In the Shadow of the Moon tells the story of the most exciting and challenging years in spaceflight, with two superpowers engaged in a titanic struggle to land one of their own people on the moon. Drawing on interviews with astronauts, cosmonauts, their families, technicians, and scientists, as well as rarely seen Soviet and American government documents, the authors craft a remarkable story of the golden age of spaceflight as both an intimate human experience and a rollicking global adventure. From the Gemini flights to the Soyuz space program to the earliest Apollo missions, including the legendary first moon landing, their book draws a richly detailed picture of the space race as an endeavor equally endowed with personal meaning and political significance.
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"French and Burgess present a first-rate, detailed, and very personal account of the space race to the moon…. Strongly recommended." (CHOICE)
"This book has everything you ever wanted to know about the astronauts that paved the way for the first Moon landing." (Liftoff)
"In the Shadow of the Moon truly captures the spirit and culture of those who won the race to the Moon." (Dave Scott, commander of the Apollo 15 mission)
the story overall was pretty interesting but the narration really detracted from the story. the narrator's performance was like listening to automatic weapons fire with very few breaks to allow for pausing the playback at a convenient place to continue it later.
I thought this was a really interesting book, and I enjoyed it. I learned a lot about the space program during the '60's. I had no idea of the different problems or situations that they had in the space program. It was interesting to learn about the different personality types that become astronauts, and how they interacted. If you are interested in space, or just enjoy non-fiction, I recommend giving this book a try. I listened to the Audible version and enjoyed the narration.
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.
This is a somewhat interesting, but rather odd book. There is not a lot new here in the story of the U.S. race for the moon. There are more comprehensive and better told books, particularly Andrew Chaikin's A Man on the Moon. The book covers only the Gemini program and Apollo, but only through Apollo 11's landing on the moon.
The book is valuable in that it offers some coverage of the Russian efforts that are missing in other books. From that point of view it is interesting. The book also offers in depth looks at some of the lesser known astronauts. However, the authors go overboard. For example, the in depth reporting of Donn Eisele's marriage, divorce and remarriage offers way too much extraneous detail. It seems as though the authors felt compelled to report everything on it because Eisele's first and second wives were both willing to give long interviews. The main points--that astronauts were normal people facing common problems, and that astronauts in Cocoa Beach had a lot of temptations--could have been made with far less distraction from the main story line.
Before you buy this book, make sure you can stand the narrator. The narrator speaks with a pronounced Midwestern nasal accent. This especially comes through when he is narrating the voices of the astronauts. Every astronaut it seems, even Charlie Duke from North Carolina, sounds like they come from rural Minnesota or Wisconsin. It is an 18 hour book, and the narration becomes very distracting, to put it kindly.
Narrator in this audiobook was easier on the ears than Into the Silent Sea. I came away with a much better understanding of our race to the Moon after listening. Great detail provided on the Russian program, some of which was new to me. Recommend this one to anyone who has an interest in learning about manned space flight and the programs of Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo and the corresponding Russian program.
I received the audiobook version for free from the narrator in exchange for a honest review. The narrator did a fine job on a 18hr non-fiction book that is very interview-centric. His tone variation enhance the listening experience. It could be difficult to voice for so many different interviewees but he handled it well.
A very good book on the history in human space flight. It is a long one considering it covers only the Gemini and early Apollo flights between 1965-1969. The events and the technicality are already well documented in many places, so the major differentiator of this book is its focus on the people. Many of its interviews look at what the astronauts went through from a personal stand point, both in the space and on earth.
I just realized this is the second book of a long series on human space flight (Outward Odyssey). I like the series' approach and already have my hands on the first and third books, which talk about early space flight and post-Apollo 11 era. Looking forward to read them.
I would recommend to anyone looking to learn more about the first space programs.
I really enjoyed learning about the earth rise. I had to stop listening to search for an image of the photograph being talked about immediately!
I read quite a bit of non-fiction, but I haven't read much space history before -- so the book was very interesting, and I learned a lot. This was a very long audio book with lots and lots of details. The chapters were so long that they exceeded the length of the audible chapter files. The book was presented mostly chronologically, but, with each new astronaut introduced, often a biography from birth to death would be given. I had a difficult time figuring out why some astronauts were given so much time and others so little. The book could have been improved by a bit more organization, as it seemed to flow, almost stream of consciousness, from the beginning to the end.
The narrator did a good job and it was an easy listen.
I received this audiobook free for an honest review.
In the Shadow of the Moon delivers an extremely well researched look at the race to put man on the moon. This is done by following the Gemini program through to Apollo 11. The authors also take a look at the Soviet Union’s efforts to beat the US to the moon.
What really stood out for me was the effort the authors took in not just telling the story of those astronaut’s we all know well but also shining the light on all the astronauts that went into space before them. They step the reader through the Gemini and early Apollo flights weaving together the story from the astronauts themselves with good ole fashion facts.
As an audiobook I found that the narrator did a great job in delivering what was a very entertaining book. The production value was spot on and this with the subject matter led to a very nice listen indeed. I walked away from this book with a lot more knowledge on the early space program of both Superpowers as well as a unique personal view of what it was like to reach for the stars. In the Shadow of the Moon is an example of history writing at its best.
If it has letters strung into words that form a story which draws me in, I won't be able to resist it. Is there a reader's anonymous?
I’ll admit I have a lot of interest in space programs, and both the historical and current progress made in space exploration. Therefore the description of the book grabbed me right off the bat. I have read a number of space related books, both paper and audio, and this ranks high in that list. A lot of interesting facts, anecdotes, and stories that let you learn the different personalities of the mission teams, particularly the flight crews. I knew a lot of the problems encountered in the space program from the engineering side of things beforehand, but learned a lot more about them from the flight crew perspective in this book. I would love another book or if this turned into a ‘space-set’ of books covering unmanned missions and their mission control side in the same vein as this one – but I guess that shows how much I enjoyed the presentation of this book.
Narration on a book like this which includes facts, interviews, and papers can be tricky. The narrator here had, for me, the perfect voice quality, tone, intonations and pacing. There are both explanatory passages, stories, and interview excerpts throughout the book, which I had no trouble distinguishing. I especially appreciated the change in voice made when reading a quote which not only distinguished it from the rest of the section, but overall made for a very nice listening experience. I would definitely recommend listening over eye-ball reading the book.
I’d recommend to all, and especially to people interested in space, or history, or human/personality-interactions in team settings.
I received a review copy of this book for my honest opinion.
I have a great interest in the space program, being a child of the 60's. I admit I was born in 69 on the Apollo 11 launch date, but always had the memory of my mother telling me often that she was making me watch the moon landing at the hospital. So I always had a fascination for the era which persists to this day. Listening to audiobooks on the subject, particularly the Apollo program, is a favorite pastime of mine. I was fortunate to be able to get a free copy of this from the narrator, but it was on my list of books to purchase eventually.
Of all the audiobooks on the subject I've listened too, I did find that I learnt a lot on this book on the crews that I didn't know. The book covered well the manned Gemini and Apollo mission up to the Apollo 11. I note that one of the authors (Francis French) has a separate book covering an earlier period (Into That Silent Sea), also available on Audible. This book also spends a little time on an aside covering the Soviet space program.
Primarily the focus of this book is the crews only, in often times their backstories, and their mission.I don't think that the publisher description of the book is clear enough in this regard. It did touch on other aspects, but not many. The unmanned missions weren't discussed, nor were many of the ground staff and technical and engineering aspects. It was a book about the astronauts. In that respect though I felt it did a very admirable job covering it. I would personally however love to find a book that covers the Apollo program itself in wider detail, with more stories on the engineering such as the Saturn V, the LEM development, the CSM development, etc. There might be one but I've not found it - if anyone has a recommendation, let me know!
Gary Willprecht's narration was excellent, and was easy listening. Enough differentiation was put into characters dialog to distinguish it from the text narrative of the book as well.
In all a recommended addition to the series. I'd be glad to read the next book, if the authors produce one covering the all of the missions after Apollo 11.
I really enjoyed listening to this book and was engaged from the start - because of the subject matter and the performance. The book is very original and makes you look forward to listening to it again. I would wholeheartedly recommend listening to this book (rather than reading it) as the narrator's voice adds so much more than if you read it yourself!
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