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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Silly title, incredible story
The title of this book is off-putting: it seems cheap and desperate, completely unnecessary for such an extraordinary story.
That said, I could not put this book down until it was finished - it compellingly tells the story of a fascinating character, Thad Roberts, set in one of the most exciting organizations in the world: Nasa. This book took me on an exhilarating...
Published on 5 Feb 2012 by Tina P

versus
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Wait for the film
Having read Sex on the moon, bringing down the house and watching the social network, I'm pretty confident when I say that this author's books make great films, but on their own I can't say much which is positive.

I'm not going to get drawn into the ethics of highlighting criminal activity, but I will say that this book glorifies the crime he committed, this is...
Published on 8 Aug 2011 by Marc Munier


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Wait for the film, 8 Aug 2011
By 
Marc Munier (Brighton, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sex on the Moon (Paperback)
Having read Sex on the moon, bringing down the house and watching the social network, I'm pretty confident when I say that this author's books make great films, but on their own I can't say much which is positive.

I'm not going to get drawn into the ethics of highlighting criminal activity, but I will say that this book glorifies the crime he committed, this is amplified by the constant "Thad was a really really smart guy" which is on almost every page, which becomes annoying quickly.

What I did like was the insight the book gave into the inner workings of NASA but if that is what you are after I cannot recommend Moondust: In Search of the Men Who Fell to Earth enough which gives you incredible insight into the men who shaped our perception of space without the fictional dialogue you get with this authors work.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Silly title, incredible story, 5 Feb 2012
This review is from: Sex on the Moon (Kindle Edition)
The title of this book is off-putting: it seems cheap and desperate, completely unnecessary for such an extraordinary story.
That said, I could not put this book down until it was finished - it compellingly tells the story of a fascinating character, Thad Roberts, set in one of the most exciting organizations in the world: Nasa. This book took me on an exhilarating journey which was also emotionally engaging. Loved it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Had a hard time finishing it, 7 May 2012
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This review is from: Sex on the Moon (Paperback)
With the subject matter one would think that the book would be easy to finish, but I struggled on to the end and if the book wasn't a book club book I probably wouldn't have finished it. I'm having a hard time placing why it was so difficult to finish. I think it had to do with seeing, except the small details, where exactly to book was heading and because of that there wasn't much excitement in it. Another point is that I really didn't like seeing a person throw their life away and so wouldn't recommend this book.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Defo Ben Mezrich, 30 May 2014
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This review is from: Sex on the Moon (Paperback)
I've read a few of his books and they are entertaining. He certainly has a formula for writing these type of books. Some work better than others. This one is ok but not great.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Gotcha!, 15 Nov 2013
This review is from: Sex on the Moon (Paperback)
This is the true story of Thad Roberts who aspired to a career with NASA and became an intern at the Johnson Space Center. In 2002 he stole a 661-pound safe that contained priceless Moon rock samples. He was caught by an F.B.I. sting as he tried to sell this loot to mineral collectors. He was sentenced to eight years and four months in prison.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great book, a zero to hero to zero story, 9 Mar 2013
This review is from: Sex on the Moon (Paperback)
I have enjoyed all the authors previous works about seemingly ordinary people finding themselves in extraordinary situations. Whether its a kid from Brooklyn finding himself working at the Merc Exchange, a group of maths nerds taking Vegas for millions, not to mention Mr Zuckerberg they have all demonstrated that with a little luck, hard work and in some cases formidable intellect the sky's the limit.

The problem with the authors latest effort which is as well written and researched as anything that came before it is the focus of the story, Thad Roberts. He set himself the impossible task of becoming an astronaut, not easy considering his troubled home life and lack of relevant experience. Despite considerable obstacles he managed to turn himself into the perfect candidate for the NASA co-op programme and soon became an invaluable member, respected by fellow co-op's and staff alike.

A chance visit to one of the most secure locations at the JPL slowly developed into a scheme that he hoped would see him set for life, and this is where my enjoyment of the narrative began to wane. Here is an individual who has been given a golden opportunity to work and learn at one of the most august organisations in the world sabotaging his only way of achieving his life long dream for the chance to make a fast buck.

Call it naivety or bravado but in my opinion plain stupidity was the main driving force behind a plan so audacious that success was about as likely as becoming an astronaut. How could someone with his obvious intelligence believe for one second that he would succeed and even if he did manage to profit from his crime the take, although substantial, wouldn't have funded a millionaire lifestyle. In fact I would imagine that a long and successful career at NASA whether it be as an astronaut or as a mission specialist would certainly have been more rewarding both professionally and financially than any get rich quick scheme could ever have been.

In conclusion the book tells a highly entertaining story, set in a world few people will have the chance to experience, of a person who chose to follow his dream but ultimately fell short of his potential. A misguided plan to steal arguably the most important scientific samples ever amassed suggests he never felt deserving of his place at NASA but wanted to go out with a Big Bang.
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13 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Portrait of a Thrill Seeker's Sociopath Compulsions and Self-Justifications, 30 July 2011
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Sex on the Moon (Paperback)
"No, you yourselves do wrong and cheat, and you do these things to your brethren!" -- 1 Corinthians 6:8 (NKJV)

I recommend that you don't read this book.

Let me caution you that I'm going to reveal details about Sex on the Moon that could reduce your enjoyment of it. If you intend to read the book, don't read any more of this review.

Frankly, I wish this book had never been written. It gives Thad Roberts more notoriety and more attention than he deserves. I wouldn't be surprised if some thrill-seeking young people read this book and feel inspired to be "smarter" versions of Thad Roberts so that they can get away with the kinds of things he did . . . rather than get caught. That would be a great shame.

I also found the book to be over hyped in every aspect, from its title to the impressions that it gives of who Thad Roberts is and what he did. As an example, if having sex with a woman you met a month earlier who is not your wife while a small sample of moon rocks are tucked in a secure container safely below the mattress is your idea of "sex on the moon," then you'll like this book a lot better than I did.

Researchers have found a strong relationship between youngsters being able to defer pleasure and the ability to accomplish more as adults. They often test children by putting a marshmallow or a piece of candy in front of them. The children have permission to eat right away . . . but they are also told that they will get double the treat if they can wait a few minutes. Some children stuff the food into their mouths immediately. That's a pretty good picture of the self control that Thad Roberts applied in his adult life before being sent to prison (where he certainly belongs). In the experiments, such youngsters don't do well as adults. Those who defer pleasure as youngsters do a lot better as adults than those who cannot.

The only thing that I found to be unusual about this book is that Roberts was willing to share so many of his self-serving self-justifications with Mr. Mezrich. As a result, readers can appreciate the kind of twisted "logic" that someone in a position of trust uses to do wrong things. To me, the book's best use is as a case history for students taking classes in criminal psychology.

Describing this book as an "amazing story" of "the most audacious heist in history" is ridiculous. Roberts was a student intern in a program where he did simple tasks for NASA. As a result, he was trusted to behave properly. Such work doesn't require the high degree of security or secrecy such as is associated with national intelligence or weaponry. Interns don't get near such activities. I would characterize what happened here as the "ridiculous story" of the "most obnoxious heist in NASA history."

By building the hype for this story and in the ways the book is written, Thad Roberts is portrayed much more positively than he deserves. Roberts does hang himself with his own words and writing . . . but I really didn't need to read all the ways that he tries to justify what he did.

Spend your time reading something constructive instead.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars moon rocks aren't really a big deal actually, 16 Mar 2014
By 
This review is from: Sex on the Moon (Paperback)
OK so I should preface this by saying I am a Geologist.

I had read a few of Ben Mezrich's other books and found them enjoyable. And i'm always up for a book that glorifies the life of a geo (unlike Archaeologists, Geologists usually die quite quickly in movies!)

The main premise of this true story is Thad Roberts, a bit of a nerd from Utah, gets a job in the JPL and discovers that the moon rocks from the Apollo landings are not very securely stored and apparently super valuable. So he sets about to steal them and sell to a rock collector. It's not giving much away to say he ends up in jail (this is spelled out in the first chapter).

The main problem I had with the book is that to be honest, moon rocks are not really that big a deal from a geological point of view. The moon is basically a big blob of basalt (solidified "lava"), which is very common on the earth and not exactly exotic to look at. Furthermore, moon rocks can be found as meteorites on earth, as debris from meteorite impacts on the moon. You don't need to get in a rocket to find moon rocks.

With that in mind I kind of found it a bit hard to take seriously that the moon rocks were 'the most valuable thing in the world' (or something like that). Sure they cost a lot to recover, and that makes for a great chapter of human ingenuity. But moon rocks are quite ho hum as far as rocks go.

Also, because the outcome (going to jail) is spelt out so clearly at the start of the book, it becomes a bit tedious to hear the whole story laid out when you know what's going to happen. It kind of killed any sense of suspense. I couldn't help but be jealous of the experience they had at NASA getting to see how that world works - it must have been awesome - but as far as suspense or excitement goes, I found it a bit flat.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining read, 21 Jan 2012
This review is from: Sex on the Moon (Paperback)
I'm quite astonished that this book gets such a low grading with other reviewers. I thought it was well above average and Ben, as in all his books, does a great job of story-telling.

I read a short version of this in an article in the UK's Guardian newspaper. It gave me the entire outline of what happened. My husband got me the book for my birthday and I was worried that 'knowing the ending' would thwart my enjoyment. I'm glad to say it didn't.

What he did was indeed against the law. But he didn't murder anyone. Thad Roberts had a very high opinion of himself and was emotionally immature, but this doesn't make him the devil. He seems to be a brilliant confidence trickster and used this to commit the crime. There were some great twists and turns and this made it a very readable book.

Thad got what he deserved in the end since what he did was wrong. The ending was a little rushed, I would have liked to have seen more detail on how he coped with life inside prison.

As for the style of writing, surely people realise what they are getting when they buy this author's books. I find his books very enjoyable, but I take it all with a pinch of salt regards conversations etc - after all this is the imagined part - and it is imagined to make a good read, not to be factually correct.

Good book, would recommend
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2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Portrait of a Thrill Seeker's Sociopath Compulsions and Self-Justifications, 30 July 2011
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
"No, you yourselves do wrong and cheat, and you do these things to your brethren!" -- 1 Corinthians 6:8 (NKJV)

I recommend that you don't read this book.

Let me caution you that I'm going to reveal details about Sex on the Moon that could reduce your enjoyment of it. If you intend to read the book, don't read any more of this review.

Frankly, I wish this book had never been written. It gives Thad Roberts more notoriety and more attention than he deserves. I wouldn't be surprised if some thrill-seeking young people read this book and feel inspired to be "smarter" versions of Thad Roberts so that they can get away with the kinds of things he did . . . rather than get caught. That would be a great shame.

I also found the book to be over hyped in every aspect, from its title to the impressions that it gives of who Thad Roberts is and what he did. As an example, if having sex with a woman you met a month earlier who is not your wife while a small sample of moon rocks are tucked in a secure container safely below the mattress is your idea of "sex on the moon," then you'll like this book a lot better than I did.

Researchers have found a strong relationship between youngsters being able to defer pleasure and the ability to accomplish more as adults. They often test children by putting a marshmallow or a piece of candy in front of them. The children have permission to eat right away . . . but they are also told that they will get double the treat if they can wait a few minutes. Some children stuff the food into their mouths immediately. That's a pretty good picture of the self control that Thad Roberts applied in his adult life before being sent to prison (where he certainly belongs). In the experiments, such youngsters don't do well as adults. Those who defer pleasure as youngsters do a lot better as adults than those who cannot.

The only thing that I found to be unusual about this book is that Roberts was willing to share so many of his self-serving self-justifications with Mr. Mezrich. As a result, readers can appreciate the kind of twisted "logic" that someone in a position of trust uses to do wrong things. To me, the book's best use is as a case history for students taking classes in criminal psychology.

Describing this book as an "amazing story" of "the most audacious heist in history" is ridiculous. Roberts was a student intern in a program where he did simple tasks for NASA. As a result, he was trusted to behave properly. Such work doesn't require the high degree of security or secrecy such as is associated with national intelligence or weaponry. Interns don't get near such activities. I would characterize what happened here as the "ridiculous story" of the "most obnoxious heist in NASA history."

By building the hype for this story and in the ways the book is written, Thad Roberts is portrayed much more positively than he deserves. Roberts does hang himself with his own words and writing . . . but I really didn't need to read all the ways that he tries to justify what he did.

Spend your time reading something constructive instead.
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Sex on the Moon by Ben Mezrich (Paperback - 7 Jun 2012)
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