by Ben Mezrich

Reviewer Rating:


This is what happens when you judge a book by its cover (and title)- you get a mediocre read. 


Sex on the Moon by Ben Mezrich has a great title and cover, let me tell you, it lured me in with its graphic design and bright yellow font.  And that's not the only good thing to be said about this book. The subject matter is certainly engaging, about a man who might have been a famous astronaut who instead stole moon rocks from NASA.  Mezrich does capture the cult(ure) of NASA and the lure it holds for young scientists- all that fancy machinery, expensive research, brilliant minds and big personalities crammed into one facility in Houston, TX.  


But what the author fails to do is, well, write well.  His writing style is thoroughly over the top; highly narrative for non-fiction, Mezrich's words are peppered with cheesy hyperemotionalism,  recycled adjectives, and cuss words.  Through the whole thing I never got a sense of the true motivation of the man who stole the moon rocks.  The author sort of gloriously fails at the primary task of the book, which is to tell us why (a colleague of mine used the phrase "ludicrously implausible" to describe Mezrich's telling of the driving force for the theft.  He churns out two dimensional descriptions of the astronaut-cum-thief as if he were an ubermensch, his lady friends all with porcelain skin (he uses that phrase at least 100 times) and perky breasts (that one comes up a lot too), his desire to steal the moon rock some sort of a noble game, and well, I just couldn't buy it.  I finished this book with a better sense of NASA than of the man who perpetrated the greatest theft in NASA's history.  Still interesting, but I was expecting more. 



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