Most helpful positive review
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Movie whets appetite, book fills it!
on September 14, 2002
It had been a long time since I first saw the Apollo 13 movie and it was on TV, so I stopped and watched (and didn't move again until it was finished). The movie was fascinating, and it really triggered an interest to know more about what actually happened. With the limited time format in a movie to convey the technical information and the science behind 'slingshotting' the Apollo spacecraft around the moon, it was difficult to the full impact of the immense effort to get these men back safely. So when I had an opportunity to get the book, I did.
I think this is the first time I've read a book and seen a movie that were both excellent. The movie did the best possible job in a limited time to convey the urgency. The book, which is filled with the conversations of the astronauts with NASA space center, as well as the innovation behind the scenes of all the men involved (and the companies) is absolute 'must' reading for anyone who wants to understand the science and engineering behind this almost-disaster. I beg to differ with the men who felt they had failed, including Lovell who did not get to land on the moon. Without the knowledge they gained from this flight, more people may have died...and it certainly advanced knowledge and understanding for space flight for the rest of us left on earth below.
This is an incredible story and an well-written book. I could hardly put the thing down, and this is not an area of expertise or interest for me usually. It's a little hard to keep the names and people straight, because so many were involved. But it is worth the effort. This is an excellent book to give to students interested in space or engineering. I could see requiring this book to be read in science classrooms, showing the movie, and then having the students get more involved in the actual science, such as calculations of distances...map/reliefs of why the moon for a slingshot effect, etc.
Great stuff, and for once, great men who truly can be called heroes (both on the earth and in space). A means of teaching that true heroes are those who use their minds and actually 'do' something that has an impact for good.
University of Pittsburgh