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Magnificent Desolation: The Long Journey Home from the Moon (Unabridged)

by Buzz Aldrin, Ken Abraham

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

Customer Reviews

Painful to listen too...

I thought the account of Mr. Aldrins life could be very facisnating. In fact the first couple of hours is quite interesting - but as the book continues there is a complete repetative cycle that just gets really tedious. What really makes it worse is the narrator. His tone is very much like Stephen Hawkins computerized voice. Monotonal to the core. Read the paper book from the library - don't waste your money here.

Buzz Aldrin: Rocketman and mere mortal.

I listened to this book mainly because I found the reviews left here for it irritating. This is biographical material, not park-yer-brain fiction. If it doesn’t interest you, fine, but to give it one star and whine about repetitiveness is a bit much. Aldrin comes off as an uncomplicated guy, struggling with complicated pronlems. As he himself admits, he’s the product of an undemonstrative culture on a journey to discover his own emotions. He’s a nerd, a name-dropper a pioneer, a dreamer and the journey he takes isremarkable and actually kind of inspiring. Repetitive? Only to the extent that we all fight our personal demons all our lives. Aldrin deserves respect for how he handled his troubles. My only criticism is he could have spent a little time reflecting on his attainment of sobriety, he rushes past it, clearly glad to be past that ugly part of his story , but many people might have found a bit more elaboration on that to be helpful. All in all, this book may be slow going at times, but the ultimate story is well worth a little patience.

Big fan of the man, not the book

I like the arrogance of Buzz Aldrin. I like his intellect. I like what he believes in. That said, I didn't care much for the book. I felt it tarnished the man and his accomplishments. And while I was interested in his insights, his profiles of people he knows or he was interested in, meant little or nothing to me. I support his belief that we should reach for the stars, but for more inspiration along those lines, I would recommend Rocket Men, instead. On the other hand, if you prefer stories of foibles or the histories of people you'll never know, then this is a good book for you. Here is what I was expecting: the story of the biggest intellect in the space program and why he was shunned by people who needed his insight. Maybe you can't write such a book about yourself, then I hope someone else writes it for us.

Buzz Aldrin, Ken Abraham, Magnificent Desolation: The Long Journey Home from the Moon (Unabridged)
View In iTunes $21.95
  • Narrator: Patrick Egan
  • Published: 2009

Customer Ratings