adbl_ms_membershipImage_includedwith_altText_B076FLV3HT
adbl_ms_membershipImage_includedwith_altText_B076FLV3HT

1 audiobook of your choice.
Stream or download thousands of included titles.
$14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $28.34

Buy for $28.34

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

Soon to be a major motion picture, this is the first - and only - definitive authorized account of Neil Armstrong, the man whose “one small step” changed history.

When Apollo 11 touched down on the Moon’s surface in 1969, the first man on the Moon became a legend. In First Man, author James R. Hansen explores the life of Neil Armstrong. Based on over 50 hours of interviews with the intensely private Armstrong, who also gave Hansen exclusive access to private documents and family sources, this "magnificent panorama of the second half of the American twentieth century" (Publishers Weekly, starred review) is an unparalleled biography of an American icon.

In this “compelling and nuanced portrait” (Chicago Tribune) filled with revelations, Hansen vividly recreates Armstrong’s career in flying, from his 78 combat missions as a naval aviator flying over North Korea to his formative trans-atmospheric flights in the rocket-powered X-15 to his piloting Gemini VIII to the first-ever docking in space. For a pilot who cared more about flying to the Moon than he did about walking on it, Hansen asserts, Armstrong’s storied vocation exacted a dear personal toll, paid in kind by his wife and children. For the near-50 years since the Moon landing, rumors have swirled around Armstrong concerning his dreams of space travel, his religious beliefs, and his private life.

A penetrating exploration of American hero worship, Hansen addresses the complex legacy of the First Man, as an astronaut and as an individual. “First Man burrows deep into Armstrong’s past and present.... What emerges is an earnest and brave man” (Houston Chronicle) who will forever be known as history’s most famous space traveler.

©2018 James R. Hansen (P)2018 Simon & Schuster

What listeners say about First Man

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    543
  • 4 Stars
    121
  • 3 Stars
    32
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    4
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    497
  • 4 Stars
    109
  • 3 Stars
    29
  • 2 Stars
    10
  • 1 Stars
    2
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    512
  • 4 Stars
    100
  • 3 Stars
    28
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    3

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Not really 'unabridged'

I own the original hardcover book, for which Audible had previously offered only an abridged version.

I've been eagerly awaiting this "unabridged" version for several months, and downloaded it immediately when it became available. What a disappointment to learn that this audiobook is based on a new, abridged paperback version, published in preparation for the release of the "First Man" film later this year.

Drastic surgery has been done on the original. Chapters have been rearranged and entire passages eliminated. As a point of comparison, the original hardcover length is 784 pages; the new paperback is just 464 pages.

The Armstrong story is fascinating, but this audio production doesn't do it justice. Jeremy Bobb, the narrator, is monotonic, and between his reading style and the butchered editing of the original book, the chapters on Armstrong's early years in the Navy and as a test pilot sound like a resume recitation, full of numbers and obscure abbreviations.

I just finished the audio version of Michael Collins's "Carrying the Fire," which I found to be a better written story with a much more evocative narrator (David Colacci).

88 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

As always, the book is better than the movie

This was a very well written and interesting book from start to finish. So much so, that almost any time I could listen to a few minutes, I would pop in my earphones. While it provides many facts and details about Neil Armstrong, I still left not feeling as though I knew him as a friend would know him, as I sometimes feel with other biographies. However, given Armstrong's very private nature, I think that is what he would have preferred, and in that sense I feel the author spectacularly succeeded.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

First Man

The first half is full of names and dates but your patience will be greatly rewarded with the second half.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Insightful Biography

Thought this was going to be a dry recital of facts about a very interesting person. However, once I got into this book it was hard to put down. Very much appreciate the writing and telling of this book. Also, it is ended in a very wonderful way!!

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Best overall book on Neil Armstrong!

A significant amount of detailed information relating to Apollo 11 mission and how difficult it was in order to be successful. Most people think about Armstrong as a lucky person to be chosen as the first man to set foot on the moon. None of this would’ve been possible if it were not for the following three attributes of Armstrong.

1- excellent pilot
2- ability to deal with stress during emergency procedures
3- very mechanically knowledgeable with engineering background.
4-Ability to work with different type of people under all kinds of conditions

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Encyclopedic

The book often reads like a list of facts rather than narrative. While detailed, some may have been better left to appendices. The book jumped around in time rather than being chronological, even though on the surface it was organized by time period. I have read or listened to many books about the space race. this was an informative work, but not as engaging as many others.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Please read this book!

This book made me cry at least 4 different times.

I do not believe there was any human more perfectly suited to be the first man than Neil.

The patron saint of engineers and pilots

He is truly a hero; who will live forever in history and in the hearts of mankind.

This book is not truly the unabridged version of the book, but is still 1000% worth reading.

Please, please do yourself a favor, and read this book.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

My boyhood hero....and still is

Sometimes you become sad when a book ends and this was one of them. The ending made me tear up because it was a wonderful way to end Neil's story. What a remarkable man...I loved this book.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Just the facts

Straightforward account of the life of First Man. A few rough edits in the audio, but overall ok.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Good Listen

Good story, got to hear about things I didn't know, I prefer to stay on the ground.