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Sex on the Moon: The Amazing Story Behind the Most Audacious Heist in History | [Ben Mezrich]

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

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-lined hallways - and help him steal the most precious objects in the world: the moon rocks. But what does one do with an item so valuable that it’s illegal even to own?
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Audible Editor Reviews

You know who Ben Mezrich is—you just don’t know that you know it. Sex on the Moon is his fifth work of non-fiction in the past 10 years, and the story captured here is easily as memorable as the others. Previously, Mezrich has detailed the famous gang of MIT whiz kids who cheated Las Vegas out of millions of dollars, the shady securities traders who squeezed millions out of the Asian markets, the second set of MIT students to beat Vegas odds, and the version of Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook founding that ultimately won three Academy Awards for The Social Network. This time, our anti-hero is Thad Roberts, an ex-Mormon geology student with dreams of becoming an astronaut. But he can’t get to the moon, so he brings the moon home with him. Literally — he gets a job at NASA and spends years planning out how to steal a small collection of authentic moon rocks that are a priceless part of American history.

Despite the end results of extensive jail time and public ignominy, for 90 percent of this story, Thad is a very sympathetic character. He no doubt owes a debt of gratitude to narrator Casey Affleck, whose gentle rasp and easy-going vibe enable listeners to get smoothly swept up in Thad’s ridiculous ideas. Affleck has the advantage of Mezrich's extensive research, as much of the dialogue in the book is verbatim from FBI files or court transcripts. All Affleck has to do is act the part, and he does so with utter believability. Thad’s quest for social acceptance and true love is delivered with such amusing tenderness that Affleck at times elevates this unconventional heist story to real poetry through the almost musical cadence in his voice work. He is a terrific complement to Ben Mezrich's writing, and one must of course speculate on whether Affleck will play Thad Roberts when this weird little true crime story is inevitably adapted for film. —Megan Volpert

Publisher's Summary

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-lined hallways - and help him steal the most precious objects in the world: the moon rocks.

But what does one do with an item so valuable that it’s illegal even to own? And was Thad Roberts - undeniably gifted, picked for one of the most competitive scientific posts imaginable, a possible astronaut - really what he seemed?

Mezrich has pored over thousands of pages of court records, FBI transcripts, and NASA documents and has interviewed most of the participants in the crime to reconstruct this Ocean’s Eleven–style heist, a madcap story of genius, love, and duplicity that reads like a Hollywood thrill ride.

©2011 Ben Mezrich (P)2011 Random House Audio

What the Critics Say

"Movie-worthy treatment to the guy who stole moon rocks from NASA" (The New York Daily News)

"An in-depth look at Thad Roberts, who along with three other NASA interns, stole pieces of lunar rock to impress his girlfriend. Mezrich has done extensive research to recreate the story of how an aspiring astronaut ended up getting caught for stealing over 100 pieces of the moon." (The Atlantic Monthly)

"Mezrich has uncovered another high-stakes, fascinating true story....part love story, part madcap caper, part astro-geekery, the book is one of the summer's most fun reads." (NPR)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (200 )
5 star
 (53)
4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Overall
3.9 (153 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
3.6 (151 )
5 star
 (37)
4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Enrique 01-20-13
    Enrique 01-20-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "Good listening"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Sex on the Moon to be better than the print version?

    Yes, i'm driving all the time


    What other book might you compare Sex on the Moon to and why?

    Flawless, is also a big heist


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The actual heist at 31 building


    If you could give Sex on the Moon a new subtitle, what would it be?

    A text on Love and dreams


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Super Dave 10-08-12
    Super Dave 10-08-12

    If I'm about to spend more than three hours in the car - it's Audible time.

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Entertaining but not "WOW""
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    If you have the capability, listen at double speed. I read a lot of the comments before downloading and was hesitant. I felt like Casey Affleck's pace was too slow to keep me interested long enough. At double speed (on iPhone it is faster but not pitched higher) I hardly noticed it was double speed.


    If you’ve listened to books by Ben Mezrich before, how does this one compare?

    Again, at double speed, it was better than not. However, I remember enjoying Bringing Down the House a bit more.


    What three words best describe Casey Affleck’s performance?

    Pace too slow.


    Did Sex on the Moon inspire you to do anything?

    Remind me to keep a close eye on my college-bound son.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Espen Ottersen Oslo, Norway 10-04-12
    Espen Ottersen Oslo, Norway 10-04-12 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great story but horrible narration"
    Would you listen to Sex on the Moon again? Why?

    I would listen to it again, as long as it was with another narrator. The Kindle text synthesizer has a more engaging voice than the narrators...


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Casey Affleck?

    Nick Sullivan or somone with a similar voice would have made a much better match, but basically anyone but the current narrator would be bettter.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The story in itself is quite full of moments all through, but sure the moments for the handover are of course the most intense.


    Any additional comments?

    It's a shame such an interesting story gets destroyed by such a boring narration, but nonetheless, very much worth a read. If you manage to overlook the narration and concentrate on the story you're in for a treat.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rolwin San Jose, CA, United States 01-09-12
    Rolwin San Jose, CA, United States 01-09-12 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    15
    10
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    0
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    Performance
    Story
    "Audacious indeed."
    What did you love best about Sex on the Moon?

    The fact that it is a true story made it hard to stop listening. Loved the main character, Thad Roberts.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Sex on the Moon?

    The actual heist.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    Since I had seen Casey Affleck movies, the narration felt like a movie.


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

    It is probably the first book where I sided with the person who is portrayed as the bad guy - Thad Roberts and disliked the person who is portrayed as the hero - Axel Emmermann.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Meagan vR Ohio 09-23-11
    Meagan vR Ohio 09-23-11 Member Since 2013

    I collect spores, molds, and fungus.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    32
    ratings
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    55
    37
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    1
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    "Entertaining"

    I wasn't aware that this was a true story and that makes it a bit more interesting. Its an entertaining story although I found the main characters' name ("Thad") a bit annoying. I don't know why. I'm not sure why nobody cared for the narration- I didn't see anything wrong with it though Casey Affleck is a little flat. If you're looking for a light listen for a few hours this is a great choice.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jaye GREENWICH, CT, United States 04-20-13
    jaye GREENWICH, CT, United States 04-20-13 Member Since 2012

    AUDIBLE MAKES READING POSSIBLE AND EASY FOR ME...I AM VISUALLY IMPAIRED. I WISH THEY HAD ALL THE BOOKS I WANT I WOULD SNAP THEM UP!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    134
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    220
    215
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    7
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    Story
    "THIS STORY IS FOR TEENAGERS."
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    A TEENAGER. THE IMAURITY OF HOW THAD LOOKED AT RELATIONSHIPS WAS WAY TOO YOUNG FOR ME.


    What was most disappointing about Ben Mezrich’s story?

    THAT HE DID NOT GO IN DEPTH ON HIS RELATIONSHIPS WITH PEOPLE IN HIS LIFE. HE SEEMED VERY SUPERFICIAL. RESEARCH ON NASA WAS GOOD THO.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Casey Affleck’s performances?

    NOT REALLY. HE WAS CLEAR BUT HIS VOICE IS NOT ONE FOR READING A BOOK.


    What character would you cut from Sex on the Moon?

    THAD'S WIFE MITE HAVE BEEN INTERESTING IF THE CHARACTER WAS DEVELOPED MORE.


    Any additional comments?

    HE WASTED HIS GOOD OPPORTUNITY FOR SILLINESS

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    val Indiana, USA 12-19-11
    val Indiana, USA 12-19-11 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
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    "Great book"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Loved the book! It was a little slow at times but pretty much kept my attention!


    Would you recommend Sex on the Moon to your friends? Why or why not?

    Yeah


    What does Casey Affleck bring to the story that you wouldn???t experience if you just read the book?

    Keeps attention. You belive that he is the one who experienced the events.


    Could you see Sex on the Moon being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    No

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    12-05-11
    12-05-11 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    6
    3
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    0
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    "Subject is well researched and presented."
    Would you try another book from Ben Mezrich and/or Casey Affleck?

    Yes for both. Ben Mezrich does an excellent job in researching and presently complicated topics in an understandable manner. I am a big fan of Casey Affleck's work as an actor and am glad to see he is sharing his talents with a broader audience.


    If you’ve listened to books by Ben Mezrich before, how does this one compare?

    This is my first Ben Mezrich book.


    What about Casey Affleck’s performance did you like?

    First his clarify of speech was excellent; no mumbles or swallowed sentences. Secondly, he clearly captured the characters and was able to bring out the nuances of the text by proper voice and tonal inflection.


    Do you think Sex on the Moon needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    No - subject was well covered.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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