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70 of 72 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Articulate, Humorous, Accurate!
I've read every available account of project Apollo and I think this is by far the best. Collins is a natural story teller and there's little eveidence of a co-author spoiling the text. Collins self-affacing humour and modesty make this a delight to read. Not only was he a Gemini and Apollo pilot, but he was instrumental in the designing of the pressure suit used for...
Published on 20 Jun 2001 by Ryuto

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read
A breathtaking adventure comprehensively retold. However, unless you are a space fanatic, it is very fact and statistic heavy. The last chapter was superb and provided a frank assessment of his relationships with others and reflected on his achievements.
Published 1 month ago by Paul Bartlett


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70 of 72 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Articulate, Humorous, Accurate!, 20 Jun 2001
By 
Ryuto (Sheffield, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
I've read every available account of project Apollo and I think this is by far the best. Collins is a natural story teller and there's little eveidence of a co-author spoiling the text. Collins self-affacing humour and modesty make this a delight to read. Not only was he a Gemini and Apollo pilot, but he was instrumental in the designing of the pressure suit used for space and moon walks and he gives interesting accounts of this (including the discovery of his own claustraphobia-not a most desireable attribute for an astronaut!). My only disappointment was that Collins retired after being CMP on Apollo 11. He deserved a Lunar Landing and his account would have been electrifying.
I also unreservedly recommend this book-the hardback is especially nice!
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Personal Story By The Third Apollo Hero, 26 Jan 2000
By A Customer
Carrying The Fire is a personal story by the 'third man' of Apollo 11. Michael Collins is often sadly sidelined in many accounts of mankind's greatest adventure. But as command module pilot of Apollo 11 his job was the equal of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin's.
Collin's is clearly a natural writer and his account of what it is like to be the only member of humanity to be totally alone is both informative and poignant. During the mission there was little time for him to reflect on the acheivement and significance of Apollo 11, but his retrospective view gives the reader a unique insight into the enormity of the undertaking. Collins' candid comments on his training and preparation for the mission show us at this thirty year remove, just how pioneering the whole of Project Apollo really was. These men were explorers as well as trained astronauts and Michael Collins was fully aware of this.
One particular passage stays in the memory - Collins knew that if anything went wrong on the lunar surface he had to be prepared to come back alone. As he says "I would have had to leave my crewmates to die on the Moon, whilst I flew home to safety. I would have been a marked man for the rest of my life"
As a long time fan of all thing 'spacey' I think Carrying The Fire is perhaps the most personal book I have read by any of the twenty four men who amazed and thrilled us all by journeying to the Moon.
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41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A personal account by the 'unknown' man of Apollo 11, 6 May 2001
By A Customer
This is the most entertaining and illuminating account of man's early exploration of space that I have read. Collins tells the story in a witty and often poignant way and is not afraid to provide the reader with a 'warts and all' approach to some of the most momentous events of the 20th century. It will be of interest to both students of the subject as well as those who were not born when man first walked upon the moon. I recommend it without reservation.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The benchmark astronaut book, 29 April 2006
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G. Land (Hertfordshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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Michael Collins was probably atypical in the astronaut fratenity and that's reflected in this book. It's by far the best book I've read by an astronaut. Despite that fact that it was written over thirty years ago, it has a very modern and candid feel to it and Collins demonstrates a level of self-awareness not visibly shared by many of his peers.

The level of technical detail given is just right and he gives a very good impression of the high workload and preoccupations of crews as they approached a flight. The level of risk and fragility of the whole Apollo programme is also conveyed.

It's a shame for all that Collins didn't walk on the moon!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superbly detailed and accessible, 13 Mar 2006
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Mr. K. Papas "kleopapas" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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The last book I read about the Apollo astronauts was the rather awful Rocketman (about Pete Conrad, commander of Apollo 12)so it was with a certain trepidation that I began this 500 page book. The first great advantage is that this has been written by Michael Collins himself and not by a Hollywood scriptwriter. His style is very accessible and you get a real feel for the man as he comes across as being tremendously self effacing and modest. He talks about his feelings and pulls no punches when talking about his colleagues, though he doesn't gossip he's merely honest. A most refreshing read which is highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars He was alone, 6 Feb 2012
By 
Martin McAdam "Mart_HBEI" (Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Carrying the Fire: An Astronaut's Journeys (Paperback)
I am fascinated by the whole Apollo program. It is hard to sometimes to break away from the test pilot, jet jock who becomes a space man. This book gives us Collins as a man. Yes the importance of all the hardware is still there but it does not get in the way of understanding the man. On one occasion he is asked to test a new arrest mechanism for jets. He fires up the jet - heads down the runway at the specified speed (test pilot attention to detail) and then heads off into the desert in a cloud of dust - the arrest wire did not engage! Why? He forgot to drop the hook! Classic. He is also very frank about the other astronauts in the programme - he even apologises when he has something negative to say. Collins a man grounded and comfortable in his own shoes. A great read.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who Said Astronauts Were Inarticulate?, 8 July 2006
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Mr. G. Dobson - See all my reviews
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I first read this in 1976 and a lot of it went over my head. Now coming back to it after 30 years I find it without doubt the best astronaut autobiography around. As others have said, his articulate writing, his ability to render complex technology and science readable, and, most of all, his self-effacing wit and humour make this the best book on being an astronaut that you can buy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read!, 17 Sep 2009
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K. Lau "The Master" (UK) - See all my reviews
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I chose to read 'Carrying the Fire: An Astronaut's Journey' after reading its reviews on Amazon. I must say Collins is an excellent writer. He tells his story as a test pilot through being selected as a Gemini astronaut to being on the crew of Apollo 11 in a very personable and yet candid way. He is humorous, candid, punchy, cynical at times, and combined with his style of making the technical simple to understand, he vividly tells his journey to being on the historic flight of Apollo 11 in a very graphic way. I am a casual follower of the progress of manned space flight from a distance, and Collin's autobiograph has brought his unique experience as an astronaut so much closer to an observer such as myself. Very fasinating!

His close-up assessment of some of his fellow astronauts, especially Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin is a real gem in the book. How these three 'amicable strangers' pulled it off on Apollo 11 is nothing short of a 'modern' miracle!

This is a MUST READ for those followers of manned space flight.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fine book by a fine man, 4 April 2009
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This is the only book about the space programme that I've read, and I think I've picked the right one. Collins writes clearly and engagingly: he's a born populist - and unexpectedly VERY funny at times. He takes you through his USAF career, space training, and space flights in Gemini 10 and Apollo 11. His role in the latter, the first moonlanding, forms the book's climax. There are three drawbacks: this is a very long book - he doesn't lift-off to the Moon until page 355; some of the training procedures may make laborious reading for the average reader; and the near-perfect performance of men and machines makes this a book oddly lacking in tension and excitement. Possibly not a book for the average reader, but essential for space buffs.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic read, 22 July 2009
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As a small boy allowed to watch "history being made" the Apollo missions had a lasting impact on me.Whereas "A Man on the Moon" remains in my opinion the best book on the Apollo programme "Carrying the Fire" is the one that really brings home what it was actually like to be an astronaut and to fly in space.Mike Collins maintains that only someone who has actually experienced spaceflight can articulate what the experience was truly like and that really comes across in this book.A very personal account & superbly written I literaly couldn't put this book down.An absolute must read for spaceflight fans.
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Carrying the Fire: An Astronaut's Journeys
Carrying the Fire: An Astronaut's Journeys by Michael Collins (Paperback - 7 July 2009)
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