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September 1, 2011 / Leslie

Review: Sex on the Moon

Sex on the Moon
The Amazing Story Behind the Most Audacious Heist in History
by Ben Mezrich

Genre: Narrative Non-Fiction
Publisher: Doubleday
Publish Date: July 12, 2011
Format: Hardcover | 320 pages
Rating: 3½ of 5

The true story of Thad Roberts, a brilliant young NASA co-op intern, who steals moon rocks from NASA’s Johnson Space Center and tries to sell them on the internet.

After Thad confides in his girlfriend and another female friend about his scheme to steal the rocks, they agree to help him. NASA has two sets of moon rocks: those that have become contaminated through experimentation and research and those that are still untouched. Since the contaminated rocks are considered trash by NASA, they don’t see the harm in taking them.

The book reads more like a mild thriller than a narrative based on a true story. While not action-packed or suspenseful (we know he steals the moon rocks), the story is an entertaining adventure and an easy read. It moves along at a medium pace until almost the end when the real action begins.

Once it became apparent how and why Thad was going to steal the rocks I kept asking myself, “Are you kidding me? How can someone this smart be so stupid? And why did he think he could possible get away with this?” Thad is not a likable character. I found him to be arrogant and annoying, always wanting to be the center of attention. He threw away a brilliant career with NASA to impress his girlfriend with little thought about the wife he left back home.

I’ve always been a huge fan of the space program, space exploration and science in general. If I had a job like that there isn’t a snowball’s chance in hell I’d do anything to jeopardize it, which is why I had trouble relating to this level of idiocy. But it didn’t stop me from reading on. On the contrary, I continued reading, puzzling over the revelation that intelligence and common sense do not necessarily go hand in hand, and trying to comprehend it.

Overall a good book and it would probably make a good movie. The fact that it’s a true story makes it more interesting than if it were fiction. I found the background information on NASA and NASA Operations at the Johnson Space Center to be interesting and insightful while not getting technical. The authors acknowledges that some names and places were changed for privacy reasons and that some conversations were re-created, but essentially the details and the chronology are true.

Two Copies to Giveaway

Thanks to Doubleday Books, I have two copies of Sex on the Moon to give away to my readers. There are still a few more days to enter. Fill out the form for a chance to win a copy. Deadline to enter is Sunday, September 4th. I will draw the winners using when I turn on my computer Monday morning. US addresses only as the books are shipped by the publisher.

Review copy provided by Doubleday Books.


Leave a Comment
  1. Jennifer O. / Sep 1 2011 4:36 am

    Thanks for holding this giveaway. Love your perception that intelligence and common sense don’t go hand in hand. I’ve noticed that myself, and yet in never fails to amaze me when I see it in action.


  2. Anna (Diary of an Eccentric) / Sep 1 2011 7:05 am

    I’m not much interested in the space program, but I enjoyed reading your review. The title reminds me of a sci-fi book I read a long time ago called Marsface by R.M. Pala where the characters are intimate on a trip to Mars. LOL


  3. BermudaOnion / Sep 1 2011 9:47 am

    This does sound interesting. I wonder why he wanted to steal them – what would he do with them?


  4. Alyce / Sep 1 2011 12:30 pm

    I love learning about how things work at NASA and true stories like this tend to grab my attention. I had this one checked out from the library but only got through the first chapter before I had to turn it in (not the book’s fault – I was just too busy). I still plan on reading the rest of it sometime soon.


  5. WordsAndPeace / Sep 1 2011 3:09 pm

    I’m very intrigued by this book, and would love to delve into it. Thanks for this great giveaway. Emma @ Words And Peace


  6. karenk / Sep 1 2011 9:26 pm

    thanks for the opportunity to read this novel 🙂



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