Magnificent Desolation

  • by Buzz Aldrin, Ken Abraham
  • 14 hrs and 1 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Forty years ago, Buzz Aldrin became the second human, minutes after Neil Armstrong, to set foot on a celestial body other than the Earth. The event remains one of mankind's greatest achievements and was witnessed by the largest worldwide television audience in history. In the years since, millions more have had their Earth-centric perspective unalterably changed by the iconic photograph of Aldrin standing on the surface of the moon, the blackness of space behind him and his fellow explorer and the Eagle reflected in his visor. Describing the alien world he was walking upon, he uttered the words "magnificent desolation." And as the astronauts later sat in the Eagle, waiting to begin their journey back home, knowing that they were doomed unless every system and part on board worked flawlessly, it was Aldrin who responded to Mission Control's clearance to take off with the quip, "Roger. Understand. We're number one on the runway."The flight of Apollo 11 made Aldrin one of the most famous persons on our planet, yet few people know the rest of this true American hero's story. In Magnificent Desolation, Aldrin not only gives us a harrowing first-person account of the lunar landing that came within seconds of failure and the ultimate insider's view of life as one of the superstars of America's space program, he also opens up with remarkable candor about his more personal trials - and eventual triumphs - back on Earth.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

An AA Memoir

Four decades ago we "older guys" saw Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walk on the moon. It was one of the most exciting days of our lives and will never be fogotten. The first 20% of Magnificent Desolation tells that story and what a story it is. The middle of the book tells of Aldrin's battle with depression and alcohol. The last pages relate his ideas about the future of NASA and space flight.

This book is not worthy of a man with a PhD from MIT and the military rank he attained. There were no new insights in the voyage to the moon. The story about his depression and alcohol addiction came off as self serving and the sections on how NASA might enhance the space program read like sour grapes. The ability and thoughtfulness of this great American should have shown much brighter. He deserves a better legacy.

Otherwise,for readers who just want to "get to know" this great man, his candor and honesty alone will reward them. It isn't a bad book, it just could have been far more instructive and insightful.

The reading is very good.
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- Roy

Too Much

The social churn Aldrin chose to stay in was too much for a the type of person
he is, and caused him tons of grief.
Neil Armstrong was smarter, he just unplugged and went back to rural routes.
It happens all the time, where sudden fame makes hell for somebody; just trying
to remain a fantastic enlargement of themselves.
Anyway, too much head stuff and not enough Space for me, so I didnt bother
downloading the second half.
Aldrin was ahead of his time, having the courage to admit to his problems

The story lacked a space theme I was looking for, here is a guy who spent one
of the longest EVA's in the Gemini program.
It is always puzzling the reticence of the astronauts about an out of this world experience.
The technical part of the moon landing bought forth a fact I never knew-
that by surreptitiously leaving on the Ascent radar, he was the direct cause
of the alarms that came close to aborting the landing.
I wonder what Armstrong said afterwards !
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- A . Irborne "rc flier"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-23-2009
  • Publisher: Random House Audio