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Despite the end results of extensive jail time and public ignominy, for 90 percent of this story, Thad is a very sympathetic character. He no doubt owes a debt of gratitude to narrator Casey Affleck, whose gentle rasp and easy-going vibe enable listeners to get smoothly swept up in Thad’s ridiculous ideas. Affleck has the advantage of Mezrich's extensive research, as much of the dialogue in the book is verbatim from FBI files or court transcripts. All Affleck has to do is act the part, and he does so with utter believability. Thad’s quest for social acceptance and true love is delivered with such amusing tenderness that Affleck at times elevates this unconventional heist story to real poetry through the almost musical cadence in his voice work. He is a terrific complement to Ben Mezrich's writing, and one must of course speculate on whether Affleck will play Thad Roberts when this weird little true crime story is inevitably adapted for film. Megan Volpert
Thad convinced his girlfriend and another female accomplice, both NASA interns, to break into an impregnable laboratory at NASA - past security checkpoints, an electronically locked door with cipher security codes, and camera-lined hallways - and help him steal the most precious objects in the world: the moon rocks.
But what does one do with an item so valuable that it’s illegal even to own? And was Thad Roberts - undeniably gifted, picked for one of the most competitive scientific posts imaginable, a possible astronaut - really what he seemed?
Mezrich has pored over thousands of pages of court records, FBI transcripts, and NASA documents and has interviewed most of the participants in the crime to reconstruct this Ocean’s Eleven–style heist, a madcap story of genius, love, and duplicity that reads like a Hollywood thrill ride.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Diane on 02-25-12
This is a fun suspense-thriller made more interesting because it's non-fiction. Before buying the book I read several reviews critical of the narration. While I don't disagree with these reviewers, I saw the narrator in a different light and, with the exception of perhaps two short moments, I thoroughly enjoyed his telling of the story. The narrator sounds a bit like Bill Clinton (in tone and accent) and I imagined that Thad (the "hero"), given his personality, spoke like that, too. So, in a way, even though the story was narrated from the third person, I could imagine that it was Thad telling the story. All-in-all, it was an interesting and absorbing listening experience and I highly recommend the book (although you may want to sample the narration first).
4 of 4 people found this review helpful