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on 28 June 1999
I didn't quite know what to make of this book. This is a great book for those interested in the gemini and apollo programs. Very little has been written about gemini,and it was nice that Cernan devoted a fair number of pages to that program. Most of what is said about apollo is covered in other books, but it is good to get his first-person perspective.
The thing that I could not get over was the fact that Cernan still seems so angry about so many incidents and people. For example, he criticizes Buzz Aldrin any chance he gets. After the third or fourth time he bad-mouths the guy, you start to wonder why Cernan has such an axe to grind. He is also very vocal about bad-mouthing administrators and even goes so far as to say that he was glad when Vladimir Kamarov died and the soviet space program was set back. I kept thinking to myself, "The guy went to the moon twice, and even walked on it! What is he so pissed off about!"
Gene-Anger only leads to more anger. Give it a rest.
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on 23 September 2009
I read some mixed reviews for this book before purchasing, but I have to say that the boook is excellent! Speaking as someone who was less than 3 Months old when Gene Cernan walked on the moon, it is great to be able to read about an undertaking which would be incredible Today, never mind 40 years ago since Apollo 11!

I have always been interested in the moon landings (and all of the other NASA missions as well), but this book helps to get 'behind the scenes' and see it from a different perspective and in much more detail than is possible from watching documentaries on T.V.

Gene Cernan gives a very honest and open account of the ups and downs of being an Astronaut, and it makes for a great read, very hard to put down. You get a sense of what a massive undertakings the moon landings took.

In short, if you are interested in space, buy this book - it is a fantastic read!
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on 5 April 1999
What a book! I remember the Apollo program, especially the bittersweet mission of Apollo 17, who's intense emphasis on science was overshadowed by being 'the tail of the dog'. Well, I can assure you that selecting Gene Cernan to be the last man on the Moon was one of the best decisions Deke Slayton ever made. Gene's unabashed enthusiasm flows through this book like a torrent. From describing his early days as a Naval aviator to his gutsy gamble that won him command of Apollo 17, Gene gives the reader insights into what it really felt like to be there. Be it struggling to get back into the 'Gusmobile', nearly augering in on Apollo 10 or the triumph commanding a lunar mission, Gene brings it home to the reader in a manner that makes it hard to put the book down. If you liked The Right Stuff you'll love this: it's pure Cernan, and it's The Real Stuff.
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on 16 June 1999
I must have read every book available on the experiences of the astronauts of the Apollo era. They've all been very informative and interesting. This book, however has filled in many of the gaps and unanswered questions that others books don't address. Aptly, I believe it should be read after all the others have been studied to get maximum benefit. This is a great book and I was sad to finish it. What I would like to know is why does Cernan dislike Buzz Aldrin so much? He alludes to Aldrins lack of interpersonal skills, his intense nature and obsession with rendevous techniques, but I can't help feeling there's more to it. Maybe we'll never know. I have one niggle and that is the poor grammer in the book. This is, however, a minor distraction and may have been an attempt to write Cernans stories as he tells them. Buy this book now!
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on 13 April 1999
Having read most of the books on the space program and being particularly fond of the astronaut narratives, I was pleased to see that Gene Cernan has told his story. And what a story it is! The book reads like a novel, never getting bogged down in technical details, and is a fantastic insider's view of the space program and the astronaut corps. It is a personal story too of a Navy aviator's personal and professional growth. I had previously thought that Mike Collins' "Carrying the Fire" was the best astronaut book I'd read until this gem came along. The evocative title reminds us of the glory days and what we lost and yet holds out the promise that the shuttle and Mars missions offer. All in all one of the most satisfying books I've read in a long time.
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on 13 April 1999
Having read most of the books on the space program and being particularly fond of the astronaut narratives, I was pleased to see that Gene Cernan has told his story. And what a story it is! The book reads like a novel, never getting bogged down in technical details, and is a fantastic insider's view of the space program and the astronaut corps. It is a personal story too of a Navy aviator's personal and professional growth. I had previously thought that Mike Collins' "Carrying the Fire" was the best astronaut book I'd read until this gem came along. The evocative title reminds us of the glory days and what we lost and yet holds out the promise that the shuttle and Mars missions offer. All in all one of the most satisfying books I've read in a long time.
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on 16 March 1999
I was born in 1955 so was just old enough to appreciate the Apollo program as it took place and realize it's historic significance at the time. This book is a very good overview of that era and earlier events during projects Gemini and Mercury. But to me the strong points in this book are Cernan's inside information about other astronauts and how various events came about, really fasinating to a space buff like me, and even to a general reader unfamiliar to the space program. I have read books by other astronauts and this book is just as good as any of them. As this book says, Apollo in a way came before it's time, and we dropped the ball by not continuing it longer. Finally, the writing style is very easy to read, buy this book, you won't regret it.
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on 3 April 1999
Gene Cernan's book is absolutely magnificent. His narrative and insights make one believe that they were right there with him on his Gemini and Apollo flights. He details how an ordinary American through hard work and dedication can literally reach the stars. From the first to last page, I could not put the book down. It was too bad that I was born after Apollo ended, but Cernan's book tells the reader exactly what is was like to be an astronaut during that exciting and pioneering time of space exploration.
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on 8 March 1999
Gene Cernan has filled a gap that is long overdue. Everyone knows the name of the first man on the moon. Now everyone can know the name of the last and his inspiring story. This book will take you through Capt. Cernan's Naval career to the end of his days with NASA. You will learn that there was truly something unique about each of Capt. Cernan's three space flights. One which he almost did not return! Read the book for yourself and learn what being a true hero and pioneer are all about.
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on 29 July 1999
First, I loved the book, and it was refreshing to read about the trials and tribulations of Gemini IX and Apollo X. You hear and read a lot about Apollo 11 and 13, but there was plenty of adventure on the other missions as well.
Some readers have bashed Gene for his negative comments regarding several other astronauts, notably Buzz Aldrin. I don't think he is being unreasonable. By ALL accounts, in varying degrees of candor, Buzz was a royal pain. He wasn't quite right. I remember seeing him on television a couple of years ago hawking his new science fiction book - it was the most embarrassing thing I have ever seen.
And Buzz's involvement with the National Space Society is also... not quite right. He seems to live in the world of the fantastic, among people who dream a lot, but have great difficulty translating their ideas into reality. One reason it is hard to get the public behind space programs is that guys like Buzz scare people. He has the technical mind, but his understanding of how to motivate the people who COULD get the money for Mars projects, etc., is lacking.
Gene ponders several times the fact that he is STILL the last man on the moon, and may be so for years to come. He doesn't offer his slant on how to get back to the moon. And perhaps that isn't his job.
But it CERTAINLY isn't Buzz's job! You can't get people to Mars by whipping the wispy tendrils of society into a fury. You've got to bring the public into the picture. The mass population will determine if we go or not. They are the ones who need to be coaxed and coddled into understanding why.
I think people like Gene do a lot more for that cause by offering their down-to-earth perspective. The general public can relate to that.
Gene, and the other astronauts have every right to criticize Buzz. Frankly, I'm glad to see somebody cutting him down to size.
And did you see his goofy tie at the Apollo 11 30th anniversary presentation hosted by Al Gore....
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