• Apollo 8

  • The Thrilling Story of the First Mission to the Moon
  • By: Jeffrey Kluger
  • Narrated by: Brian Troxell
  • Length: 11 hrs and 8 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (1,671 ratings)

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Apollo 8

By: Jeffrey Kluger
Narrated by: Brian Troxell
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Publisher's Summary

This program includes a bonus conversation with Commander Frank Borman plus archival audio from Apollo 8's lunar orbit and from the cockpit during the mission.

The untold story of the historic voyage to the moon that closed out one of our blackest, bloodiest years with a nearly unimaginable triumph

In August 1968 NASA made a bold decision: In just 16 weeks, the United States would launch humankind's first flight to the moon. Only the year before, three astronauts had burned to death in their spacecraft, and since then the Apollo program had suffered one setback after another. Meanwhile, the Russians were winning the space race, the Cold War was getting hotter by the month, and President Kennedy's promise to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade seemed sure to be broken. But when Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, and Bill Anders were summoned to a secret meeting and told of the dangerous mission, they instantly signed on.

Written with all the color and verve of the best narrative nonfiction, Apollo 8 takes us from Mission Control to the astronauts' homes, from the test labs to the launchpad. The race to prepare an untested rocket for an unprecedented journey paves the way for the hair-raising trip to the moon. Then, on Christmas Day, a nation that has suffered a horrendous year of assassinations and war is heartened by an inspiring message from the trio of astronauts in lunar orbit. And when the mission is over - after the first view of the far side of the moon, the first Earth-rise, and the first reentry through the Earth's atmosphere following a flight to deep space - the impossible dream of walking on the moon suddenly seems within reach.

The full story of Apollo 8 has never been told, and only Jeffrey Kluger - Jim Lovell's coauthor on their best-selling book about Apollo 13 - can do it justice. Here is the tale of a mission that was both a calculated risk and a wild crapshoot, a stirring account of how three American heroes forever changed our view of the home planet.

©2017 Jeffrey Kluger (P)2017 Macmillan Audio

What listeners say about Apollo 8

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  • 11-17-17

Great history of NASA and Apollo 8: a must listen

This is one of the best books I have listened to on Audible! It is a detailed, yet fast moving history of the space program and the 1960's. The author introduces and develops the key players in the space program, like Frank Borman and Gus Grissom. You quickly 'get to know them' and see the unfolding drama of the ups and downs of the program through their eyes. Even though you know the outcome, it is still a very suspenseful book and it provides great detail, without being dense.
The reader's performance is excellent and an interview with Frank Borman and select transmissions between Houston and Apollo 8 are included as a bonus.
Highly recommend this book!

16 people found this helpful

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Fabulous Book

Where does Apollo 8 rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

One of the best audiobooks I have ever listened to.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Apollo 8?

The account of the flight to the moon was great and although you know the conclusion the suspense is palpable.

What does Brian Troxell bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Really great narration. He helps grips the listener with with great voice inflection and yet kept the story moving.

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

The moment the Astronauts saw earth from the moon.

Any additional comments?

If your heart doesn't swell with pride you are not breathing. Where did those days go?

7 people found this helpful

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I Never Knew!

While "Apollo 8" isn't as seat-of-your-pants thrilling as "Apollo 13", after all, the things that go wrong are always more exciting than the things that go right, it's still a stirring account of a superb time in history.
Here there are staffing decisions, training, the day-to-day lives of controllers, families and of course astronauts in good times and in bad (think: Apollo 1). But here too are an actual conversation with the hero of the day, Frank Borman and a snippet from mission control which bring the entire book, the entire journey to life.
The only real flaw of the book is a sometimes less than thrilling narration delivered by Troxell--we don't feel the excitement of Britons grabbing a pint in celebration in the morning hours as we're told them in matter-of-fact tones. Plus, he has an unnerving way of pronouncing Gemini as GEM-in-NEE (Forgive me if I'm wrong, I wasn't even an idea for my parents when those missions flew so perhaps they weren't pronounced gem-in-EYE. Rather jarring...).
I was barely a toddler when Apollo 8 made its exciting voyage so this was all new to me. What I appreciated most were the details which totally drew me in and made me feel I was in that sauna of a spacecraft, peering through fogged up/ice crystal-ridden windows, trying to see the Earth Rise that has become so famous throughout the world and so important to the environmental movement. So much of that mission become an integral part of the culture that I've taken for granted as I've grown up.
Older now, with creaks and groans, "Apollo 8" transported me back to a time when life was uncertain and violent, Cold Wars raged, and the stars and the moon were breathtaking dreams.
Worth the time, worth the price! What a tremendous voyage with truly remarkable men!

7 people found this helpful

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Audible edition, audio extras very enjoyable

This audio version of Apollo 8 by Jeffrey Kluger was excellent. While I was already familiar with the history of the Apollo program, I enjoyed the description of the mission to orbit the moon and return to earth with all the added details of the political and cultural occurrences in America during that time putting this historic mission in context with a time of upheaval. NASA personnel were insulated and isolated to a point, but it is well worth considering what was happening all around them. This makes the words of the telegram Borman and crew received on their return all the more poignant and meaningful.

I especially enjoyed the “audio extras” of the actual mission control audio conversations with the astronauts during various portions of the mission, including the Christmas Eve reading, and also the interview of Borman by the author.

6 people found this helpful

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Inspirational

For an engineering student who was a little shaky on NASA history, this book was absolutely incredible historically, informationally, and as a source of patriotic inspiration. Eagerly recommend to anyone

6 people found this helpful

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Apollo 8 a thriller

Excellent book, loved every moment. recommend it to everyone. love the touch of Frank Gorman final words at the end.

4 people found this helpful

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An excellent true story, beautifully rendered

What did you love best about Apollo 8?

I really liked that it gave the backstory of the Gemini missions. Those are the forgotten missions that played such a key role in the later successes.

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Awesome

This was an excellent listen of American history and space program. I enjoyed the narration and story very much.

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A riveting real life story

Apollo 8 was one of my favorite listens. A tremendous real-life story of the first manned Apollo mission to the moon. Well written and researched with excellent narration. It was a great story about an exciting part of our nation's history that I had lived through. I was almost 14 years old in December of 1968 but don't remember much about that mission. I think Apollo 8 kind of got lost after we landed on the moon a little over six months later, but it was a history-making event, and this book is a must listen for anyone wanting to know more about that period in history. As it said in the book, 1968 as perhaps the most violent year in America's recent history, but Apollo 8 saved 1968. This book was so good I will want to revisit it.

3 people found this helpful

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A Focus On Apollo 8 and The Risks They Took.

I am a fan boy of the Apollo missions so this is added to my collection of 60's aviation books. I really like the detail that was not included in other books. The book had great insight into the families and their thoughts as well and a more detailed look at the engineers. The Astronauts are the heroes, but it was nice to hear about the heroes behind the heroes. Well written and researched. If you are wondering if you have heard it all about Apollo, I doubt it this will fill in some gaps about this missions and the huge risks taken.

3 people found this helpful