sometimes it's better to let someone else narrate an author's work, however this isn't one of those times. Cernan's own voice adds a lot to the experience.
I was a teenager when Apollo 17 landed. The Apollo years were a time of great excitement for exploration. Mr. Cernan does a great job telling the story from the inside. The public saw beautifully executed missions. But we didn't know about the risks and uncertainty which were a part of the space program.
The book brings us into the Apollo program, making it much more personal. Especially the flight of Apollo 17 with Cernan at the helm.
I have researched and followed the various programs that led to the Apollo missions. Many of the astronauts have written books and shared their own perspectives. I find it great to listen to Gene Himself,and that his perspective is very well balanced. Not as much as "First Man" perhaps,but an excellent book!
I'm a lawyer and mediator. I represent businesses in disputes with their insurers and in other complex litigation. I also assist machinery companies and manufacturers (primarily international) with equipment sales, non-disclosure agreements, and business issues. I also mediate commercial disputes.
Gene Cernan is a true American hero. He can also tell a good story and is a pretty good narrator. However, the story just seems completely rushed.
It is amazing how little of this book is devoted to the moon landing. It seems like Cernan is just anxious to get finished. Given that only 12 people have ever set foot on the moon, and all are in their eighties if still alive, it would have been really great to get some detail about what happened and how it felt. There is just a little of this in the story.
If you are an Apollo aficionado, then by all means listen to this book. It won't provide a lot of new information, but it is worth a listen.
Too much time spent trying to make Cernan and other astronauts seem like they were super-human. They are extraordinary, but it got old.
I loved Gene's impression of Deke Slayton. This was a fun, candid read that was interesting and kept my attention up the whole time. It was a good mixture of factual information and human touchy-feely stuff. I've read many other books about Apollo and was a little doubtful that this would have any new or interesting information. I was not disappointed though!
Both are great in the own way.
Gene Cernan is a fascinating American Hero at a time when we can really use a great success story.
My favorite scene in the book is the actual Apollo 17 mission.
The Last Man On the Moon.
If you are interested in the Camelot period of the US space program than this book is a must read or listen.
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