Apollo 8

  • by Jeffrey Kluger
  • Narrated by Brian Troxell
  • 11 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

This program includes a bonus conversation with Commander Frank Borman plus archival audio from Apollo 8's lunar orbit and from the cockpit during the mission.
The untold story of the historic voyage to the moon that closed out one of our blackest, bloodiest years with a nearly unimaginable triumph
In August 1968 NASA made a bold decision: In just 16 weeks, the United States would launch humankind's first flight to the moon. Only the year before, three astronauts had burned to death in their spacecraft, and since then the Apollo program had suffered one setback after another. Meanwhile, the Russians were winning the space race, the Cold War was getting hotter by the month, and President Kennedy's promise to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade seemed sure to be broken. But when Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, and Bill Anders were summoned to a secret meeting and told of the dangerous mission, they instantly signed on.
Written with all the color and verve of the best narrative nonfiction, Apollo 8 takes us from Mission Control to the astronauts' homes, from the test labs to the launchpad. The race to prepare an untested rocket for an unprecedented journey paves the way for the hair-raising trip to the moon. Then, on Christmas Day, a nation that has suffered a horrendous year of assassinations and war is heartened by an inspiring message from the trio of astronauts in lunar orbit. And when the mission is over - after the first view of the far side of the moon, the first Earth-rise, and the first reentry through the Earth's atmosphere following a flight to deep space - the impossible dream of walking on the moon suddenly seems within reach.
The full story of Apollo 8 has never been told, and only Jeffrey Kluger - Jim Lovell's coauthor on their best-selling book about Apollo 13 - can do it justice. Here is the tale of a mission that was both a calculated risk and a wild crapshoot, a stirring account of how three American heroes forever changed our view of the home planet.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


For an engineering student who was a little shaky on NASA history, this book was absolutely incredible historically, informationally, and as a source of patriotic inspiration. Eagerly recommend to anyone
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- Gregory Stark

I Never Knew!

While "Apollo 8" isn't as seat-of-your-pants thrilling as "Apollo 13", after all, the things that go wrong are always more exciting than the things that go right, it's still a stirring account of a superb time in history.
Here there are staffing decisions, training, the day-to-day lives of controllers, families and of course astronauts in good times and in bad (think: Apollo 1). But here too are an actual conversation with the hero of the day, Frank Borman and a snippet from mission control which bring the entire book, the entire journey to life.
The only real flaw of the book is a sometimes less than thrilling narration delivered by Troxell--we don't feel the excitement of Britons grabbing a pint in celebration in the morning hours as we're told them in matter-of-fact tones. Plus, he has an unnerving way of pronouncing Gemini as GEM-in-NEE (Forgive me if I'm wrong, I wasn't even an idea for my parents when those missions flew so perhaps they weren't pronounced gem-in-EYE. Rather jarring...).
I was barely a toddler when Apollo 8 made its exciting voyage so this was all new to me. What I appreciated most were the details which totally drew me in and made me feel I was in that sauna of a spacecraft, peering through fogged up/ice crystal-ridden windows, trying to see the Earth Rise that has become so famous throughout the world and so important to the environmental movement. So much of that mission become an integral part of the culture that I've taken for granted as I've grown up.
Older now, with creaks and groans, "Apollo 8" transported me back to a time when life was uncertain and violent, Cold Wars raged, and the stars and the moon were breathtaking dreams.
Worth the time, worth the price! What a tremendous voyage with truly remarkable men!
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- Gillian

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-16-2017
  • Publisher: Macmillan Audio