Friday Reads: “Sex on the Moon”

The September meeting of the Narrative Nonfiction Book Club was another well attended event.  We discussed Ben Mezrich’s Sex on the Moon: the amazing story behind the most audacious heist in history.  Moon rocks and a meteor thought to be from mars were stolen from the Johnson Space Center in Houston by Thad Roberts, and two female accomplices, all young NASA interns hoping to become astronauts.  When they tried to peddle the rocks over the Internet, one suspicious mineral collector in Antwerp contacted the FBI and the criminals were caught red handed.

During our discussion we shared our thoughts on how Thad’s Mormon upbringing and banishment from his home around age 21 influenced the rest of his life, as well as how he re-invented himself when he entered the prestigious NASA internship program.   When discussing why such a brilliant and hard-working young man would risk his reputation for so little reward (he wanted only $100,000 for the rocks, when they were estimated to be worth $7 – 20 million) we debated about how convinced we were by the author’s argument that Thad Roberts simply wanted to give his girlfriend a piece of the moon.

We found lots to talk about with this book.  If you like your nonfiction really dressed up like a novel with plot, detailed descriptions, sex and suspense, then give this one a try.

Next month starts a new series of books with Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood, the standard-bearer for narrative nonfiction.  Pick up a copy at the reference desk and join us on October 6 at 10 AM in the Hermann Foundation Meeting Room to share your thoughts.

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