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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Fantastic!, 26 Aug 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Apollo: an Eyewitness Account by Astronaut/Explorer Artist/Moonwalker Alan (Hardcover)
I actually bought the collector`s signed edition of the book, which have I enjoyed immensely from the outset and have fondly perused on many a day since.
What a fantastic perspective this book gives of the spirit and feelings of a man who has such a key place in moon exploration history, being the fourth man to put his footsteps there.
Apollo officianados will know that Apollo 12 (Bean`s mission) was unusual in that it was the only one not to rely heavily on TV pictures from the surface of the moon. Rather ironically, Bean pointed the camera towards the sun shortly after it was deployed, thereby burning it out! His own efforts to record both himself and his mission commander (the ebullient Pete Conrad) in a joint, remotely taken shot where also frustrated when a timing device that he had intended to use on his Hasselblad stills camera was lost in a sample bag.
So much more is it therefore appropriate that this book puts into one place his briliant canvasses. He may not be a "master" but his art is original both in source and content. He captures the enormity and emotion of the events portrayed, which is no mean task given the nature of his subject matter. How used are we all to seeing feelings so clearly set out on the faces of characters? What crucial role does colour play? The landscape or spacecraft reflected in the visor of the astronaut, or his subtle use of colour (which does not in fact show itself on the surface in reality) convey the meaning that could so easily be lacking from the work of an artist without his unique and currently unrepeatable experiences.
Not only does the book show his own mission (also describing it in text accompanying the pictures) but most of the canvasses reproduced are of the other five landings, so this book is not just an ego jaunt for the author.
If you have an interest in space history, this book will be a superb asset to your collection.
In suggest you should also invest in Light`s immensely impressive "Full Moon" to compare the reality of the astronaut`s own photographs with Bean`s recreations. This is a very interesting exercise, given that Bean makes no bones about the fact that some of his canvasses are based on well-known surface pictures, for example, of John Young and Gene Cernan on Apollo 16 and 17 respectively.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fine collection of paintings from one who was there!, 24 Aug 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Apollo: an Eyewitness Account by Astronaut/Explorer Artist/Moonwalker Alan (Hardcover)
We have seen many of the photos, but now, we have a different perspective of the greatest journey of exploration in the history of man. Al Bean seems to be just as good an artist as he was an astronaut. Bean displays some of his great work depicting important moments from the 6 missions to land on the moon. For every painting there is an explanation so the reader knows what they are looking at. From Dave Scott and his Galileo demonstration to the first moonwalk of Neil Armstrong, Al Bean has done some paintings that make this book a gem. I highly encourage any person who is interested in space exploration, art or American History to buy this book. Al Bean has done a fantastic job!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh now this is a bargain!, 24 April 2006
By 
P. White (Cambridge, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Apollo: an Eyewitness Account by Astronaut/Explorer Artist/Moonwalker Alan (Hardcover)
I bought this book at full price a couple of years ago and Amazon UK had to import it from Amazon.com. I had the incredible good fortune to be sent a signed copy (absolutely genuine, I've researched it very carefully) and it's a fine book. Al Bean's paintings are, to be fair, not the most engaging works in the Universe and probably inspire the viewer far more in their original form but nevertheless this book contains some good images and evocative text. At the price Amazon is currently selling the book I might even buy another because it's a steal! I'll bet they're not autographed anymore though...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An inspiring view of the Apollo program, 30 Jun 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Apollo: an Eyewitness Account by Astronaut/Explorer Artist/Moonwalker Alan (Hardcover)
I have read all of the Apollo astronauts' accounts of their journeys, and this book adds something different. Alan Bean gives a unique view of the United States' greatest adventure. His paintings renewed my excitement for our space program. The narratives that go with the paintings are genuine and speak to every American. This book will inspire young people to be proud of our space achievements--a quality that both the news media and our politicians sorely lack these days. Bean's love of the space program is displayed by the colors and settings of his works. Many times, Bean reminds us that Apollo was an act of all of America, not just the astronauts. From a space enthusiast's point of view, we need more books like this!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Secrets Revealed in the Fine Detail, 5 May 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Apollo: an Eyewitness Account by Astronaut/Explorer Artist/Moonwalker Alan (Hardcover)
Having read and heard many accounts of Moonwalking, I was expecting this book to be very similar but with the added twist of showing Alan Beans paintings rather than photographs. However, Bean has done something very special in that he has filled in all the minor details that really gives one an insight into just what mankind achieved almost thirty yaers ago. For example, Bean describes paintings of taking core samples and tries to explain what it was actually like to pound a collector into the lunar surface, what made it different to performing a similar act on earth etc. It sounds trivial, but it gives real insight. Bean even tackles the ubiquitous question, "what was it like to be on the Moon?" and he answers it in several ways without using cliches. The text provided by Andrew Chaikin is also well written in a style familiar to those who've read" A Man on the Moon". This is a book to be "lived" with and referred back to time and time again. Each read of it will reveal something more astounding and touch the explorer in all of us.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant paintings, fascinating text, 27 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Apollo: an Eyewitness Account by Astronaut/Explorer Artist/Moonwalker Alan (Hardcover)
You can't go wrong with Alan Bean - the only artist to walk on the moon. The only criticism I can find is that the pictures and texts have no particular order to them - this is more a book to wander around in than to read as a narrative. But since wandering around in it is such fun, that's a very minor problem!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A must for an apollo fan..., 28 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Apollo: an Eyewitness Account by Astronaut/Explorer Artist/Moonwalker Alan (Hardcover)
Not only an interesting account and easy to read account of Alan Bean's Apollo 12 mission, but greatly enhanced with Alan's fabulous art. I was pleasantly surprised when this book arrived, even as a used copy it was in perfect condition and a book you can pick up at any time and read from any point.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Must buy for any children of the years during the race to the stars, 10 Feb 2013
This review is from: Apollo: an Eyewitness Account by Astronaut/Explorer Artist/Moonwalker Alan (Hardcover)
Beautiful and fascinating book. Bought as a present for my husband but enjoyed by all the family. Recommend as a book not only to be read but to treasure.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The closest I'll ever get to being in space., 29 Mar 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Apollo: an Eyewitness Account by Astronaut/Explorer Artist/Moonwalker Alan (Hardcover)
This book is wonderful, in that we get to see the Moon and space from the perspective of someone who has been there. I've seen lot of photos of the Moon, but these paintings have soul that no photo ever will. The personal stories about each scene and of his fellow astronauts only add to the awe and wonder of this other world.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A stunningly beautiful book, 5 Jan 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Apollo: an Eyewitness Account by Astronaut/Explorer Artist/Moonwalker Alan (Hardcover)
Alan Bean's unique artistic vision is beautifully presented in this book. Bean's art thoroughly supplements the pounds of moonrocks and racks of datatapes as payback for the Apollo program, and the book is the first comprehensive collection of his work. Bean's first hand stories of Apollo 12, and Chaikin's text provide an adequate refrence for the pictures... but the pictures are the story. The Apollo program may well be the defining event for all the 20th century, and Alan Bean's artwork captures the humanity of the moon landings in a way that is instantly comprehendable on a very human level. I won't be shocked if, 100 years from now, Alan Bean's paintings of the early days of theexploration of space is treasured along side Thomas Moran's paintings of the American West.
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