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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, but often heavy going, 6 Feb 2012
This review is from: First Man: The Life of Neil Armstrong (Paperback)
I was 9 years old when Neil Armstrong walked on the Moon and fascinated then, as now, by the whole story. In fact, I think that I watched every single broadcast bar one of the Moon landings. This book though disappointed me. It is not that it lacks detail: there is a huge amount of detail; although, surprisingly, in the question of the Moon landing very much less than in other places. At times though the detail gets tedious: was it really necessary to research his grades through university and give a lengthy (several pages) description of his results? When there was a flying incident, is it really necessary to go into quite so much detail, especially rumour and innuendo about whose fault the accident was; some of the quotebacks from colleagues come across as simply bitchy (similarly, there are some comments in the text about a competing book, which was published around the same time that also come across as unnecessarily bitchy)? In contrast, in other moments, such as the strains after the death of his daughter, or the marriage breakup, there are just brief and tantalising hints of Armstrong's role being culpable, without any of the detail given about other events. There is a neat, if very brief, section on debunking some of the Moon legends. One is left though with a feeling of disappointment that the crew of Apollo XI was so curiously disfunctional, something that the book makes no real attempt to hide: why for this mission of all missions was the crew not picked to be a team that knew, liked and trusted each other?
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