A disappointing, ill-conceived attempt

2011-11-02 00:00

THE author has written this book on the heels of his successful book about Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. This one is also based on reality — it is about a Nasa student who breaks all Nasa security protocols to steal a piece of the moon. As a plot, it probably will have some readers hooked.

The problem is that Thad Roberts (25), the young protagonist in the story, is not really a man one can identify with. In fact, he really is unlikeable. He has a massive chip on his shoulder about his strict religious upbringing and his alienation from his family. Roberts is eager to prove to himself and the other Nasa interns that he is not only as good as they are but better.

This insecurity leads him into this ridiculous situation, and I am sure other readers will feel that he deserves everything that is coming to him. Roberts commits a crime in the name of love, but a cheating husband is seldom seen as a hero in a crime where the haul is a rock that has indescribable scientific value.

The moon rocks are dumped in a storage room once they have been used in tests. Roberts decides he will sell these “useless” moon rocks and use the money to fund his own scientific projects. His grand plans come to nothing when he is busted by the FBI. He is found guilty and jailed, and while in prison he decided to contact Mezrich and offered to tell his story.

Mezrich has done extensive research and has also hyped up the story in true Hollywood style. There is no doubt the title is the most catchy thing about the book. Like most ill-conceived plans — this one was bound to fail in a splendid fashion.

If you like Mezrich’s over-the-top style and have a choice between this book and the telephone directory, then read this. But don’t hold your breath.

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