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The Right Stuff (1979)

por Tom Wolfe

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4,664722,421 (4.19)166
A narrative of the early days of the U.S. space program and the people who made it happen, including Chuck Yeager, Pete Conrad, Gus Grissom, and John Glenn.
  1. 20
    Failure is not an Option: Mission Control from Mercury to Apollo 13 and Beyond por Eugene Kranz (Utilizador anónimo)
  2. 10
    V-2 por Walter Dornberger (dukeallen)
  3. 10
    A Man on the Moon: The Voyages of the Apollo Astronauts por Andrew Chaikin (paulkid)
    paulkid: Chaikin gives a respectful account of the later astronauts' journeys and their personalities, while Wolfe gives irreverent and hilarious depictions of the mood and personalities surrounding the beginning of the space race (ie, Mercury and pre-Mercury).
  4. 00
    Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void por Mary Roach (nessreader)
    nessreader: The shift in corporate mentality in NASA between the testosterone drenched fighter pilots of Wolfe's era and the team orientated and PR-paranoid present is instructive. The terrifying discipline required seems equal; in any case, interesting to compare.
  5. 00
    Moondust: In Search of the Men Who Fell to Earth por Andrew Smith (bluepiano)
    bluepiano: Wolfe tells of the early and sometimes would-be astronauts and Smith of the later ones who walked on the moon. Both books are wonderfully readable.
  6. 00
    Endurance: A Year in Space, A Lifetime of Discovery por Scott Kelly (JenniferRobb)
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DNF. Although I am very interested in the subject matter of this book, Tom Wolfe's writing style was beyond aggravating. I got about 1/3 of the way through before giving up.
  TheGalaxyGirl | Jan 11, 2024 |
Mom had this years ago, but I haven't found it among her books. We both read it multiple times (and saw the movie based on the book). She and I had different experiences of the book: Mom had followed news of the space program from the beginning, but I was an infant when Project Mercury was getting started. So Mom knew the gist of this history, which much of it was new to me. Nevertheless, we both loved it.

This is a behind-the-scenes look at NASA's early space program, with stories that weren't made public at the time. Some of it is surprisingly funny (and the movie plays up the humorous side), but it is entirely in earnest. The astronauts were not the squeaky-clean heroes they were made out to be, and yet the multiple failures of test rockets made their participation in the program even more courageous.

If you like your NASA mythology unsullied, this isn't the book for you; but if you want a story that is even more interesting than was portrayed in the media at the time, this is it. ( )
  Karen5Lund | Dec 1, 2023 |
Having just about got over I Am Charlotte Simmons, I wanted to remind myself why Tom Wolfe was once considered an important writer. And my faith was restored. While his style is still a little too jarring with its vernacular stylings, here it is put to good use. Wolfe does a brilliant job of conveying the culture of elite military pilots. Having established the fighter-jock spirit he shows how it was undermined in the early days of the space programme, and then how it was gradually restored so that astronaut became the new pinnacle to which a pilot could aspire. A fascinating and detailed story, with naturally huge and over-the-top characters, suitably voiced by a naturally huge and over-the-top writer.

(Interesting to see that Wolfe was using his the frankly disturbing phrase "loamy loins" - scattered rather too liberally through I Am Charlotte Simmons - as early as The Right Stuff. Try not to let that put you off.)
( )
  thisisstephenbetts | Nov 25, 2023 |
What is it that astronauts possess that makes them want to put their push their bodies to the limit and put their lives at risk? Is it courage? Bravery? A sense of adventure? Or is it patriotism? Author Tom Wolfe takes a look at this topic as he explores just what it was that the original astronauts had that set them apart from everyone else.

The Bottom Line: Although lengthy and detailed, this book gives the reader a look back in time when the American space program was young. With the technology we have today, it's easy to forget how different things were at that time. Recommended for readers interested in aviation, space, and biography.

For the complete review including Book Club Notes, please visit the Mini Book Bytes Book Review Blog. ( )
  aya.herron | Nov 20, 2023 |
A look at the beginnings of space flight in the USA and the people who "rode the rockets" and their families. The book looks at it from the breaking of the sound barrier and concludes at the beginning of Gemini missions time frame. It also takes a look at the psychology needed to be a test pilot and astronaut, and if both truly have "The Right Stuff".

I very much enjoyed this look at the history of space flight and the how the people felt at the time. ( )
  jamesjarrett00 | Aug 28, 2023 |
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A narrative of the early days of the U.S. space program and the people who made it happen, including Chuck Yeager, Pete Conrad, Gus Grissom, and John Glenn.

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