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A Man on the Moon: The Voyages of the Apollo Astronauts Audiobook

A Man on the Moon: The Voyages of the Apollo Astronauts

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Publisher's Summary

Audie Award, History/Biography, 2016

This acclaimed portrait of heroism and ingenuity captures a watershed moment in human history. The astronauts themselves have called it the definitive account of their missions. On the night of July 20, 1969, our world changed forever when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon. Based on in-depth interviews with 23 of the 24 moon voyagers, as well as those who struggled to get the program moving, A Man on the Moon conveys every aspect of the Apollo missions with breathtaking immediacy and stunning detail.

©2007 Andrew Chaikin (P)2015 Audiobooks.com

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (21 )
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4.6 (21 )
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4.4 (21 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Michael 12/03/2016
    Michael 12/03/2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Stunning, magnificent book!"

    Possibly the most riveting, moving book l have ever read. The author brings the passion of the apollo missions to life with magnificent detailed storytelling of the highest order.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charles 01/09/2016
    Charles 01/09/2016 Member Since 2015
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    7
    6
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    "A masterpiece of non fiction and a great insight"

    If I had to choose one book that my descendants had to read I'd choose this one. Andrew Chaikin truly allows the listener/reader to get to know the astronauts, the time and the world that the astronauts and NASA lived in. The narrator perfectly portrays the emotions of the author and the astronauts while also putting in a great performance including his portrayal of a southern accent.

    I cannot recommend this book enough, if you love spaceflight with me then this is the pinnacle, if you love non fiction or history then this is still a must. And if you have a hope for the future of humanity and spaceflight then this book will give you an insight into the human ingenuity that goes with it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ELIZABETH 16/10/2016
    ELIZABETH 16/10/2016 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    12
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    "Very Expensive Rock Collecting"
    Would you try another book written by Andrew Chaikin or narrated by Bronson Pinchot?

    No


    Has A Man on the Moon: The Voyages of the Apollo Astronauts put you off other books in this genre?

    Yes


    What didn’t you like about Bronson Pinchot’s performance?

    Some weird, repetitive and irritating inflexions


    Do you think A Man on the Moon: The Voyages of the Apollo Astronauts needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    No. People have stopped going to the moon


    Any additional comments?

    Nice idea, but the astronauts are almost uniformly dull and inarticulate. All good and brave guys which is what you need for a spaceship but not to listen to. I guess this is a useful insight, as is the ingenuity and dedication of the backroom staff but the book sags after the novelty of the early flights and the drama of Apollo 13. After that it is all rock collecting. Only Neil Armstrong (thank goodness he was first) stands out as an interesting if reticent personality.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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  • Deborah Perkins
    McKinney, TX United States
    25/03/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Epic story"

    This is an outstanding story with excellent narration! Each vignette about the different Apollo episodes was a great story in itself. The book inspired me to find and watch YouTube videos on each of the launches. Very inspirational!!!

    13 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • C. Ubik
    Hillsborough, NC
    31/10/15
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    Performance
    Story
    "The classic chronicle of the Apollo era"
    What did you love best about A Man on the Moon: The Voyages of the Apollo Astronauts?

    Chaikin's approach to the book, which isn't a straight history of Apollo. This is not a dry, dusty history, but rather a character-driven exploration of the program, with all of its brilliant successes and heart-breaking failures. Nor is it hagiography. The Apollo astronauts are real people, with all the flaws that that entails, and Chaikin does a great job of capturing their strengths as well as their weaknesses.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Though not a "character" in the literary sense: Pete Conrad. The chapter on Apollo 12 is my favorite.


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

    Superb inflection and a recreation of the astronaut's speaking styles. Pinchot's reading was very nicely done and he does a great job of capturing the personalities of the astronauts. He doesn't try to do impressions, though. It is his interpretation of the astronauts, but accurate ones if you've ever heard one speak.


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

    Yes, but I'm a manned space flight nerd. Your mileage may vary.


    27 of 28 people found this review helpful
  • Rob
    16/02/16
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    "The moon missions were amazing"
    What did you love best about A Man on the Moon: The Voyages of the Apollo Astronauts?

    As a child growing up in the 60's I experienced the moon missions on TV, and back then they seemed "nominally" great. But now, as an adult, listening to this book, this audacious feat, the details, the human side, all add up to a story that is beyond amazing.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    No one astronaut stood out, but the ones with a Texas drawl were my favourites.


    What about Bronson Pinchot’s performance did you like?

    Great tone, a "welcoming" story teller.


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

    No, too long to listen to in one sitting.


    Any additional comments?

    Just as Steve Jobs once said when developing the iPod, "music is transformational", audio books are very much transformational as well. If you have a hobby as do I (building RC airplanes), you can enhance your hobby with audio books. I have been very pleased with this new experience.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Mark
    Waltham, MA, United States
    17/06/16
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    "Long, comforting book on moon exploration"

    This book chronicles the full set of Apollo missions. It is very broad in scope, which is both a strength and weakness. There were many times that I wanted to know some of these astronauts more deeply as people, and other times I wanted more scientific detail. I realize, though, that the book that gave what I wanted might have been 2-3 times as long, and it already was more than 20 hours! Still, a number of the astronauts were profiled in depth, and this book is full of interesting scientific detail. It is cool that it covers the whole Apollo program. There were so many great parts, with even the slower moving pieces still interesting and easy to listen to. It is hard to write a great book which covers so much, and Chaikin did a pretty good job of it. I quit many audiobooks from boredom, but this had my interest throughout. One other flaw - it felt like the author tried to minimize anything negative about the astronauts, and it had a little bit of a sanitized feel to it. I didn't mind because these astronauts were pretty heroic. Overall, this book was interesting and uplifting, and had a great narrator. I will look at the moon differently now.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Mark
    Raglan, New Zealand
    13/02/16
    Overall
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    "Up and Down"

    This book is a fascinating fly-on-the-wall panorama of the extraordinary efforts made by NASA to land a man on the moon before the onset of the year 1970, and then the subsequent missions in the early 70s.

    You look up at the big moon in the sky and it doesn’t look all that far away, but if the earth was a basketball, then the moon would be a baseball a distant 23 feet away, or a quarter of a million miles to full scale. And the technology available to get the astronauts there (and back) was fairly rudimentary by today’s standards; all foil, duct tape and steaming, simmering rocket fuel. The computer on board Apollo 11 contained less hardware than a pocket calculator, with a paltry 64 kilobytes of memory.

    This book takes you through all the missions leading up to the 1969 moon landing (and beyond), and it becomes clear that the men inside the rockets were taking a very big risk every time they sat on those colossal vats of liquid hydrogen and got blasted into space. Manoeuvring out of earth orbit and then into lunar orbit required very precise burns of this rocket fuel to alter their speed and direction, and if these were miscalculated or if there was a malfunction, then they would have drifted into the blackness of space until their oxygen fizzled out, like Major Tom.

    And the glamour of space flight loses some of its gloss when you hear the graphic descriptions of globules of urine, vomit and diarrhoea meandering randomly around the cabin. After several days cooped up inside the cabin the smell got so bad that one navy swimmer who released the astronauts from their command module in the Pacific Ocean wretched when he opened the hatch.

    But there is also the sheer amazing exuberance of that first historic walk out onto the lunar surface. With Armstrong and Aldrin; two serious, highly intelligent and rigorously trained aviators bouncing around in the moon’s one sixth gravity like toddlers on a trampoline, and the surrealism of them being so ridiculously far away and so isolated, and yet being watched by 600 million viewers on live TV and having a phone chat with President Nixon. It’s so bizarre that it’s no wonder there are some cretins who think the whole thing was a hoax.

    Like the moon, this story waxes and wanes in cycles of climax (the first moon landing and the Apollo 13 near-disaster) and anti-climax (Apollo 12, the second moon mission and Apollos 14-17, when moon geology becomes the main focus and the Apollo programme just gradually peters out). But despite these anti-climaxes, the audiobook tells the full story in rich detail, and you really feel as if you were there on the moon with those first pioneers. Recommended.

    24 of 26 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    15/03/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fantastic, Detailed, page turner!"

    I really enjoyed every bit of the book. I've craved something that went deep; but I also wanted lots of details, yet a good story. This book delivered them both! This is the only book where I really felt like I was part of the story - I really felt as if I was there - with the astronauts - on the moon!! No other astronaut book gives you that kind of depth and intensity. The narration was top-notch and really helped move the story along. For anyone wanting a complete retelling of the Apollo program there is no better book.
    Period. Bravo!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Mark Lorbiecki
    Alki Beach
    20/07/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Man, Imperfect, Accomplished The Nearly Impossible"
    Would you consider the audio edition of A Man on the Moon: The Voyages of the Apollo Astronauts to be better than the print version?

    I do not know the print version. I cannot say.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of A Man on the Moon: The Voyages of the Apollo Astronauts?

    In spite of my familiarity with the Apollo 13 movie, I still find the all out efforts of the "backroom experts" at Mission Control and their construction of the adapter to use the Command Module carbon dioxide scubbers in the Lunar Module to be moving.


    Which character – as performed by Bronson Pinchot – was your favorite?

    Fred Haise in the calculation of what was necessary to get back home after the explosion on Apollo 13: oxygen, cooling water, electricity. Though Jim Lovell was also important in that same interplay. In truth, each of the several astronauts were well-portrayed. While Bronson Pinchot performed them superbly, he could not have breathed reality into the characters had it not first been well-written for him. The phrasing in this book is like a Frank Sinatra song--pleasantly conversational but conveying great meaning economically. I really enjoyed the writing and Mr. Pinchot delivered the characters.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I was born in 1957. I followed the march into space from Yuri Gagarin's embarrassment of NASA by beating the US in manned orbit, to the end of the Apollo missions with an enthusiasm only an adolescent boy can muster. This book rekindled a pride I felt then. What is amazing is that in spite of my fixation and voracious consumption of everything that was available then, this book gave a whole new perspective. I cannot say enough to praise the superb story laid out here. The depth of emotion conveyed is such as to give a clear view of, for example, Marilyn Lovell, in a manner that evokes empathy even now. I found myself swelling with pride in the astronauts in spite of the foibles that the book displays. These were high egos reaching for an elusive brass ring. But it was egos that drove success. This is a good book.


    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Per
    20/01/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Magnificent on the most spectacular adventure of the human race"

    The story is epic and expertly written by the author. Some technical details, yet more of the human factor - stories and anecdotes that bring the men of the Apollo program to life.

    Author employs a somewhat too dramatic reading style that at times is completely at odds with the written material. Still, his style is decent enough and does not subtract too much from the experience.

    Overall a wonderful audiobook that I can highly recommend to those curious about the manned missions to the moon, or to anyone with an interest in magnificent tales of courage, ingenuity and exploration.

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • David P. McGivern
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    22/10/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "More interesting than expected"

    I bought this because i wanted a change from World War 1 or 2, or badly written novels. I'm old enough to remember watching the Apollo 11 landing ( we here in Canada were as interested as the rest of the world) but like most others, my knowledge of the Space Program went no further than watching the Tom Hanks Apollo 13 movie. I was surprised with how ( for the most part) engaging it was. I agree it was written for listeners such as myself ( not too scientific or technical) and I quite liked learning about the astronauts as people, their fears, courage, determination, families. Some parts near the end dragged ( the discussion of geology and collection of samples from the moon) but overall......worth a listen

    20 of 25 people found this review helpful
  • Anthony B. Ford
    Phoenix, Arizona, USA
    22/05/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wonderful account of the Apollo program."

    An excellent and detailed work on the history of the NASA moon program. Good narration, and the author is obviously educated (and enthralled) about the subject. This three-volume set was the primary source material for HBO'S miniseries From the Earth to the Moon.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
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  • Sam
    Lamerton, United Kingdom
    30/01/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The best one so far..."

    I've listened to various books detailing the glory days of American space flight looking for the one that would tell the story of the Apollo missions with just the right balance of technical detail, human warmth and...awe. I know that the Apollo astronauts least favourite question was 'What was it like up there?' but of course, I still want to know - and Andrew Chaikin does a fantastic job of telling me.

    If you're going to listen to this book here's a tip - search Google for 'Apollo Lunar Surface Journal' on your web browser while you do. It contains every picture from every mission plus word-for-word transcripts of the entire journey. Break out and immerse yourself there and in the full-length capsule recovery videos on YouTube...then come back to the book - you won't regret it!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Quincy
    London
    8/01/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A great book"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    If you have any interest in the History of the Apollo program this book is a must read. Very well researched and written I was disappointed to finish it so soon


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Mr R Barot
    17/04/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Interesting and at tine riveting"

    Great story if you can get beyond the initial style of narration. We were driving through Europe when we started listening to this. The story is a great faithful recording of the Apollo missions, however the initial few hours are very sleep inducing...... Stick with it the narration gets much better and easier to listen to. And a great record of one of our great mile stone's in history

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Warren M. Parkinson
    uk
    11/03/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Outstanding"

    This is an excellent book! Exciting history and the story is told in such a way that you even feel part of the adventure, I loved it!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    7/04/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Glorious! "

    Moving, detailed narrative of the Apollo adventure. will return again to this I'm sure. narrator excellent also.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Andrei S.
    9/03/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Amazing book that every human should read/listen"

    This book sheds so much light on the Apollo story... it's technical without being boring, and it captures the essence both scientifically and at a higher, human experience level.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • polestar
    cardiff
    7/03/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The story - end of story."

    The classic book on the subject of The Space Race read perfectly- end of story -start of story-go buy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Graham Pattle
    27/02/17
    Overall
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    Story
    "A great story of discovery"

    I remember being woken up as a young lad to watch the moon landings. Apollo has always held an allure for me. This book brought it back to life and gave the story real substance

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Tim
    14/02/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fantastic!"

    I loved this book from start to finish. It is by far the most well written book on the Apollo missions. The narration too is superb and really adds to the drama. I couldn't recommend it more!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Kieron Edwards
    London, London, GB
    29/01/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The human side of Apollo"

    I've read many very technical books on the Apollo programme and wondered what another book could add. This book takes a different approach - it has its technical moments - but covers in far,far greater detail the humanity involved; what the astronauts thought and felt during their missions. This, coupled with the incredible research that must have been done prior to writing, gives the book a very real and credible sense of recalling the experiences of those involved. The narrator does a superb job and uses differing American regional accents to articulate the descriptions given of the various character's speech patterns.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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