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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars

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on 12 May 2017
A great definitive piece of work, nice to have a book that goes into this much detail. Impressed.
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on 18 August 2009
Forty years have passed since a man set foot on the moon. With a lot of celebration going arround this year people feel even more interested in the moon and want to know everything about it. This book can be an option and I'll try to review it giving as much information as possible to help you decide if this is what you want.

First of all, this is not a photography book, i.e., if you are looking for nice moon pictures this is not the book for you.

As written by another reviewer this book contains a lot of information regarding the moon, its influence on earth, its interpretation by different people, the symbology of the moon in different cultures and lunar eploration. Let us take a look on the index:

Chapter 1 - Facts and Figures - A chapter about the scientific facts regarding the moon: gravity, atmosphere, influence on earth tides, eclipses, its formation, geology and geography.

Chapter 2 - Astronomers - A brief account on the several astronomers which devoted their attention to the moon and on the main principles of telescopes; lunar mapping, etc.

Chapter 3 - Gods and Myths - Description of moon gods and goddesses worshiped in different cultures; the myths section contains several stories (folk stories I think) from different countries and regarding the moon, e.g., from England comes the tale "When the moon was kidnapped".

Chapter 4 - Gardening and the Weather - Moon influence on gardening and weather is discussed. Is it really true? Some methods are described which might improve gardening, for example.

Chapter 5 - Astronauts, Cosmonauts and Lunar Exploration - This is a very interesting chapter as it contains an overview on all the Apollo missions: who were the astronauts (and their photograph), what were the main goals of the mission, the callsigns for the command module and lunar module on each mission (starting on Apollo 9), the time they remained on the moon and some other mission related details. This chapter also deals with the moon race, and several details on the Soviet Union Luna programme to study the characteristics of the moon.

Chapter 6 - Magic - The occult, astrology, alchemy, prophecy, fortune-telling, spells and superstition related to the moon.

Chapter 7 - Medicine, Madness, Werewolves and Science - How the moon was seen by doctors in different periods of history ranging from Hippocrates time to current days including middle-ages and the enlightenment period.
Account of werewolves and some reports on their appearance.

Chapter 8 - Miscellany - Here you'll find a discussion arround moon related subjects. Do you know what is a moonpie? Did you ear about the moon hoax (i.e., people say that man has never set foot on the moon and that it was all staged)?

I think this gives a good idea of what you'll find on this book.
This is an interesting book with a lot of information about the moon and I rate it as four stars.

I do not award five stars only because I think it could have more color photos (most of them are black and white). But this, I guess, also helps keeping the price lower.

And, by the way, the book is not heavy and can be confortably taken everywhere.
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on 19 November 2011
I recently picked up a copy of Rick Stroud's "The Book of the Moon" from a used bookstore and I have to say right off the bat, shame on some of you reviewers for completely missing the point of this great book.

If you turn the book over, it literally states that the book includes the "magic and mystery" of the moon. It even states, "From alchemists and witches to scientists and astronauts...Rick Stroud delves into the mythology and astrology that has inspired civilizations and cultures the world over."

There are only 3 reviews of this book on Amazon.com, two of which criticize the author for it not being a science book, or blurring the lines between science and pseudoscience.

Did the reviewers not catch the part about witches? I'm pretty sure there are plenty of science books out there on the boring stuff about the Moon that no one actually is interested in like kreep, or like how during the Nectarian Period there was heavy bombardment on the moon compared to the Copernican Period.

PS...if you never heard of kreep, it is the acronym for...wait a minute...you can Google this if you actually want to find out. So why would a reviewer on Amazon give the book 2 stars and claim that the book is "full of fiction, not facts?"

I have books on the Moon that are mainly facts, figures, and features. You can only read that stuff so many times before you say, okay, I get it...it's the moon. It's like, several shades of gray, and is all dusty and stuff, and I can't move there yet and trash it.

What if you were looking for a book about the other stuff about the moon that makes you say, wow, okay, the moon is awesome! That's when you put down Gerald North's book on the moon and pick up Rick Stroud's. Here is a quotes from this book to give you an idea as to why I am criticizing the reviewers of this book on Amazon:

"Generally, light spells should be done when the moon is waxing, darker spells when the moon is waning..."

I personally didn't know that the best time to impose vengeance, discord, and hatred is during a waning moon. There's even a section on "Rules for Spell-Making." Rule number 4 is to check moon phases...if your spells aren't working, have you been checking the moon phase?

This stuff is awesome if you're bored with reading about the diameter of the moon over and over again.

I don't think it's fair to complain about a book about the moon that has a chapter called "Medicine, Madness, Werewolves, and Science," or to complain that the book isn't factual enough...werewolves? Did you even read Chapter 7 on werewolves? It was right after the chapter on magic.

Chapter 7 even covers sharks, suicides, tides, cockroaches, and even the sea slug. This is not your typical book on the moon.

So I say cheers to Rick Stroud for gathering the most amazing collection of knowledge on the moon I've ever read. This book covers astronomers and astronauts, farming and festivals, gardening and gravity, sex and spells, weather and witches...even Zarpandit and Zoroastrianism.

According to the author in a recent email I received, the book has received a lot of great reviews. Rick even had the opportunity to interview Buzz Aldrin at the Royal Festival Hall and Buzz stated, in front of 2000 people, "there is one person who really understands the magnificent desolation of the moon, Rick Stroud, go read his book, its great."

One of the issues might be with the audience...for example here on Amazon.co.uk the book is currently a 4 star book and has glowing reviews overall, so perhaps there just aren't enough reviews on this side of the pond yet.

Oh yes...and also that pesky science-type stuff about the Pre-Nectarian Period when the moon formed versus the Copernican Period is still in there. This book is now a permanent part of the Galileo Astronomy Unclub's lunar library. [...]
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on 23 May 2009
I was given The Book of the Moon by my father who told me it would inspire, entertain and enlighten me. He was absolutely right. I especially loved the chapter on Gods and Myths which is full of wonderful vignettes like that of Huitaca the goddess of pleasure and drunkenness for the South American Chibicha people. Apparently she was thrown into the sky by her steadfast, sober and hardworking husband, Bochica, where she became the moon. (With a husband like that she was probably jolly glad to get away.)
Then there are the multitude of facts. I didn't know, for example, that the moon's distance from the earth varies. Or that the surface of the moon changes so slowly that Neil Armstrong's footprint will be visible in thousands of years and that equipment left there will last for millions of years. Then there's the bit on astral projection ...
I loved this book and recommend it to anyone who's ever gazed at the moon - which, I expect, is just about everyone
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on 29 May 2016
This is more like a reference book for quick facts on the moon than anything else. Sadly, much of what is included is deficient and much of what should have been included is missing. For instance, citations and/or sources to back up the author's alleged statements of fact are missing, so they appear to be nothing more than undocumented assumptions. His statement that the moon "will start to move back to the earth in 50 billion years" unaccountably overlooks the scientifically-documented fact that our solar system will die in just another 5 billion years. Finally, in his references to books about the moon and astronauts, the author inexplicably omits the definitive book about Apollo 13, "Lost Moon" by Jim Lovell and Jeffery Kluger. A great effort, but references are needed to enhance the book's credibility.
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on 31 January 2013
I was recommended this book and at the low price I paid for it when it arrived I was pleased to see such a well presented volume. But it wasn't what I expected; mainly my own fault for jumping for what I thought was a bargain. Like another reviewer, I am interested in the moon as a scientific study. Rick Stroud's Book of the Moon certainly isn't scientific but he has obviously spent a great deal of time researching the subject and all aspects of moon lore...and apparently everything else with 'moon' in the title! For that he must be given credit. Having recently moved home, on the day of the last blue moon,in 2012, I was dismayed to find that blue moon's are unlucky ;(

Kevin Kilburn
Manchester Astronomical Society
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on 29 August 2010
I am interested in the moon scientifically and in the folklore and mythology that it has generated, and so Rick Stroud's 'The Book of the Moon' seemed like a worthwhile purchase. I certainly wanted to like it. The aim of the book is clearly to convey the wide-eyed sense of awe and wonder felt by the author (and to which I can definitely relate), rather than to be a point of reference for lunar geomorphologists or social historians, and it succeeds in this to an extent, but to be honest, not particularly far. I do occasionally thumb through the book, but only because I am interested in the moon, not because the book is written in a way that captivates.

The main reason for this is that the text lacks any real authority. The scientific chapters fare better than the ones on folklore, mainly because most people reading the book will know a little about the Apollo missions etc already. There is no reason to doubt what the author says or to question his sources, and it is straightforward to do further reading on the subject, so the lack of referencing does not matter.

However, this is not the case for the chapters on the lesser known subject of the moon's influence on human culture (the author explores folklore, mythology and the moon's influence on gardening and medicine). For example, the author happily describes how to make a 'moon mirror' in which to seek prophetic visions, but does not provide the source of his information, which renders it very dull reading indeed. If, for instance, he had said that the process was described in a 16th century volume from Chester or Dundee or Plymouth, it may have been remotely interesting. The same can be said for all the bumf on werewolves, gardening and myths. Where is he getting it all from? The author has done himself a complete disservice, turning what could have been an interesting read into a very bland one.

After these chapters, the author includes the miscellany. I do not have a problem with this, as long as there is sufficient miscellany to be purposeful. However, it is very threadbare. The page on 'Food and Drink', in which the author lists food products with 'moon' in the name, has just four entries. Here is one of those four:

"Blue Moon: a bright blue ice cream popular in the mid-west US. It has been described by the Chicago Tribune as a 'Smurf-blue marshmallow sweet, and tasting remarkably like fruit loops'."

Now, I for one don't find that particularly thrilling. But maybe if the author had attempted an exhaustive list, expanding his four entries to say, two hundred, it might just have indicated the food marketers' preoccupation with the moon...or something. As it is, what is the point of listing just four products with the word 'moon' in the name?

But for all its shortcomings, I wouldn't say that the book is completely not worth having. If you have several books on the moon or space already, you can thumb through this one and accept it as a flawed attempt to convey that almost child-like sense of wonder in the moon that some of us have, rather than to educate or entertain (there aren't even many pictures). If however, you are interested in lunar exploration, there are better books out there. If you are interested in folklore, again there are better books out there. If you want an exhaustive list of miscellany, then you may still have to compile your own. It could have been a very good book, but sadly, it simply isn't.
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on 30 April 2015
This is an excellent book, very clearly subdivided into various topics connected with the moon. I have not read it in full yet because I am researching one particular phenomenon concerning the moon. However, I shall return to it at a later stage. The book arrived in excellent condition and is very clearly written, answering many questions people may have concerning the moon. This supplier has never let me down and I strongly recommend both the book and the supplier.
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on 12 June 2009
This book is the PERFECT gift for Father's Day - except all dads will have it nicked by their kids as it's targeted for the widest possible age range.
With wit and wisdom in equal measure, the author voyages round every conceivable aspect of moon lore and info, and leaves you breathless. In-depth research, stunning facts and speculations, everything you've ever wondered about our nearest neighbour in space is here, attractively and excitingly presented. Definitive, and a snip!
moonman w london
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on 21 January 2013
If you arte interested in the moon, this is an excellent read, all about the history, landscape, and man's trip to the moon.
Would fully recommend this book.
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