website statistics Sex on the Moon: The Amazing Story Behind the Most Audacious Heist in History - PDF Books Online
Hot Best Seller

Sex on the Moon: The Amazing Story Behind the Most Audacious Heist in History

Availability: Ready to download

Thad Roberts, a fellow in a prestigious NASA program had an idea—a romantic, albeit crazy, idea. He wanted to give his girlfriend the moon. Literally.   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 Thad Roberts, a fellow in a prestigious NASA program had an idea—a romantic, albeit crazy, idea. He wanted to give his girlfriend the moon. Literally.   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.


Compare

Thad Roberts, a fellow in a prestigious NASA program had an idea—a romantic, albeit crazy, idea. He wanted to give his girlfriend the moon. Literally.   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 Thad Roberts, a fellow in a prestigious NASA program had an idea—a romantic, albeit crazy, idea. He wanted to give his girlfriend the moon. Literally.   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.

30 review for Sex on the Moon: The Amazing Story Behind the Most Audacious Heist in History

  1. 4 out of 5

    Mara

    Allow me to begin by firmly stating that in my oh so humble opinion having sex in a bed with a stolen moon rock in it is: 1. weird and creepy (not to mention potentially dangerous- are moon rocks scratchy?), and 2. NOT the same thing as having sex on the actual moon. If you had sex on a down comforter would you run around telling people you had sex on a goose? I'd hope not for a whole host of reasons, but that's beside the point. It's hard to truly communicate my level of disdain/dislike for this Allow me to begin by firmly stating that in my oh so humble opinion having sex in a bed with a stolen moon rock in it is: 1. weird and creepy (not to mention potentially dangerous- are moon rocks scratchy?), and 2. NOT the same thing as having sex on the actual moon. If you had sex on a down comforter would you run around telling people you had sex on a goose? I'd hope not for a whole host of reasons, but that's beside the point. It's hard to truly communicate my level of disdain/dislike for this book's real life protagonist, Thad Roberts (below, left). At times I felt sure that author, Ben Mezrich (below, right), was being sarcastic- that he was in on the joke of just what a self-centered tool-nozzle (I have yet to find a word in the popular lexicon that really fits here) Thad was being, but far be it from me to be overly forgiving. Maybe it was a result of his strict Mormon upbringing, maybe he was just a douchey guy by nature, but our pal Thad (intelligent though he may be) defines the sort of smug, exceptionalistic thinking that makes me want to go to Mars if only to get away from other humans. Janet Mason's NYT review of the book, Supposition as Research: A Sort-of-True Story About NASA and a Thief, nicely captures Thad's absurd ability to justify his actions: Mr. Roberts, while playing games with romance, geology and destiny, casually lost or destroyed 30 years’ research notes belonging to Dr. Everett K. Gibson Jr., Roberts’s NASA mentor. “He had his moment, he lived his moment and now we’re taking the baton,” the book’s thief argues. Mezrich's description of the "rationale" behind it all basically came down to the idea that the world will be better off with the money going to Thad and his girlfriend "Rebecca" (Tiffany Fowler in real life) for their future scientific endeavors. Is that really the best possible use of those dollars? I don't know, but I also know that I don't know. He wasn't stealing, he was NASA stealing. Sure other people fall in love, but he was in special NASA love that we mere mortals can't possibly comprehend. I'm glad Thad has moved on and is contributing to the world (you know, giving TED talks and such), but I couldn't help but feel like this was just something to be added to his list of exploits (one of which, it would seem from the photo above, involves wind-swept semi-nude photo shoots on sand dunes). I'll close with a snippet from a review from Jonathon Keats at New Science Magazine, since his scientific street cred far surpasses my own (also worth checking out as it references some of Mezrich's inconsistencies in the story across multiple interviews etc.): In the same safe as the moon rocks were Gibson's notebooks, containing 20 years of research, permanently lost when the cracked safe was dumped. Roberts doesn't remember seeing them, and Mezrich nearly ignores them because they don't fit his story arc. But in a tale about value - and values - the fate of Gibson's notes speaks volumes: the true worth of those rocks is to be found in the research they generate. Everett Gibson, center seated, as a grad student at the Johnson Space Center, probably not plotting how to purloin lab equipment to impress a chick.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    Astronaut collecting moon rocks This is a (sort of) true story about the July, 2002 moon rock heist pulled off by NASA intern Thad Roberts...and presumably what put Thad on this foolish course. Thad Roberts Thad grew up in a strict Mormon community in Utah. Even so, temptation got the better of him and Thad had sex with his high school girlfriend Sonya. Confessing to this when he was at the Mormon Missionary Training Center got Thad thrown out of the church and banned from his family - apparently f Astronaut collecting moon rocks This is a (sort of) true story about the July, 2002 moon rock heist pulled off by NASA intern Thad Roberts...and presumably what put Thad on this foolish course. Thad Roberts Thad grew up in a strict Mormon community in Utah. Even so, temptation got the better of him and Thad had sex with his high school girlfriend Sonya. Confessing to this when he was at the Mormon Missionary Training Center got Thad thrown out of the church and banned from his family - apparently forever. Was this the traumatic event that shaped Thad's future? Who knows. In any case Thad and Sonya married and Thad became a student at the University of Utah. Thad Roberts at the University of Utah Thad, an excellent student with a wide variety of interests, decided he wanted to be an astronaut. Thus Thad made it his business to develop a wide-ranging skill set including scuba diving; getting a pilot's license; mastering several languages (space travel is international); studying geology, astronomy, and physics; and so on. With persistence Thad made it into the highly competitive NASA intern program in Houston, Texas where he met some of the country's top scientists plus a few astronauts. Thad Roberts was accepted to the intern program at NASA Thad Roberts getting space shuttle training at NASA Ben Mezrich's writing style is 'creative non-fiction' and it's hard to know how much of the story happened as described. Thus when Thad, a self-described shy youth, is depicted as the 'star' of the intern program - partaking in risky pranks; organizing activities like skinny dipping, cliff jumping, sky diving, rock climbing, and wild parties; hob-nobbing with numerous scientists; and so on - I don't quite believe it all. Thad, who fully cooperated with this book, also seems a bit self-serving when he (more or less) justifies having an affair with fellow intern Rebecca by putting the onus on his wife. Thad Roberts fell in love with a fellow NASA intern According to Thad, Sonya - who remained back in Utah - became over-involved with her modeling career and model friends and distanced herself from him. So Thad felt no guilt about cheating. I'm calling shenanigans on Thad! In any case Thad fell madly in love with Rebecca, and four weeks after meeting her pulled off the moon rock heist. He wanted to 'give Rebecca the moon' - and of course sell the specimens for a lot of money. The idea of stealing the moon rocks had been brewing in Thad's mind for quite some time. The background: moon rocks that have been studied/used for experiments are no longer considered valuable scientific specimens. In Thad's mind, therefore, it was hardly a crime to steal these 'trash rocks'. I got the impression Thad equated his heist with taking garbage out of a dumpster. In a documentary about the moon rock heist, George Cisneros plays Thad Roberts. Here he is, planning the heist. Moreover, Thad wasn't new to the thief game. He regularly stole fossils being prepared for storage from the University of Utah. In Thad's opinion, it was a waste to hide these items away. As a scientist I was appalled by this! Apparently Thad never heard of specimens (be it moon rocks or fossils or whatever) being stored for rotating/traveling displays, gifts to museums, public interest, later studies (perhaps with new techniques), etc. Ben Mezrich also seems oblivious to this concept, perhaps because he isn't a scientist. For the moon rock theft Thad had two accomplices besides Rebecca - his friends Gordon and Sandra. These two come across as underdeveloped characters with unclear motivations. My favorite person in the book is Axel Emmerman, the Belgian rock hound who's ostensibly going to buy the purloined moon rocks. Instead, Axel alerts the FBI. Axel's enthusiasm and excitement at being involved in this 'undercover' operation is fun and infectious. Belgian rock hound Axel Emmerman informed the FBI about Thad Roberts' scheme In the end, of course, Thad was arrested, convicted, and imprisoned. Scene in the documentary where Thad Roberts and his accomplices are about to be nabbed by the FBI Detectives who broke the moon rocks case Thad Roberts' mugshot My overall impression of Thad is that he was an immature and thoughtless young man who cared little for anyone other than himself. Perhaps the worst outcome of the heist, which involved the theft of a safe containing moon rocks and written materials, was the permanent loss of scientist Everett Gibson's notebooks - which contained 30 years worth of research. This debacle literally made me cry. Dr. Everett Gibson lost valuable research when Thad Roberts stole his notebooks For me Mezrich's writing style is off-putting, with over-abundant dialog, numerous descriptions of the inner thoughts of the characters, a detailed step-by-step depiction of the theft and attempted sale of the moon specimens, a long description of a drunk/high Gordon stumbling around on 'sale day'...all stuff that seems (at least partly) made up. Mezrich also mentions Thad's 'bright green eyes' and Rebecca's 'gorgeous face and body' a few too many times. In the end, I felt what should have been a really good magazine article was padded to make a book. An older (and maybe wiser) Thad Roberts Author Ben Mezrich (right) with Thad Roberts Still - though the moon rock heist is far from the 'crime of the century' suggested by the author - it's an interesting story, worth reading. You can follow my reviews at https://reviewsbybarbsaffer.blogspot....

  3. 5 out of 5

    Becca

    I borrowed this book from the kindle lending library because there is no way I am putting money into a fund that enriches the moon rock-thief Thad in any way shape or form. This book is written in typical Ben Mezrich style which makes it a fun and almost believable read, and for any Johnson Space Center employee, you will laugh out loud when you read it... mostly due to the lack of basic fact checking. How hard was it for the editors to hire a fact checker anyway? And we're not talking just exag I borrowed this book from the kindle lending library because there is no way I am putting money into a fund that enriches the moon rock-thief Thad in any way shape or form. This book is written in typical Ben Mezrich style which makes it a fun and almost believable read, and for any Johnson Space Center employee, you will laugh out loud when you read it... mostly due to the lack of basic fact checking. How hard was it for the editors to hire a fact checker anyway? And we're not talking just exaggeration to make the story sound better, but actual fundamental lack of including basic facts that would be evident to anyone who took the tourist tram tour of NASA let alone talked to anyone that worked there. A few of the bigger whoppers: - Repeated references to a 5 mph speed limit - The suggestion that co-op student employees would never get to go in the space shuttle simulator unless they broke in like Thad did (never mind that some actually work there, and they all get tours there regularly) - The suggestion that the co-ops are the hottest most attractive people in the universe (um, sorry guys) - The suggesting that without Thad to lead them the other co-ops would have had no social life, not known how to camp, and not had the bravery to go cliff jumping without him giving them a speech. But most importantly, this book paints Thad, who destroyed millions of dollars in NASA work that people risked their lives flying to the moon to get - as some sort of misguided folk hero. He's not. He betrayed a trust, and he stole, a lot, just to amuse himself. He's no miguided folk hero. He's not even a genius. I know geniuses who work at NASA, and they would have never done something so stupid. I am enjoying reading the other goodreads reviews on this, but this was my favorite quote from another review "And even though the story is painted as this brilliant caper and heist, you read the book and you can’t help but think, “What a fucking dumb ass". It was interesting, further in the reviews, someone who went to prison with Thad commented and mentioned that the prison chapters also contain massive factual errors. I guess its ok to take large liberties with the truth as long as it sells books. This is all my personal opinion of course.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Janete

    Well, a NASA intern simply steals several fragments of moon's rocks to sell them for $ 100,000 to improve his life and that of his girlfriend, who was his accomplice, along with the thief's best friend. For me, it was an OK book, not a fantastic reading because it should have maybe about 60 pages less. And besides, 2/3 of it was very slow and I just started to find the reading interesting from chapter 27 (the book has 43 chapters). Well, a NASA intern simply steals several fragments of moon's rocks to sell them for $ 100,000 to improve his life and that of his girlfriend, who was his accomplice, along with the thief's best friend. For me, it was an OK book, not a fantastic reading because it should have maybe about 60 pages less. And besides, 2/3 of it was very slow and I just started to find the reading interesting from chapter 27 (the book has 43 chapters).

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ann

    I had high expectations of this book. It had so many of the elements I like : a daring heist - science- outer space....It came with impeccable credentials, in the shape of a highly respected author (Ben Mezrich). And yet, I can't give this book more than 2 stars. And that is simply because I feel it violates one of the most central dogmas of the genre : get multiple perspectives. The story of Thad Roberts, a gifted NASA intern, who decided to steal some precious moon rocks from a NASA lab in ord I had high expectations of this book. It had so many of the elements I like : a daring heist - science- outer space....It came with impeccable credentials, in the shape of a highly respected author (Ben Mezrich). And yet, I can't give this book more than 2 stars. And that is simply because I feel it violates one of the most central dogmas of the genre : get multiple perspectives. The story of Thad Roberts, a gifted NASA intern, who decided to steal some precious moon rocks from a NASA lab in order to sell them and impress his new girlfriend, is just that : the story of Thad. I understand that he collaborated copiously with the author - but he seems to have been one of the few people who did. Apart from some quick comments from people who met Thad along the way, there is very little in the book that didn't seem to come from Thad himself. His two accomplices refused to be interviewed for the book, and NASA personnel didn't seem too eager to be quoted either. So we are left with a very one-sided narrative. We hear all about Thad's Sturm und Drang - he even looks like a romantic hero - , about how we was kicked out by his rigid Mormon parents, how he pursued three major simultaneously at college, how he became a star in the NASA coop program - but when you close the back cover of the book, you realize that you are vaguely dissatisfied. Too many questions remain unanswered, such as : how could someone who was repeatedly described as "brilliant" be so stupid as to ask a stoner acquaintance how to flog moon rocks on the internet? And what were his two female accomplices thinking when they wheeled that safe containing the moon rocks out of the lab - that people would think this was an endearing student prank? So, overall a disappointing book. I am sure it will be turned into a movie that could very well be a good one. Good-looking young geeks tiptoeing through sterile-looking lab corridors, then wild sex on a bed filled with moon rocks... all of this is very suitable for the silver screen, but as a written story it leaves much to be desired. At the end of the book, the person who left the biggest impression on me was not charming, untrustworthy Thad but his victim, Everett Gibson. This respected NASA scientist, an expert on rocks from the moon, Mars and beyond, planted the seed for the theft in Thad's mind by a simple act of kindness and scientific mentorship : he showed Thad and his visiting wife some moon rocks from the safe in his lab. It was this very safe that was stolen. And it turned out that the safe contained not just moon rocks, but valuable scientific notebooks as well. All my sympathy went out to Dr. Gibson - I had none left for Thad or his accomplices. At the end of the book, we hear that Dr. Gibson showed his appreciation to the Belgian rock collector who alerted the FBI to the illegal merchandise being offered on the internet, by going to Antwerp and delivering a lecture on space rocks, and by arranging for an asteroid to be named after said Belgian rock collector. That's class! I am happy to hear that in this sad story at least one person knew how to behave with grace and dignity.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ainsley

    It's one thing to read a detailed description of a sexual encounter in a work of fiction or even in a work of non-fiction, provided that the author of the piece is one of the participants in the act. But reading some writer's trite and heavy-handed account of sexual acts that supposedly took place between two other people? Eeeeeeew. Add the considerable ick factor to generally lousy writing, poor research and the author's addiction to hyperbole (and stupid titles), and you have one crappy book. It's one thing to read a detailed description of a sexual encounter in a work of fiction or even in a work of non-fiction, provided that the author of the piece is one of the participants in the act. But reading some writer's trite and heavy-handed account of sexual acts that supposedly took place between two other people? Eeeeeeew. Add the considerable ick factor to generally lousy writing, poor research and the author's addiction to hyperbole (and stupid titles), and you have one crappy book.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Gary Schroeder

    This is a manuscript for a movie. In recent interviews Ben Mezrich has been very open about that. He writes books from the very beginning in the hopes that they will be optioned for movies. And it shows. Mezrich, author of "The Accidental Billionaires," the book upon which the Facebook movie "The Social Network" was based, went in search of his next great true-story thriller. What he settled on was the tale of Thad Roberts, a student enrolled in NASA's Cooperative Education Program who turned thi This is a manuscript for a movie. In recent interviews Ben Mezrich has been very open about that. He writes books from the very beginning in the hopes that they will be optioned for movies. And it shows. Mezrich, author of "The Accidental Billionaires," the book upon which the Facebook movie "The Social Network" was based, went in search of his next great true-story thriller. What he settled on was the tale of Thad Roberts, a student enrolled in NASA's Cooperative Education Program who turned thief and decided to steal moon rocks and sell them online for easy cash. The story behind "Sex on the Moon" (itself an awful title) is hyberbolically subtitled "the Most Audacious Heist in History." Roberts' theft is by no means entitled to such an exciting description. The heist itself was fairly uncomplicated and involved nothing more than a clever use of chemical dust to break an electronic combination lock and some elbow grease to drag a safe out of a room and into a car. The only thing remotely remarkable about the theft is that actual moon rocks are involved. Had Roberts stolen terrestrial gem stones, he would have warranted nothing more than a mention in the local news paper police blotter. Mezrich has to work hard -- very hard -- to fill this thin conceit with enough volume to fill a book. And then there's the writing. Which is awful. This is some of the most hackneyed, rigid, trite prose I've ever read. Some examples: "she had given him her number. It had been like rocket fuel in his bathing-suit all the way home" or "sooner or later, the truth would be as clear as the tattoo on her thigh" or "Thad only knew for sure what he was feeling. Which was beyond anything he could remember feeling before" or "suddenly, reality hit him like a Saturn V rocket to the face." Ugh. Mezrich also seems to have a writing tick in which he is compelled to start sentences with "Hell,..." as in "Hell, the guy was really making a scene", "Hell, he was beginning to feel loose", "Hell, maybe they'd all end up visiting that pristine beach", "Hell, maybe the need to apologize went even further back", etc., etc. This became almost comical as the pages wore on. I have to hold the editor(s) of this book responsible for this. I don't think they read this book. Here's some zingers they let slip through: "Matt had remembered Thad as the brilliant kind in physics classes who was willing to go further and think freer than anyone else." Think "freer"? Describing an unpleasant scene inside a federal prison Mezrich writes "there was such an undercurrent of anger and subverted violence in that place." "Subverted" violence? Could he have meant submerged or supressed? In another chapter, he refers to the "infamous orange soil" collected by the Apollo astronauts. Okay, that soil was certainly _famous_, but "infamous"? Someone needs to check the dictionary. This is a lousy book undeserving of your time. Buy something else.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Diane in Australia

    I seem to be in the minority on this one. Such is life. I found this whole escapade to be so damn stupid. Just stupid. Stupid. I will let Mara's review ... which is tremendous! ... speak for me. Please, have a read of it. Mara's Review 2 Stars = Blah. It didn't do anything for me. I seem to be in the minority on this one. Such is life. I found this whole escapade to be so damn stupid. Just stupid. Stupid. I will let Mara's review ... which is tremendous! ... speak for me. Please, have a read of it. Mara's Review 2 Stars = Blah. It didn't do anything for me.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Josephine

    Some reviewers have likened the true story behind Ben Mezrich’s “Sex on the Moon” to “Ocean’s Eleven” — which I take issue with because, while Thad Roberts was smart enough to get into Houston’s Johnson Space Center Cooperative Program, there was no real finesse to how he orchestrated the heist to steal “used” moon rocks that were destined for the trash. When I heard author Mezrich on John Tory’s show on The Live Drive, I had the same reaction that most people probably had when they hear about th Some reviewers have likened the true story behind Ben Mezrich’s “Sex on the Moon” to “Ocean’s Eleven” — which I take issue with because, while Thad Roberts was smart enough to get into Houston’s Johnson Space Center Cooperative Program, there was no real finesse to how he orchestrated the heist to steal “used” moon rocks that were destined for the trash. When I heard author Mezrich on John Tory’s show on The Live Drive, I had the same reaction that most people probably had when they hear about this true story. What’s impressive is that Roberts carried off the heist — what’s not-so-impressive is that it was embarrassingly easy to do so. He carries off the heist with the help of two younger female accomplices — one of whom is a new girlfriend he quickly becomes infatuated with — and manages to grab samples from every single moon landing in human history and a Mars meteor, to boot. Technically, even though NASA considered these samples “trash” because they’d been used in various experiments, they were still national treasures — illegal to own and illegal to sell. And even though the story is painted as this brilliant caper and heist, you read the book and you can’t help but think, “What a fucking dumb ass” when he actually tried to sell the samples. (Which one reviewer aptly likened in size to a medium-sized banana.) The book claims that Thad did it because he wanted to give his new girlfriend the moon — he stuffs the moon samples under a mattress in the hotel they’re staying at and they wind up having sex on top of it…hence the title — but that’s pretty weak sauce when it comes to explaining why he did it. The guy was actually going to sell it for a measly $100,000. Are you kidding me? The book was okay — Mezrich also wrote “Accidental Billionaires,” which was the basis for the movie, “The Social Network.” The true story is interesting, the book was readable, but I still feel like it could have been told in a more compelling way…and I fully realize I’m probably in the minority when I write that.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Becky

    The story itself is pretty interesting -- it took some smarts for this guy to steal real true moon rocks direct from NASA. But the book was abysmally written. From the movie scene-style descriptions to the book jacket -- "Catch Me If You Can" meets "[some other movie I can't remember]" -- it's obvious the author and publisher were just trying to get this made into a movie & didn't really care whether it was actually written well. The research seemed shoddy, too. The author cites "people who didn The story itself is pretty interesting -- it took some smarts for this guy to steal real true moon rocks direct from NASA. But the book was abysmally written. From the movie scene-style descriptions to the book jacket -- "Catch Me If You Can" meets "[some other movie I can't remember]" -- it's obvious the author and publisher were just trying to get this made into a movie & didn't really care whether it was actually written well. The research seemed shoddy, too. The author cites "people who didn't want to be named," but there are still gaps. For instance, it doesn't appear that he ever tried to go back and contact the criminal's parents or the two woman who pulled the heist with this guy. And if he did try to contact them, he'd have been within his journalistic rights at least to say they had no comment so he wouldn't just leave us wondering what the heck happened to the rest of the members of the story. It sounds like he just let the main character vomit his story out onto a manuscript and then ran with the thing unedited. I picked this up on a whim at the library & should have left well enough alone.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jill Hutchinson

    Ok, it is a slow day so let me think up something exciting to do....hmmmmmm, how about stealing moon rocks from NASA's Johnson Space Center and sell them on the internet. Since I am in love with a hot little classmate at JSC who I met a month ago, it will make us even more in love and soulmates forever. Now if that makes sense, you might like this true story of Thad Roberts, a rather brilliant nerd who worked at JSC in a co-op program and was a rising star with the scientists there. His ultimate Ok, it is a slow day so let me think up something exciting to do....hmmmmmm, how about stealing moon rocks from NASA's Johnson Space Center and sell them on the internet. Since I am in love with a hot little classmate at JSC who I met a month ago, it will make us even more in love and soulmates forever. Now if that makes sense, you might like this true story of Thad Roberts, a rather brilliant nerd who worked at JSC in a co-op program and was a rising star with the scientists there. His ultimate goal was to become an astronaut and thought that stealing moon rocks which were held at JSC would enhance his knowledge to reach that goal and also make his girlfriend love him forever. Follow that logic?....me neither. But it could have made an interesting book about a misguided young man who went awry and almost pulled off the greatest heist in history, regardless of how ridiculous it was. But the writing is below par and flat and the most interesting part, which was how he managed to get access to the moon rocks and steal them, was lacking in detail and raised many questions which were not addressed by the author. Overall, it was pretty disappointing.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Haley

    Let's be clear about one thing: this book will (or at least should) make a terrific movie. The story of Thad Roberts' multi-million-dollar NASA heist is fascinating, exciting, and surprisingly under-reported. All the ingredients for the the next big blockbuster are there: a brilliant but troubled protagonist, a passionate love story, and a high-stakes robbery--all set against the larger-than-life backdrop of the NASA Johnson Space Center. The facts of the story are, all in all, super cool--that' Let's be clear about one thing: this book will (or at least should) make a terrific movie. The story of Thad Roberts' multi-million-dollar NASA heist is fascinating, exciting, and surprisingly under-reported. All the ingredients for the the next big blockbuster are there: a brilliant but troubled protagonist, a passionate love story, and a high-stakes robbery--all set against the larger-than-life backdrop of the NASA Johnson Space Center. The facts of the story are, all in all, super cool--that's what earns Sex On The Moon two stars. Let's be clear about another thing: this book sucks. Well, maybe that's just my opinion, man. But I'm sticking to it. Ben Mezrich's prose reads like an overeager high school project. He is in turn annoyingly worshipful and annoyingly condescending toward his hero, painting him as a wunderkind while trying to give the audience a wink-wink. Maybe I'm just disturbed by any work of non-fiction that is treated like fiction--reading Thad's inner monologues, not to mention some real kitschy sex scenes, was just uncomfortable. Sample text: "He already knew that he loved her, totally and intensely, but if she accompanied him on this dangerous mission, she would be just as in love with him. He was sure of it. They would have this forever, no matter what else happened in their lives. They would have this. " Are you groaning? Cause I definitely am. Yuck. Anyways, I recommend Googling Thad Roberts. His story is seriously amazing. And if you really want to know more, then yes, this book has the details. But if you're looking for anything other than plot, I'd go somewhere else.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Lance Charnes

    Ultimately, a heist book is all about the heist. Fiction or non-fiction, the reason we put up with scurvy dogs and bad decision-making is to read about how they did it: how our miscreant lead characters beat the system/alarms/Mob/cops/whatever to rip off whatever it is they took. The more complicated or ingenious or risky, the better. The back-cover copy of Sex on the Moon: The Amazing Story Behind the Most Audacious Heist in History promises a helluva heist: a NASA intern grabs "the rarest o Ultimately, a heist book is all about the heist. Fiction or non-fiction, the reason we put up with scurvy dogs and bad decision-making is to read about how they did it: how our miscreant lead characters beat the system/alarms/Mob/cops/whatever to rip off whatever it is they took. The more complicated or ingenious or risky, the better. The back-cover copy of Sex on the Moon: The Amazing Story Behind the Most Audacious Heist in History promises a helluva heist: a NASA intern grabs "the rarest objects on the planet" (moon rocks) from an "'impregnable' high-tech vault." Even the subtitle promises catnip to anyone who's worn out his/her DVD of The Italian Job. If only. Thad Roberts, that larcenous intern, isn't a gentleman thief, or a sympathetic criminal with a hard-luck story, or a cunning criminal mastermind. He's a middle-class twenty-something with an (unearned) inflated ego and a problem with boundaries. Well, that's okay -- we're reading about crooks, we don't expect them to be angels. We do, however, expect them to be at least interesting. That's this book's first downfall: the central character isn't nearly as interesting as the author seems to think he is. Even in this highly sympathetic portrayal, smarm rolls off him in sheets, and his thinking processes are surprisingly faulty for someone as smart as he supposedly is. Well, okay, as long as he does something interesting... but that's the greatest failing here. Despite all the hyperventilating about high-tech security and cameras, what transpires here is basically a gussied-up smash-and-grab, something more like what you'd see on a Circle-K security tape than that famous safe-robbery scene from Mission: Impossible. Roberts deals with that "impregnable high-tech vault" by avoiding it altogether and going after a far softer target... and still nearly screws it up. The way the FBI takes him down is far more clever than what Roberts did to get them after him in the first place. To his credit, the author can write: the colorful prose goes by at warp speed and reads like fiction. You won't have any trouble following the plot or visualizing the settings. The (in retrospect) ridiculously long time it took me to get through this fairly thin book is more down to my own scheduling problems than any technical flaws in the writing. The breathlessness can get wearing at times, and I found myself hoping the POV would switch away from Roberts to someone -- anyone -- else. The author apparently spent a lot of time with Roberts, and unfortunately it seems that a Stockholm syndrome-type situation set in. I came into this knowing the central character was a shitheel; I was most interested in the heist itself. To say that that aspect of the book was a disappointment is a vast understatement. At best, the back-cover text seriously oversells the story; at worst, it's a bait-and-switch. Sex on the Moon reads like a novel-length treatment for the screenplay for the inevitable movie. I can only hope that if the movie comes, the writers and producers will throw out the real story and give us something closer to what we were promised.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jill Heather

    Despite the author's best efforts, he doesn't make Thad even slightly sympathetic. It's also not clear that he spoke to the other two major people in the heist (according to Thad, they were involved but everyone pretended they were seduced at trial, but this is hard to believe), who are described mostly as being really beautiful and awesome looking in a bikini. (All the women are described based on how totally hot they are -- it's really shocking that every single NASA scientists who is a woman Despite the author's best efforts, he doesn't make Thad even slightly sympathetic. It's also not clear that he spoke to the other two major people in the heist (according to Thad, they were involved but everyone pretended they were seduced at trial, but this is hard to believe), who are described mostly as being really beautiful and awesome looking in a bikini. (All the women are described based on how totally hot they are -- it's really shocking that every single NASA scientists who is a woman is stunningly hot and that this is the most important thing about them.) But even that aside, Thad in the book comes across as lazy, self-absorbed, and pretty egotistical. He decides that since his wife isn't waiting around unchanging while he goes away to work, it's cool to cheat on her. Since research museums are not displaying every single fossil, it's fine to steal the ones not being displayed. He okays someone buying his stolen moon rocks based on internet searches by his pothead friend. He thinks that stealing the actual "trash" moon rocks would be too hard, so he steals them out of a scientist's lab, a scientist he knows is still working on them, figuring that he's had them long enough and they count as trash. He claims never to have seen the research notes in the safe, but they don't seem to reappear. I would have loved to hear from anyone else's point of view, because this story is so full of Thad's self-aggrandizement (while in jail, he solved modern physics!) that I have trouble believing that he was the popular genius star of the program who was absolutely on track to being an astronaut based on Thad's word alone.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Lena

    Is there anything more radiant and all consuming as love? Could anything look more crazy from the outside? Thad Roberts was a survivor of Mormonism. As a teenager he was told he was no longer worthy to serve god for loving his girlfriend and cast out with nothing. He married that girlfriend, became a triple major at the University of Utah, and an intern at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. That sort of self made man is an American legend. I think in another life he might have been the Is there anything more radiant and all consuming as love? Could anything look more crazy from the outside? Thad Roberts was a survivor of Mormonism. As a teenager he was told he was no longer worthy to serve god for loving his girlfriend and cast out with nothing. He married that girlfriend, became a triple major at the University of Utah, and an intern at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. That sort of self made man is an American legend. I think in another life he might have been the first man on Mars. Beyond intelligence and fortitude what drove Thad was his imagination and will to push boundaries. All of these otherwise redeeming features turned against him when he fell in love/lust/obsession with a bright 90 pound sprite of girl with a Napoleon complex. By his third year internship Thad and his wife Kaydee were estranged, they had married so young that their lives had veered in completely different directions. Enter first year intern Tiffany Fowler. Spark! She saw him as as a James Bond guy that could do anything and pushed him to prove it. He saw her as a courageous, loving, loyal heroine - he was wrong. (view spoiler)[I don't think it's a spoiler to say they were caught but it's how they acted once they were caught that determined their character. Thad did everything he said he would; he took the blame, admitted everything, and thought only to protect his friend and beloved girlfriend. Tiffany, on the other hand, utterly caved to everyone and sold out Thad for a lesser sentence. Thad bravely faced 8 years in prison with the belief in their bond. Tiffany sent back all his letters unopened. For a man who gave up his whole world TWICE for love this was an unthinkable blow. The book is sprinkled with excerpts from these letters. Allow me two examples of their beauty. I may never hold you again, my love, I may never again feel the warmth of your touch, the softness of your voice, the adventure in your eyes, but they will always be a part of me. Eternity lives in every true connection, every moment that opens your eyes to something new and deepens your internal spring. My very being soared beyond the horizon with you, Tiffany. Everything that I am will always carry that echo. I cannot abandon that. I cannot cover my heart. I will always love you. I will always remember you. I knew a beautiful young woman that didn't believe in forever. She became my forever. (hide spoiler)] This is how I feel about Tiffany Fowler. Every time you receive a thoughtless gift from your boyfriend you should spit the name Tiffany Fowler as a curse. Any time you get a Hallmark card and not a handwritten poem - spit the curse. Any time your man doesn't go the extra mile, or even the extra block, for you spit the curse. Women like Tiffany bring us all down. I was relieved when I Google'd Thad that he had moved on and was still living his life with unquenched passion. http://einsteinsintuition.com/who-is-... Really, the best revenge is living well. I awarded this book five stars, bucking the trend!, because it gave me joy and thrills to know that these were real people and they dared! It's easy in fiction to dismissively snort, "Yeah, like that would ever happen." Here, it did! That makes both life and fiction more enjoyable.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    I am a big Ben Mezrich fand and have read all of his books. To me, Sex on the Moon is his best work and shows his maturity as a writer. He has a very distinct style and voice that I think I would instantly recognize anywhere. In this book, that style seems to hum. One thing I like about all his books is that he captures the excitement and unlimited-seeming possibilities that go with graduating from college and deciding what you want to do with your life. I don't know many other authors who have c I am a big Ben Mezrich fand and have read all of his books. To me, Sex on the Moon is his best work and shows his maturity as a writer. He has a very distinct style and voice that I think I would instantly recognize anywhere. In this book, that style seems to hum. One thing I like about all his books is that he captures the excitement and unlimited-seeming possibilities that go with graduating from college and deciding what you want to do with your life. I don't know many other authors who have captured this special time, except perhaps John Grisham in a couple of his early books (The Firm comes to mind here). This book was quite emotional for me, and I really felt for the main character. I don't think Mr. Mezrich presented him as a hero, as some other reviewers suggested--I simply think he tried to present an honest study of this rather naive and mixed up young person's character. Other reviewers criticized the accuracy of certain events, as they usually do with Ben Mezrich's books. To me, they just don't "get" what he's trying to do. His primary goal (I believe) is to entertain, not to document a criminal case. There was one issue that I noticed and that I would have liked to have seen addressed. Maybe I'm odd in thinking this way, but it seemed to me that there was an element of entrapment in the crime committed in this book. The FBI stepped in BEFORE the crime was committed, and in my mind, was a factor in the case. To put it another way, would Thad have stolen the moon rocks if he didn't believe he had a buyer (which was the FBI, though of course he didn't know that)? Anyway, Sex on the Moon held me from start to finish. I give it a solid five stars. I can't wait for Ben Mezrich's next book!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Drew

    An interesting story about Thad Roberts and several co-conspirators who stole a number of valuable samples of moon rocks from the Johnson Space Center in Houston. Some reviewers have compared the chronicled escapade to a spacey version of "Oceans 11." I think that is giving a bit too much credit to both Roberts and Mezrich. While an interesting story about the theft of a national treasure, the fact that three interns could steal such valuable material, makes NASA look like a bunch of bumbling id An interesting story about Thad Roberts and several co-conspirators who stole a number of valuable samples of moon rocks from the Johnson Space Center in Houston. Some reviewers have compared the chronicled escapade to a spacey version of "Oceans 11." I think that is giving a bit too much credit to both Roberts and Mezrich. While an interesting story about the theft of a national treasure, the fact that three interns could steal such valuable material, makes NASA look like a bunch of bumbling idiots and the story read more like an episode of The Keystone Cops. Was the theft really that unsophisticated? Just a smart kid knowing when to walk into a lab and wheel out a 600 lb. safe? Cutting it open with a power saw from Home Depot in a motel room that you might rent by the hour? No one saw or heard anything? Though I'm not saying it didn't happen like Mezrich writes, I found only a few moments of real tension and surprise, an almost lassiez-faire attitude towards the telling of the story, and a few nit-picky details (details that I am familiar with) that seemed either glossed over for the sake of story telling or he just didn't do enough research. Those details he got wrong make me wonder about other details of the story, from the descriptions of NASA to the federal prison where Roberts was incarcerated. While written in Mezrich's trademark style, "Sex on the Moon" is only a mildly engaging read that left me feeling like I'd just eaten at a Chinese restaurant: momentarily sated, but wondering an hour later, if I'd really eaten anything at all.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Stefanie

    Three stars is being very generous; two and a half would be more accurate. Although the core of the story is interesting--how could the theft of moon rocks from the heart of NASA not be?--the lead-up to the crime takes blooming forever. You know what? We the readers do not need to know about every group excursion Thad planned between his start at NASA and the crime, among other things. The chapter openers that went into intense descriptions of ultimately mundane details got old quickly too. Some Three stars is being very generous; two and a half would be more accurate. Although the core of the story is interesting--how could the theft of moon rocks from the heart of NASA not be?--the lead-up to the crime takes blooming forever. You know what? We the readers do not need to know about every group excursion Thad planned between his start at NASA and the crime, among other things. The chapter openers that went into intense descriptions of ultimately mundane details got old quickly too. Something that disturbed me (other than Thad's cluelessness at what a slap-in-the-face, life-ruining, program-destroying betrayal his act might be) was the detailed and repeated description of the 20-year-old girlfriend's naked body. It felt exploitive and very passive-aggressive. Oh, and find a word other than porcelain to describe her skin, please. In short, the subject of the story was great, but I think I would have rather read an article about the heist in Esquire than read the book. Will I see the movie, which I think we all know will happen? Eh, maybe.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Josh Childs

    For his next act, the author will express the story of Rasputin as a Hardy Boys adventure novel.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Tami

    Mezrich's retelling of the true story of Thad Roberts' theft of 101 grams of moon rocks insists on painting Roberts as a modern-day Robin Hood who just helped himself to some scraps, that NASA itself had labeled as "trash", as a grand gesture of love towards a woman. But I wasn't convinced. I saw him more as self-centered and egotistical, so amazed by his own IQ that he felt "entitled". Although based on the actual events, the book is fictionalized to read like a novel. But as such, it was disapp Mezrich's retelling of the true story of Thad Roberts' theft of 101 grams of moon rocks insists on painting Roberts as a modern-day Robin Hood who just helped himself to some scraps, that NASA itself had labeled as "trash", as a grand gesture of love towards a woman. But I wasn't convinced. I saw him more as self-centered and egotistical, so amazed by his own IQ that he felt "entitled". Although based on the actual events, the book is fictionalized to read like a novel. But as such, it was disappointing. The pace was way too slow and it included a lot of unnecessary detail in some areas and left glaring holes in others. Comprehensive retelling of Roberts' relationships with the women in his life and his attempts to "remake" himself filled two-thirds of the pages, but the climax of the story - the heist itself - was glossed over. I wanted more specifics. I understood one or two people dodging security cameras on the way in, but how did they maneuver a 600 lb. safe on a dolly past the same cameras on the way out? How did they get it in/out of their vehicle and, later, into a dumpster? Why dispose of a 600 lb. safe in a dumpster? You don't think it will be noticed? Did someone as intelligent as Roberts truly believe that borrowing the get-away vehicle from a friend wouldn't leave an obvious trail straight back to him? How many dark colored jeeps with a NASA entrance sticker could there be? Not to mention, I felt deceived when, after 200 pages of buildup to stealing large amounts of moon rocks from one of the most secure locations in the country, just as the theft is beginning, it is revealed in an offhand comment that the heist has been "downsized" - "Oh yeah, and we realized we were never going to pull off that theft we've been planning for the past 200 pages, so we decided just to steal a safe." Still a major undertaking, but nothing compared to what had been promised. The final fifty pages covered Roberts' experience in prison - all of which could have been summed up in two pages at most. Dave and I read this book together, and he doesn't necessarily share my opinions. He has more interest in NASA and the astronaut program than I, so he was more easily engrossed in the details. While he did agree that the narrative was long-winded, and that there were some questions left unanswered, his assessment isn't as negative. "I thought the topic was interesting, but the book was just ok." We rated it a low 3 out of 5. While I think the story would have been better packaged as non-fiction, without the fabricated personal scenes, it wasn't a total loss. If nothing else, it made us reexamine our awareness of current events, since neither of us was aware that this theft had ever taken place.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Cameron

    The fascinating story of a Mormon kid turned NASA intern turned cat burglar makes for a great read. Especially when the basis for the whole thing is, what else, love. The author does a great job of telling the story of Thad Roberts, the man who brazenly stole several million dollars worth of moon rocks from a NASA lab based on the romantic ideal of giving his girlfriend the moon, in a way that makes him relatable and tragic. Yet it does not delve too far, and even with the one-sidedness of the a The fascinating story of a Mormon kid turned NASA intern turned cat burglar makes for a great read. Especially when the basis for the whole thing is, what else, love. The author does a great job of telling the story of Thad Roberts, the man who brazenly stole several million dollars worth of moon rocks from a NASA lab based on the romantic ideal of giving his girlfriend the moon, in a way that makes him relatable and tragic. Yet it does not delve too far, and even with the one-sidedness of the account, which the author admits to in the introduction, Thad is still an ignorant criminal, albeit a charming one. In a lot of ways, it reminds me of Mark Zuckerberg's depiction in The Social Network, a movie based on Mezrich's other non-fiction The Accidental Billionaires. It is a bit unfortunate that it is really only told from Thad's perspective, with a slight bit of the Belgian informant's personal accounting added into the mix. But, overall, the book achieved its purpose and, I am sure, is destined to be made into a great movie sometime soon.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Terris

    This is a very interesting story of a young man in the NASA program who decides to steal samples of moon rocks and sell them. Wow! And this is nonfiction! It was a very good story and well-written, however, I wasn't always that crazy about the book. Maybe because the main character is so full of himself, always trying to convince the reader how smart and awesome he is (IMO). But that was probably how he really was, otherwise he wouldn't have had the guts to do what he did! So, in the end, it was This is a very interesting story of a young man in the NASA program who decides to steal samples of moon rocks and sell them. Wow! And this is nonfiction! It was a very good story and well-written, however, I wasn't always that crazy about the book. Maybe because the main character is so full of himself, always trying to convince the reader how smart and awesome he is (IMO). But that was probably how he really was, otherwise he wouldn't have had the guts to do what he did! So, in the end, it was a good story, and a decent book but -- I think it would make a wonderful movie! It seems that many movies recently are being made about true stories that we have never heard about, and I think this is one of them. IMDB says it is development, but it doesn't look like much progress is being made at the moment. But I'm going to keep my eyes and ears open for this as a movie!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Vonia

    Intriguing true story read about Thad, who takes moon rocks from one of his mentors. Moon rocks are, understandably, worth something in the billions to trillions and are illegal to even own. I felt Mezrich's writing was a little too "journalistic" for it to be a really good, immersive read. In other words, it did not read like a novel, but maybe it shouldn't... I also felt Mezrich was too empathetic towards Thad, rationalizing throughout the novel many of his actions, although he did try to stay Intriguing true story read about Thad, who takes moon rocks from one of his mentors. Moon rocks are, understandably, worth something in the billions to trillions and are illegal to even own. I felt Mezrich's writing was a little too "journalistic" for it to be a really good, immersive read. In other words, it did not read like a novel, but maybe it shouldn't... I also felt Mezrich was too empathetic towards Thad, rationalizing throughout the novel many of his actions, although he did try to stay impartial. Romanticized, of course... Thad is giving the moon to his girl. "He didn't know how many guys had promised her the moon before, but he was the only one that was going to deliver"...

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kend

    Three stars because the events themselves are fascinating, but the people are reprehensibly bad and the style is not to my taste. A little background here: Mezrich's approach in this book is to lean almost exclusively on one person's recollection of events, to present that person's recollections in a close third-person point of view, and to dispense with all of the usual scaffolding of a nonfiction work—even something closer to creative nonfiction than biography. Because his source and linchpin f Three stars because the events themselves are fascinating, but the people are reprehensibly bad and the style is not to my taste. A little background here: Mezrich's approach in this book is to lean almost exclusively on one person's recollection of events, to present that person's recollections in a close third-person point of view, and to dispense with all of the usual scaffolding of a nonfiction work—even something closer to creative nonfiction than biography. Because his source and linchpin for this narrative is himself a deeply unreliable and manipulative person, Mezrich's book comes off as a mess of self-contraditions, purple prose, and exaggerations. Just like a real conversation with a slightly deranged sociopath! Which ... Thad Roberts may just be one of those. It's not like NASA doesn't have some colorful personalities sprinkled throughout its history; you have only to think of Lisa Nowak, whose shenanigans involved stalking, kidnapping and very possibly, attempted murder. There must have been something in NASA's water in the early to mid-2000s, or maybe everyone was going stir-crazy during the Space Shuttle era, because everyone was doing some crazy shit and blaming it on love. Hint: If someone says they're doing it for love, but they also say that the money wouldn't hurt, they're not doing it for love. That's, like, a basic reading of history. So anyway, a thirty-second Google search turns up everything you need to know about Thad Roberts in 2019, which is to say, he's still pretty much exactly the same person. His Instagram feed is filled with artistically posed scantily clad women (although one hopes he's better at guessing their weight than he was in 2002, when every woman he met was simultaneously 90 pounds and able to help lift 600-pound safes, while also being voluptuous and filling out the curves on their tiny string bikinis). I grew steadily more fed up with him—and Mezrich for presenting Roberts' perspective without commentary or even a leavening of context—as the book went on. Roberts is clearly a calculating and socially adept person, given his status as the "de facto social chair" of the NASA co ops, his fellow not-quite-interns, not-quite-employees. He spins a good yarn, and always leaves off with just the right amount of self-deprecation for a journalist or an impressionable young woman to fall for his bullshit. But the kid was certifiably privileged, despite a childhood that I would have considered problematic even without the overwrought opening scene where he fears his father is going to kill him for having premarital sex. Look, I too come from a highly religious, highly controlled childhood. That's a real fear. It's also not an excuse for becoming an amoral sociopath who moves his criminal goalposts whenever it suits him. Let's start with his repeatedly stated arguments for why stealing some of NASA's lunar samples ought not to have been considered a crime: 1) They weren't being used; 2) One or two NASA employees supposedly said that the samples, having been already used once for research and contaminated by that process, were "basically trash"; 3) He had an unhappy marriage and was poor? I don't know; when something is of such high value that selling even a fraction of it would flood the mineral market and do crazy things to Wall Street, and when that something is very definitely locked away in a safe for future projects, that's not "trash" in any way, shape, or form. It's totally possible that a couple of NASA employees would consider those samples useless for their own personal ends, but that doesn't mean that it's actual trash, or that actions have been taken to dispense with it. Add to this the fact that Roberts stole samples not from NASA's usual lunar sample depositories but from the safe of a respected scientist—along with the man's research—instead of his original plan to steal the not-currently-in-use samples returned to NASA after the completion of various researchers' projects ... this shows that Roberts didn't actually care about his "trash" argument. He can massage the facts as much he likes, and MEzrich can be as sympathetic as he likes, but the reality of the situation is that Roberts was totally okay with ruining another scientist's research on top of stealing NASA property. There's also something funky and disturbing going on with Roberts and women. As a charismatic and manipulative social star, Roberts exerted considerable influence over the women in his life—his wife, his girlfriend, and his fellow thief. Their names have all been changed in the book, which is only fair, but their real names are easily found on Wikipedia as a result of the court proceedings after Roberts & Co. were caught. The cascade effects of Roberts' influence over these women on their professional and personal lives is not even hinted at in this book, apart from the fact that one of them has an angry dad (me too, dad, me too) who forbade her from contacting Roberts in prison. One of Roberts' two extremely young female collaborators has more or less dropped out of the public record. The other has had a fairly good engineering career; but what could she have become if Roberts hadn't involved her in his plan? Your guess is as good as mine, but suffice it to say, Roberts doesn't seem to have cared all that much that he ruined a good half-dozen careers in addition to his own. All of this could have been very interesting indeed if Mezrich had actually tackled these thorny moral issues with anything in addition to his interviews with Roberts, who is now of course out of prison. (Don't get me started on how easy the judge went on this manipulative white kid from Utah compared to ... well, the majority of criminal cases in this country.) Instead of getting into the terribly fascinating science, or social history, or legal and political repercussions, what Mezrich gives us is Thad Roberts ogling every woman around him, including the FBI agent who ultimately brings him in. I don't know how Special Agent Lynn Billings feels about being called "pretty, in that slightly older-woman sort of way" and having a twenty-something criminal admire "the angle of her collarbone," but I'd guess that she either (A) rolled her eyes so hard at these comments, or (B) laughed so hard she had coffee come out of her nose. Or maybe she's, I don't know, going about her job like an actual working professional? Maybe this is just one more problem to add to the list of problems of having a man write about another man who has a habit of exploiting the women around him, for pride if nothing else. Imagine what this story could have been in the capable research-oriented hands of someone like Mary Roach! Humor is great, but not dirty humor at the expense of a bunch of vulnerable young women, and not humor at the expense of the facts.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jaime F.

    Ben Mezrich's best work by far is 'Bringing Down the House'. Here, Sex on the Moon, lacked that intensity and adrenaline pack induced to us with 'Bringing Down the House'. The book is readable but you can easily get frustrated to where the story is leading you. Nothing memorable to note on this book other that at times it was way too silly and childish group of characters. I'm being very generous with my rating here. Ben Mezrich's best work by far is 'Bringing Down the House'. Here, Sex on the Moon, lacked that intensity and adrenaline pack induced to us with 'Bringing Down the House'. The book is readable but you can easily get frustrated to where the story is leading you. Nothing memorable to note on this book other that at times it was way too silly and childish group of characters. I'm being very generous with my rating here.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Audiobook. So, this book. Problematic. Total marketing ploy based on a catchy name. Its first sin is that it read like a novel, so my guess is liberties were taken with the truth. The equal offense is that it is very one-sided (unjournalistic) as the perp cooperated, and honestly I think that really skewed the telling to be more this wannabe prosaic romantic stupidity than the actual “slap to America’s face” (and the poor researcher’s life work!) that it was. I get that most of the victims in this Audiobook. So, this book. Problematic. Total marketing ploy based on a catchy name. Its first sin is that it read like a novel, so my guess is liberties were taken with the truth. The equal offense is that it is very one-sided (unjournalistic) as the perp cooperated, and honestly I think that really skewed the telling to be more this wannabe prosaic romantic stupidity than the actual “slap to America’s face” (and the poor researcher’s life work!) that it was. I get that most of the victims in this wouldn’t want to cooperate! Of course! Especially with this sleazy take. But I mean, come on. This guy didn’t do this on a whim bc he met some girl, as the conclusion would have us believe. NO. He admits throughout the book he’d been thinking of it for YEARS. So, NO. (Also the callous treatment of the ex wife, terrible.) And then what a minimizing of the crime, to put it in the context of a prank? NOT A PRANK! He admitted in his emails that he knew it was illegal. I mean, the idiot wrote emails. For crying out loud. For smart people, the 4 of them were dumb. The girls got off way too easily; they were not coerced or mindlessly led; they WENT TO WORK THERE for a week. I think they all got way too little punishment. I wish it had more from the victim, like, quotes from a news story? Something? I did love our Belgian friend, and teared up at the naming of the asteroid. However, they should’ve gone on to detail Gibson’s accomplishments and where he ended up. Very disrespectful of this book to not do more for and with him. (Also was I the only one that got to the part about Thad’s manuscript and TOTALLY thought a good punishment would be for Gibson to rip that to shreds in Thad’s face?) The descriptions of the women throughout is totally gross and sexist. Male gaze for sure. And the narration is overwrought - the letters - and like, wayyyy too flattening. It reads like a frat prank rather than the federal offense it was, and that is disappointing. Finally, it was read by Casey Affleck. Fitting?

  27. 5 out of 5

    Paul

    The perpetrator in this book (Tad Roberts) was reckless and selfish and seemingly a master of self-justification and rationalization and it would be easy to cast him as a villain. My most charitable reading of this book is that the author was trying to humanize Roberts and show the events of the theft from his perspective and way over-shot it and created this celebration of juvenile delinquency. Unfortunately, this book just felt gross to read. I can only hope that the author did not get to pick The perpetrator in this book (Tad Roberts) was reckless and selfish and seemingly a master of self-justification and rationalization and it would be easy to cast him as a villain. My most charitable reading of this book is that the author was trying to humanize Roberts and show the events of the theft from his perspective and way over-shot it and created this celebration of juvenile delinquency. Unfortunately, this book just felt gross to read. I can only hope that the author did not get to pick the horribly misleading title of the book, but even so the way the title is misleading is emblematic of the kind of breathless hype that the author injects into this otherwise pretty boring story. There is no sex on the moon; after Tad Roberts stole a bunch of moon rock samples from his work, he hid a tiny sliver of a moon rock under the covers of a bed on which he then had sex (with a girl he was cheating on his wife with, mind you). It is the kind of cringey detail that I would be embarrassed to tell someone, but if you re-cast it as having "had sex on the moon" it obviously seems more interesting. The subtitle is even worse, "The Amazing Story Behind the Most Audacious Heist in History" - it was not really audacious, it was barely a heist and the story is quite boring. Just an apparently charismatic dude who was a bit of a sleaze trying to impress some girls. If you want to read about this story at all - and you probably shouldn't want to because it's not that interesting - you should probably just read a one or two page news article about it rather than this in depth profile that basically worships Tad Roberts. Also, weirdly this book changes the name of his ex-wife even though a simple google search shows her real name from the many articles written about this story. 1 of 5 stars

  28. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I honestly doubted I would finish this book when I started. I know it sounds petty but I get so sick and tired of Mormon stereotypes/falling away from the religion/bashing the church which I belong. So the book starts with Thad in the back seat of his parents' car, disgracefully excused from the Missionary Training Center where he came clean about his sexual activity pre-mission. He is sent home with his ultra-conservative and ultra-fundamentalist (not polygamist) parents who, for all intents an I honestly doubted I would finish this book when I started. I know it sounds petty but I get so sick and tired of Mormon stereotypes/falling away from the religion/bashing the church which I belong. So the book starts with Thad in the back seat of his parents' car, disgracefully excused from the Missionary Training Center where he came clean about his sexual activity pre-mission. He is sent home with his ultra-conservative and ultra-fundamentalist (not polygamist) parents who, for all intents and purposes, disown him. To save face, there is a rushed wedding ceremony and the two young and ill-prepared kids are faced with college tuition, work, and bills. This sets the tone for the following chapters as Thad struggles with proving himself worthy of being loved and his choices in juxtaposition of his religious upbringing. I really, really liked the honest telling of the story. By sharing his story with Ben Mezrich, Thad lays himself out bare. He does not make excuses or lay the blame at anybody else's feet. He clearly makes the choices he does knowing right from wrong. At the same time, the reader is sympathetically trailing him as he reinvents himself, justifies one indiscretion which then becomes another and he realizes too late he is tangled in a web he didn't realize he'd woven. The Mormon in me gets it. The Mormon in me also cringes at the number of "f" bombs. Just a warning. I actually don't like the title of the book, Sex on the Moon. I get it but the story is really about a brilliant boy who wants to succeed. He wants to be loved. He wants to be accepted for who he is. He works his tail off to be successful at NASA. He triple majors in the sciences. He tries to maintain a long distance marriage. He perceives it as failing and finds love elsewhere. He lets his brilliant mind wander and believe he could steal moon rocks from NASA. His brilliant mind works out the details. Obviously, he gets caught. I felt myself pulled into the justice system with him, being terrified, dehumanized, feeling (and being) utterly alone and surrounded by violent offenders. This is not a major theme of the book but it broke my heart. I found the book to be honest, intriguing and heart-wrenching.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Cassi aka Snow White Haggard

    I feel like the summary of this book is misleading and that's my biggest problem with this book. This is NOT a story about a man who wants to give his girlfriend the moon. This is the story of a brilliant nasa coop, raised and banished by Mormon parents, living from bill to bill, who loses track of himself, of his beautiful wife, and screws up his life. He's thinking of stealing and selling the moon rocks before he even has a girlfriend. I really don't like it when synopsis trick you like this. Th I feel like the summary of this book is misleading and that's my biggest problem with this book. This is NOT a story about a man who wants to give his girlfriend the moon. This is the story of a brilliant nasa coop, raised and banished by Mormon parents, living from bill to bill, who loses track of himself, of his beautiful wife, and screws up his life. He's thinking of stealing and selling the moon rocks before he even has a girlfriend. I really don't like it when synopsis trick you like this. The first half is better edited than the second. In the second half I noticed a lot of repeated phrases "mind game" being the first that I remember. It spends way too much time justifying Thad's choices which I still don't sympathize with. The writer seems to have fallen for Thad's charm, believing in his own nobility when I'm not buying it. The narration is really good (Casey Affleck), the story is interesting, but it's just not very well written. It loses track of itself halfway through and gets way too caught up with the main character's view of himself. It leaves too many loose ends hanging. What happened to Rebecca and Sandra? What about those green notebooks? There are answers that need exploring that this book just seems to drop for more of Thad's self-justifying internal narrative. I'm not saying don't read it. The fact that it's a true story is enough of a reason to arouse my curiosity. But I don't think I'd read the text of the book, but if you like Nasa, staring at the stars, are willing to wade through Thad's bullshit, then listen to the audiobook. It's an interesting sliver of history.

  30. 4 out of 5

    David

    Sex on the Moon is not about sex on the Moon, but it is about a bright but troubled NASA intern, named Thad Roberts, who decided to throw away a promising career for himself and three friends to steal a small amount of Apollo Moon rocks. The whole story is told from the perspective of Thad, by Mezrich, in a well written and very engaging fashion. In the beginning I felt some compassion for the young Roberts as he deals with an overly strict family life and there is an undercurrent through the st Sex on the Moon is not about sex on the Moon, but it is about a bright but troubled NASA intern, named Thad Roberts, who decided to throw away a promising career for himself and three friends to steal a small amount of Apollo Moon rocks. The whole story is told from the perspective of Thad, by Mezrich, in a well written and very engaging fashion. In the beginning I felt some compassion for the young Roberts as he deals with an overly strict family life and there is an undercurrent through the story of an insecure, but outwardly charismatic youth, who learns how to become the center of attraction for dozens of other bright young NASA interns. It becomes an exciting story that draws the reader into the very lively escapades of Thad and his interns. When Thad sets his mind to grabbing the Moon rocks I couldn’t help but hate him for his callous attitude to one of mankind’s greatest achievements. Regardless of all his rationalizations, he chose to steal and sell off the rocks for his personal advantage. For this he deserves everything that he eventually gets. One of the really interesting aspects of “Sex on the Moon” is the description of what it is like to be a young intern at NASA, one of the choice vocations for talented, bright and ambitious college students. This behind the scenes look into this Farm League for the US Astronaut program is a story that outsiders rarely hear of and Mezrich does an excellent job in telling it. I give Sex on the Moon a fair read.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.