As I picked up the book reading just the first half of the title and wondering if it was lying in a misplaced section of the bookstore, I was intrigued by the plot. If either of these two feats were true, I knew it would make a gripping tale. Recounted by Ben Mezrich, who has penned down The Accidental Billionaires which was then adapted for the movie The Social Network, I knew the author would add just the right amount of splendor in it for an interesting read.
Sex on the Moon is a book based on the real life incidence of Thad Roberts, a former intern in the NASA’s Johnson Space Center (JSC). We learn that Roberts is a young adventurous guy who is married to his high school sweetheart and not in speaking terms with his family. He has a rebel streak in him which we realize when he starts stealing fossils while working at the Utah Museum because he feels they are being wasted by not being displayed. This lays the premise for what is to follow when Thad joins the Johnson Space Center as a trainee.
Thad Roberts is on a mission when he’s accepted by NASA. He wants to shrug the feeling of being insignificant in the world. So, what does he do? He starts getting famous among his colleagues with his rebellious and daredevil ways. Till now, the book reads like a college-goer’s diary. Skinny-dipping, fair amount of attention from the opposite sex and Thad’s rise as the guy of the moment. Sadly, the naivety continues through the entire book failing to grip our sentiments as an audience.
We get our first hint about “the most audacious heist story in history” when Thad is shown his first moon rock in NASA. Thad along with his girlfriend (yes, the immensely popular Thad now has a girlfriend) and another female accomplice from NASA plot a plan to steal the moon-rocks that have been brought back to the Earth from various lunar missions and now lie in a safe inside the Space Center. What follows if their execution of the heist, finding an online buyer for the moon rocks and how FBI gets involved.
The book has all the ingredients required for making it a compelling page-turner. A bright mind pulling a never-heard of heist and managing to steal moon-rocks for his girl friend. Sadly, the story-telling by Ben Mezrich leaves us wanting for more. The book still makes for a quick light-hearted read on a lazy afternoon.
P.S: If you are still wondering on what significance does the title have with the story. Thad and his girlfriend stack up the rocks under the mattress of a motel room after the heist and make-out.