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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 book was not helpful. I expected an in depth review on flying, but instead it was a scientific densely written hogwash.Published 10 days ago by they can't do it because they don't have gamecenter
ok... didn't love it though. interesting subject matter, but longer than it had to be for the content in there... and annoying repetitive around certain thingsPublished 1 month ago by Eddie molloy
Wolfe's classic work about the space program, flying, combat, manhood, and the media. Factual, evocative, observant and witty, I think it's one of the defining pieces of writing... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Rei Shinozuka
Good book. The movie is great, one of those ones I have on DVD and watch a couple of times a year. For some reason I waited this long before reading the book. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Chad Hightower
A modern classic. The page-turning narrative of Tom Clancy with the literary elegance of Robert Frost. Cannot recommend highly enough.Published 1 month ago by sam leverenz
I thought this non fiction book was very good, well written and factually accurate.Published 1 month ago by binary774
A great read, more about the psychology of the right stuff. I really enjoyed it! I would definitely recommend it.Published 1 month ago by Tom Pongetti