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Apollo 8

The Thrilling Story of the First Mission to the Moon
Written by: Jeffrey Kluger
Narrated by: Brian Troxell
Length: 11 hrs and 8 mins
Categories: History, Americas
5 out of 5 stars (10 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

This program includes a bonus conversation with Commander Frank Borman plus archival audio from Apollo 8's lunar orbit and from the cockpit during the mission.

The untold story of the historic voyage to the moon that closed out one of our blackest, bloodiest years with a nearly unimaginable triumph

In August 1968 NASA made a bold decision: In just 16 weeks, the United States would launch humankind's first flight to the moon. Only the year before, three astronauts had burned to death in their spacecraft, and since then the Apollo program had suffered one setback after another. Meanwhile, the Russians were winning the space race, the Cold War was getting hotter by the month, and President Kennedy's promise to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade seemed sure to be broken. But when Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, and Bill Anders were summoned to a secret meeting and told of the dangerous mission, they instantly signed on.

Written with all the color and verve of the best narrative nonfiction, Apollo 8 takes us from Mission Control to the astronauts' homes, from the test labs to the launchpad. The race to prepare an untested rocket for an unprecedented journey paves the way for the hair-raising trip to the moon. Then, on Christmas Day, a nation that has suffered a horrendous year of assassinations and war is heartened by an inspiring message from the trio of astronauts in lunar orbit. And when the mission is over - after the first view of the far side of the moon, the first Earth-rise, and the first reentry through the Earth's atmosphere following a flight to deep space - the impossible dream of walking on the moon suddenly seems within reach.

The full story of Apollo 8 has never been told, and only Jeffrey Kluger - Jim Lovell's coauthor on their best-selling book about Apollo 13 - can do it justice. Here is the tale of a mission that was both a calculated risk and a wild crapshoot, a stirring account of how three American heroes forever changed our view of the home planet.

©2017 Jeffrey Kluger (P)2017 Macmillan Audio

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Kluger did justice to this amazing voyage

Apollo 8 is overshadowed by Apollo 11, the moon landing. That is the injustice that Kluger sets right in this exceptionally fine work. The author's writing and organization maintain a balance of the all elements that contributed to this mission; a difficult task for such a complex matter. It really came alive.

Kluger successfully conveys what it was like to be an astronaut, or even a member of one of the support groups, for the Gemini and Apollo missions. I thought I understood, but I did not (... and you can keep that damn job, thanks).

The narration was as good as it gets. The addition of the actual recorded conversations, included in the final half hour of the book, bring the listener even closer to this epic story.

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  • Gregory Stark
  • 2017-05-20

Inspirational

For an engineering student who was a little shaky on NASA history, this book was absolutely incredible historically, informationally, and as a source of patriotic inspiration. Eagerly recommend to anyone

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • J
  • 2017-11-17

Great history of NASA and Apollo 8: a must listen

This is one of the best books I have listened to on Audible! It is a detailed, yet fast moving history of the space program and the 1960's. The author introduces and develops the key players in the space program, like Frank Borman and Gus Grissom. You quickly 'get to know them' and see the unfolding drama of the ups and downs of the program through their eyes. Even though you know the outcome, it is still a very suspenseful book and it provides great detail, without being dense.
The reader's performance is excellent and an interview with Frank Borman and select transmissions between Houston and Apollo 8 are included as a bonus.
Highly recommend this book!

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Jack Mueller
  • 2017-06-24

Fabulous Book

Where does Apollo 8 rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

One of the best audiobooks I have ever listened to.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Apollo 8?

The account of the flight to the moon was great and although you know the conclusion the suspense is palpable.

What does Brian Troxell bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Really great narration. He helps grips the listener with with great voice inflection and yet kept the story moving.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The moment the Astronauts saw earth from the moon.

Any additional comments?

If your heart doesn't swell with pride you are not breathing. Where did those days go?

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Warf
  • 2018-01-31

Apollo 8 a thriller

Excellent book, loved every moment. recommend it to everyone. love the touch of Frank Gorman final words at the end.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Ron
  • Asheboro, NC, USA
  • 2019-03-11

Much Better Than I Expected

This is definitely one of my favorite history books, although it was really like a review. Can it really be history since I saw it live on tv? Jeffrey Kluger did an excellent job of keeping the back story moving along. The actual mission recordings at the end as well as Bormans interview was a perfect conclusion to the story. Highly recommended

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • TG
  • 2019-01-17

A good reminder of what humans can accomplish

I absolutely loved the book. There are many insights in this book that I didn't know about the mission.

The book did a great job explaining how Apollo 8 ia the space geeks' best Apollo mission - there were so many firsts.

The narrator didn't excellent job of getting out of the way of the story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • E. Branch
  • 2018-12-24

Audible edition, audio extras very enjoyable

This audio version of Apollo 8 by Jeffrey Kluger was excellent. While I was already familiar with the history of the Apollo program, I enjoyed the description of the mission to orbit the moon and return to earth with all the added details of the political and cultural occurrences in America during that time putting this historic mission in context with a time of upheaval. NASA personnel were insulated and isolated to a point, but it is well worth considering what was happening all around them. This makes the words of the telegram Borman and crew received on their return all the more poignant and meaningful.

I especially enjoyed the “audio extras” of the actual mission control audio conversations with the astronauts during various portions of the mission, including the Christmas Eve reading, and also the interview of Borman by the author.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • thephoenixking
  • 2018-08-06

The best audio book I've ever listened to.

"Thrilling" does not do justice to the adventure with. Brought me tears with sadness and with happiness. The narrator is great and the historical context that is included adds to the story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Randall L. Teesdale
  • 2018-08-06

Best Audio Book Yet

I have been an audible customer for about 3 years. I have listened to 55 books in this time and Apollo 8 is the best book yet. The quality of the production is outstanding and I truly appreciate Brian Troxell's narration. He made the experience one where I did not want the experience to end. I highly recommend this book to everyone. It's a great listen.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Nimrod
  • 2018-07-31

A wonderful historic tale

A wonderful portrait well described of momentous historical events. Wonderfully edited and read. A truly great production.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful