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Sex on the Moon

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Sex on the Moon

The Amazing Story Behind the Most Audacious Heist in History
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...
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...
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Description-
  • 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's headquarters--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.


    From the Hardcover edition.

Excerpts-
  • From the book

    Prologue

    It had to be the strangest getaway in history.
    Thad Roberts tried to control his nerves as he stared up through the windshield of the idling four-wheel-drive Jeep. The rain was coming down in violent gray sheets, so fierce and thick he could barely make out the bright red traffic light hanging just a few feet in front of him. He had been sitting there for what seemed like forever; a long stretch of pavement serpentined into the gray mist behind him, winding back past a half-dozen other traffic lights--all of which he'd had to wait through, in exactly the same fashion. Even worse, between the lights he'd had to keep the Jeep at an agonizing five miles per hour--a veritable crawl along the desolate, rain-swept streets of the tightly controlled compound. It was unbelievably hard to drive at five miles per hour, especially when your neurons were going off like fireworks and your heart felt like it was going to blow right through your rib cage. But five miles per hour was the mandatory speed limit of the compound--posted every few yards on signs by the road--and at five miles per hour, once you hit one red light, you were going to hit them all.
    Thad's fingers whitened against the Jeep's steering wheel as he watched the red glow, willing it to change to green. He wanted nothing more than to gun the engine, put his foot right through the floor, break the speed limit, and get the hell out of there. But he knew that there were cameras everywhere--that the entire getaway was being filmed and broadcast on more than a dozen security consoles. For this to work, he had to stay calm, obey the rules. He had to appear as if he belonged.
    He took a deep breath, let the red glow from the traffic light splash across his cheeks. Only a few more seconds. He used the opportunity to toss a quick glance toward the passenger seat--which didn't help at all. Sandra looked even more terrified than he felt. Her face was ivory white, her eyes like saucers. He wanted to say something to calm her down, but he couldn't think of the words. She was pretty, with blondish-brown hair; even younger than Thad, barely nineteen years old. Maybe not the ideal accomplice for something like this--but she was an electronics specialist, and she had practically begged to be a part of the scheme.
    Thad shifted his eyes toward the center "seat" between them, and almost smiled at the sight of his girlfriend crouched down beneath the dashboard, her lithe body curled up into a tight little ball. Rebecca had jet-black hair, cut short against her alabaster skin, and she was even prettier than Sandra. She had just turned twenty. But as young as she was, she was the only one of the three of them who didn't look scared. Her blue eyes were positively glowing with excitement. To her, this was beyond thrilling--really, James Bond kind of shit. Looking at her, Thad was infused with adrenalin. They were so damn close.
    And suddenly he was bathed in green as the light finally changed. Thad touched the gas pedal, and the Jeep jerked forward--then he quickly lifted his foot--making sure the speedometer read exactly 5 mph. The slow-motion getaway continued, the only sounds the rumble of the Jeep's engines and the crackle of the rain against the windshield.
    A bare few minutes later, they came to the last traffic light--and again, of course, it was red. Even worse, Thad quickly made out the security kiosk just a few yards to the left of the light. He could see at least two uniformed guards inside. Thad held his breath as he slowed the Jeep to a stop at the light; he kept his head facing forward, willing Sandra to do the same. He didn't want...

Reviews-
  • AudioFile Magazine While a well-crafted reading is usually preferred by this listener, Casey Affleck's casual, often unpolished narration serves to add some charm to these proceedings, slightly reversing the basic unlikability of this book's central character, Thad Roberts. Why is Mr. Roberts so unlikable? First, he leaves his pretty, supportive wife in favor of a hot NASA intern, and second, he uses his NASA internship to steal moon rocks, an action that reveals his ignorance of all that they stand for--courage, risk-taking, national pride, the quest for knowledge. Affleck's wide-eyed performance makes the case for naòvetÄ being a big part of Roberts's actions. Otherwise, SEX ON THE MOON is a bit of a head-scratcher. Did author Ben Mezrich and narrator Affleck really think we'd buy their portrayal of Roberts as a dashing rogue who meant no harm? J.P.M. (c) AudioFile 2011, Portland, Maine
  • The New York Daily News

    "[M]ovie-worthy treatment to the guy who stole moon rocks from NASA"

  • The Atlantic Monthly "[An] in-depth look at Thad Roberts, who along with three other NASA interns, stole pieces of lunar rock to impress his girlfriend. Mezrich has done extensive research to recreate the story of how an aspiring astronaut ended up getting caught for stealing over 100 pieces of the moon."
  • The Chronicle Herald "[Mezrich is] a genius at using characters and dialogue....to turn nonfiction into something as compelling as any thriller."
  • Chicago Post-Tribune "In Sex on the Moon, author Ben Mezrich details the riveting account of how one of the most improbable heists in history went down....a fast and furious read, powered along by Mezrich's desire never to take his eyes off the story."
  • USA Today "[A]n out-of-this-world heist"
  • The Miami Herald "Ben Mezrich's latest straight-to-the-big-screen book....fascinating protagonist.....[Mezrich is] an accomplished storyteller.....a rollicking summertime page-turner crackling with sex, astronauts, stolen dinosaur bones and international cyber-intrigue"
  • The Boston Globe "A breathless, credulous style....memorable supporting characters....adventure, sex, romance, a hero who is equal parts Clifford Irving from The Hoax, Frank Abagnale from Catch Me If You Can, and George Bailey from It's a Wonderful Life,....entertaining"
  • Tampa Tribune " [A] thrilling account of space rock heist...fun, breezy action"
  • The Onion "Eloquent prose and a direct view into the characters' mind...the access to Roberts and re-creation of his motivation and personality are Sex On The Moon's best qualities."
  • Booklist, starred review "[A] fascinating story....has the readability of popular fiction, a ripping story, and great characters....Another winner from an extremely talented writer"
  • San Antonio Express-News "Page-turner....engaging read."
  • Book Page "Ben Mezrich, the gonzo-inspired biographer of Ivy League geeks.....[brings us a] stranger-than-fiction, true-life thriller of a man who went where no man has gone before....[the] story ticked all the boxes: a charismatic dreamer with a troubled past, a Romeo-and-Juliet love story, a geek-alicious high-tech setting, an ingenious Oceans 11-style heist--and perhaps the most boneheaded mistake any man ever made to impress a girl. Even better, it was a journalist's Holy Grail: a truly uncovered story."
  • Baltimore Jewish Times "Deliciously readable"
  • Portsmouth Wire "Ben Mezrich goes to incredible lengths to bring readers a story that is both accurate and spellbinding, honest and riveting"
  • Patriot Ledger "A pulse-pounding tale"
  • News of the World "This is the incredible story of a crime truly out of this world, told with verve by Mezrich"
  • Atlanta Jewish Times "Compelling"
  • Kirkus Reviews "[E]nthusiastically re-creates this oddball 2002 moon-rock heist"
  • Washington Times "Uproarious . . . stimulating enough to keep even the un-medicated narcoleptic awake."
  • Boston Globe "Mezrich's prose has a cinematic flavor."
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Sex on the Moon
Sex on the Moon
The Amazing Story Behind the Most Audacious Heist in History
Ben Mezrich
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Sex on the Moon
Sex on the Moon
The Amazing Story Behind the Most Audacious Heist in History
Ben Mezrich
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