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Norman Mailer: MoonFire, The Epic Journey of Apollo 11 Sew Edition

5 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-3836520775
ISBN-10: 383652077X
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Norman Mailer (1923–2007) was one of the 20th century’s greatest and most influential writers, as well as one of America’s most renowned and controversial literary figures. The best-selling author of a dozen novels and 20 works of nonfiction, he also wrote stage plays, screenplays, television miniseries, hundreds of essays, two books of poetry, and a collection of short stories. A two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, he lived in Brooklyn, New York, and Provincetown, Massachusetts.

Colum McCann is the author of seven books, including Let the Great World Spin. He has written for The New York Times, Atlantic Monthly, GQ, The Times (London), The Irish Times, and La República.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 348 pages
  • Publisher: Taschen; Sew edition (June 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 383652077X
  • ISBN-13: 978-3836520775
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 1.6 x 13.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #895,896 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is simply spectacular. It's astounding to me that Taschen issued it at $39.99...I've paid near twice that for far less impressive books. The quality of production is such that many illustrations seem almost three-dimensional. The only other book on the subject I can think of even approaching this aesthetic and reproductive quality is Michael Light's Full Moon.

As for the prose (and this is aside from the in-depth, informed captions accompanying every illustration), I will say first of all that I am not, generally speaking, a fan of Mailer as a writer. I've read several of his works besides Of a Fire on the Moon (from which this text is excerpted), and I tend to find his writing egotistical, self-indulgent, meandering, and freighted with all the stylistic and ideological baggage that characterized the New Journalism of his peak in the late 1960s and early 1970s (though it should be remembered that the same school also gave us The Right Stuff).

Thankfully, the text reprinted in Moonfire has been stripped of most of that baggage, which made Of a Fire on the Moon such a morass through which one had to wade to find insight. Instead, the text of Moonfire showcases Mailer's strengths: His undeniable prescience and powers of observation, and his gift for giving resonance to both the most minute details of his experience covering the flight of Apollo 11, and conveying the "epicness" of the whole endeavor. His account of the crew's press conference, and his impressions of their personalities, are so piercing that you feel you're right there watching and listening. And I would defy you to find another more powerful account in print of the experience of the launch of Apollo 11 than Mailer's. It is, as his narrative surrogate Aquarius might say, appropriate to its measure.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have been a collector of American manned space memorabilia for over 25 years, mostly books from the period. This one, highlighting the Apollo 11 mission, is a magnificent work of art. Excellent accounts from Mailer, quotations from astronauts and engineers, and an abundance of rare photos as well as many of the classics. It is well worth the modest price. One note: the book is so massive you won't be able to read it just anywhere!
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Format: Hardcover
The book is a gem of photography I have not seen before and the writing is unique, I had not heard of Norman Mailer, I was only 6 when Apollo 11 blasted off and man landed on the moon. Interestingly there is a gorgeous double spread photograph of the 3 astronauts their wives and children one of whom is only 6, the same age I was. Somewhere in the book there is a photograph of the plaque that reads 'We came in peace for all mankind', what a beaughtifull non biased thing to say, and there is a small pendant that was left on the moon with the signatures of something like 200 world leaders. When we look at the worlds issues now where have we gone wrong? That book to me is more than just a book about Apollo 11, it is a book symbolizing spirit and cooperation, we need more of that now than ever.

Oh, bye the way, I agree with another reviewers comments that Amazon are simply tossing books loose into boxes, there slide around and get dogearred corners. Amazon ned to educate their packers to take more care and stop skimping on shrink wrap and bubble wrap, please protect our books when you ship them.

Joe.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An excellent volume even if you aren't a collector and I really like the style of the author, tremendously insightful.

The book was simply placed in a box with another book and suffered some cosmetic damage during postage, that is not good enough, the book should of have at least, have been bubble wrapped in the box.

The book is very good value and a must for anyone with interest in Apollo.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
First, a word about the photographs, which compose most of this heavy tome. The clarity of nearly every photo makes you feel the snapshots were taken in the 21st century - not in outer space using 1960s era cameras. I have no idea how the quality of the photos can be this high, but they are, and they nearly overshadow the stunning essays interspersed between lunar terrain.

I'm not sure where to begin with the essays. I assumed that I had thought as deeply as necessary about the moon landing. I was wrong. Mailer captures not only what transpired in and around that week, but contextualizes the event in a way that underscores just how awesome it is for mankind, what it says about the nature of modern life, what it says about god and nature and man. He finds the most elaborate, brilliant themes encoded within the Apollo 11 mission and ties them to everything from good and evil, politics, race relations, and even Mailer's personal life.

This book is astonishing. I don't know where journalism like this went - perhaps it's hiding in some shadowy blog - but this book has reawakened my appreciation for just how staggering it is that we were able to send human beings to the moon. As much as we revere our cellphones and Kindles, the Apollo 11 mission operates at an entirely different level of technology and human achievement, even though our handheld gadgets contain more computing power than every motherboard at NASA in 1969.

You think you appreciate Apollo 11, but you haven't even scratched the surface until you've dug into MOONFIRE. Stop what you're doing and get this book.
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