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Wolfe's roots in New Journalism were intertwined with the nonfiction novel that Truman Capote had pioneered with In Cold Blood. As Capote did, Wolfe tells his story from a limited omniscient perspective, dropping into the lives of his "characters" as each in turn becomes a major player in the space program. After an opening chapter on the terror of being a test pilot's wife, the story cuts back to the late 1940s, when Americans were first attempting to break the sound barrier. Test pilots, we discover, are people who live fast lives with dangerous machines, not all of them airborne. Chuck Yeager was certainly among the fastest, and his determination to push through Mach 1--a feat that some had predicted would cause the destruction of any aircraft--makes him the book's guiding spirit.
Yet soon the focus shifts to the seven initial astronauts. Wolfe traces Alan Shepard's suborbital flight and Gus Grissom's embarrassing panic on the high seas (making the controversial claim that Grissom flooded his Liberty capsule by blowing the escape hatch too soon). The author also produces an admiring portrait of John Glenn's apple-pie heroism and selfless dedication. By the time Wolfe concludes with a return to Yeager and his late-career exploits, the narrative's epic proportions and literary merits are secure. Certainly The Right Stuff is the best, the funniest, and the most vivid book ever written about America's manned space program. --Patrick O'Kelley --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Technically accurate, learned, cheeky, risky, touching, tough, compassionate, nostalgic, worshipful, jingoistic . . . The Right Stuff is superb."--The New York Times Book Review
"One of the most romantic and thrilling books ever written about men who put themselves in peril."--The Boston Globe
"An exhilarating flight into fear, love, beauty, and fiery death . . . Magnificent."--People
"Absolutely first class . . . Improbable as some of Wolfe's tales seem, I know he's telling it like it was."--The Washington Post Book World
"Crammed with inside poop and racy incident . . . fast cars, booze, astro groupies, the envies and injuries of the military caste system . . . Wolfe lays it all out in brilliantly staged Op Lit scenes."--Time
"Splendid . . . It shows our propensity to manufacture heroes, and, just as quickly, to forget them; it shows how a scientific program was exploited for political advantage; it provides a revealing character study of seven exceptional Americans."--The Saturday Review
A great inside view of the Mercury program and our first men in space. Tom Wolfe is a delightful, funny and interesting writer.Published 12 days ago by Karen Harbour
I didn't see the movie until many years after it came out. When I did, the intentional mythologizing of history really grabbed me. I just had to read the book. Read morePublished 21 days ago by Henry Brown
The story soars for the first half and then, like a rocket running out of fuel, falls back to earth. Read morePublished 22 days ago by Fletcher
I vaguely remember scenes from the movie as a child. This text provides vivid context to the test-pilot/fighter-jock/astronaut culture in the midst of the Cold War era. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Mark H. Gunther
Full of fascinating details. Provided a great view inside the self-image of test pilots turned astronauts. A great read. Highly recommend.Published 1 month ago by Vintage Racer
Fast delivery. This is a great book for anyone interested in early flight and the pilots who broke records and others who moved into the early space program.Published 1 month ago by Amzon Shopper
I love all of his books, but Bonfire of the Vanities, A Man in Full and Back To Blood are the best onesPublished 1 month ago by T H.