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Publisher's Summary

Already a renowned chronicler of the epic events of world history, James A. Michener tackles the most ambitious subject of his career: space, the last great frontier. This astounding novel brings to life the dreams and daring of countless men and women - people like Stanley Mott, the engineer whose irrepressible drive for knowledge places him at the center of the American exploration effort; Norman Grant, the war hero and US senator who takes his personal battle not only to a nation but to the heavens; Dieter Kolff, a German rocket scientist who once worked for the Nazis; Randy Claggett, the astronaut who meets his destiny on a mission to the far side of the moon; and Cynthia Rhee, the reporter whose determined crusade brings their story to a breathless world.

©1982 James A. Michener (P)2015 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"A master storyteller.... Michener, by any standards, is a phenomenon. Space is one of his best books." (The Wall Street Journal)
"A novel of very high adventure...a sympathetic, historically sound treatment of an important human endeavor that someday could be the stuff of myth, told here with gripping effect." (The New York Times Book Review)
"Space is everything that Michener fans have come to expect. Without question, the space program's dramatic dimensions provide the stuff of great fiction." (BusinessWeek)

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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Story

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Andrew
  • United States
  • 09-25-15

Solid Michener, Ponderous and Laborious Narration

What did you love best about Space?

Typical Michener, starts at the beginning of time, goes on until present day. Well researched, technically correct in depth. Solid storytelling with a grand sweep.

What did you like best about this story?

Getting behind the scenes with his fictitious (but representative) astronauts. Also, the very strong thread of NASA's preoccupation with public relations and creating a narrative that the U.S. population will swallow, ostensibly to keep the public funds flowing. Also, the fraudulent preacher/intellectual was a great character.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Larry McKeever?

Anyone. The narration was astoundingly slow and ponderous with noticeable pauses after almost every sentence. I nearly returned the book when out of desperation I put my iPOD on 2x playback speed, which in fact sped things up to about a normal cadence.

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

Not really.

Any additional comments?

If you like Michener, and you can stand the remarkably slow and laborious narration, go ahead any get it.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Good book but the audiobook needs revision

Any additional comments?

I had already read SPACE years ago and enjoyed the book. I am glad that It is finally out on audiobook. The narration by Larry McKeever is a little slow and robotic but at least it is understandable. One glaring mistake by the narrator is that he repeatedly calls the mission that first landed man on the moon "Apollo Two" instead of "Apollo Eleven". Perhaps the Roman numerals used in the text confused him? This should be corrected.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Great book, terrible narration

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Yes, in that the story is one of the best. But the narration was so poor that it spoiled the story. Very disappointed.

How could the performance have been better?

Any other narrator could probably have done a better job. Especially someone who could perform accents and differentiate voices.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Absolutely!

Any additional comments?

So sad that one of the best books I've ever read is spoiled by the poor narration and sadder yet to find that McKeever is narrating all Michener's books. At times I wasn't even sure it was a human speaking. Still not convinced it was as there was very little emotion which was unfortunate considering the breadth of the story. <br/><br/>I know it's a big job, but I hope Audible redoes the rest of Michener's books. I want to hear them but won't buy them if McKeever is the narrator.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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It took 400 pages to kick in...

A stunning work of historical fiction, good character development、An epic story. It just didn't kick in with me, so to speak, until abt. p. 400 or so. I kept sloughing through because I've not yet read a Michener book that wasn't worth it, and I'm glad I finished this one.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Story

Great story. Give the narration some time.

The recording is old and is "read" as opposed to "performed" like current audio books. This takes some getting used to, it's jarring at first, however if you stick with the book for a couple of hours you get used to it and can enjoy the story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance

Sounded like it was read by a computer

Worst performance ever. Story was good but a bit strange, like if the space program was more than it really was. I was expecting historical fiction but this was a bit more, not bad but different. My first Michener novel maybe I should have known better?

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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learned a lot about space

I thought it w as s a good book. I love all the Michener books and always feel like I learn a lot.

  • Overall
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What a disappointing book

What disappointed you about Space?

It was interesting in that the history was brought to light but the garbage about Christianity was just James' pathetic liberal, university rant. Clearly he had a superiority complex about his being a university grad./prof..

Would you ever listen to anything by James A. Michener again?

Since Hawaii is not recorded yet, probably not

Have you listened to any of Larry McKeever’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Larry's performances are excellent.

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

I felt I was cheated out of a massive amount of time listening to the drivel about the charlatan. It was puffed up even more with the nutcase politician's wife to keep the Christian crap alive and the UFO rant alive. It went on and on and had no real point except to call everyone with a religious or spiritual calling a fool.

Any additional comments?

I started listening to JAM with Alaska which I found fascinating and well done. 5/5 Then The Source which was a bit less interesting but still good. Then The Covenant which was interesting and well done. Then I heard it was plagiarized. Not sure that is true. Then Iberia which was OK but not great. Then Texas which I have not finished, as I cannot get into it.

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  • StealyDan
  • Northern Virginia, United States
  • 11-18-15

Sprawling, amazing story

For the first couple of minutes, I thought, "Well, voice synthesis has gotten pretty good, but it's not there yet." Then I finally realized that the robotic, monotonous voice was actually a person.

Once past that, the story starts to unfold, and we get to know these amazing, made-up characters who interact with LBJ, Wernher von Braun, and Deke Slayton, culminating with a bold plan to explore the far side of the Moon. Educational, entertaining, and surprisingly timely: The anti-science movement Michener described in 1982 has become mainstream in American politics by 2015.