I carried the fire for six years, and now I would like to tell you about it, simply and directly as a test pilot must, for the trip deserves the telling.
This was a really good book. Little altlovesbooks wanted to be an astronaut so badly as a kid, until my dad told me I had to join the Air Force. Then I wanted to be an astronomer, but mid-grade altlovesbooks was only passable at math and physics. Adult altlovesbooks now just stares up at the sky and wonders what it's like to be up there and watches SpaceX launches on YouTube. Not quite the same thing, but I'll take what I can get.
Michael Collins, the “third man” of Apollo 11 who stayed behind while the other two astronaut rock stars walked around on the moon, is a talented, engaging writer. He has this sense of pragmatism about him that really made reading about his early days trying to get into the space program, the training once getting in, and the rigors of spaceflight extremely compelling. He's also got a nice way of breaking down complex concepts into easy to understand passages, which is especially nice when talking about something as complex as spaceflight. He's also funny, has a nice, dry humor, and seems really adept at summing up the people and personalities around him. I especially liked the segment, almost an epilogue of sorts, after regaling us about Apollo 11. He goes into detail about where they all ended up and why, about his thoughts on the past and future of the space program, and a general sense of his hopes and wishes for mankind going forward. It was funny, moving, philosophical, and something that's relatable.
This made my favorites of 2020 list, and I'm really glad I spent some time reading it. I listened to the audiobook, and the narrator was extremely easy to listen to. Highly recommend to anyone and everyone.