Space News
space history and artifacts articles

Messages
space history discussion forums

Sightings
worldwide astronaut appearances

Resources
selected space history documents

Websites
related space history websites

  collectSPACE: Messages
  Publications & Multimedia
  Magnificent Desolation: The Long Road Home from the Moon (Buzz Aldrin)

Post New Topic  Post A Reply
profile | register | preferences | faq | search

next newest topic | next oldest topic
Author Topic:   Magnificent Desolation: The Long Road Home from the Moon (Buzz Aldrin)
Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27327
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 09-25-2008 10:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Associated Press: Former astronaut Buzz Aldrin working on memoir
Former astronaut Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the moon, is working on a memoir about his triumphs in space and the hard times back on Earth.

"Magnificent Desolation: The Long Road Home from the Moon" will be published next year by Harmony Books, in time for the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing.

"From the pinnacle of Apollo, my greatest challenge became the human one -- overcoming alcoholism and living beyond depression -- a challenge that required more courage and determination than going to the moon," Aldrin, 78, said in a statement issued Thursday by Harmony.

"I was 39 years of age, had achieved my grandest goal, and should have been on top of the world, but there were no roadmaps, and few signposts if any along the way that could lead me out of the quagmire into which I had tumbled. For 10 years, I floundered."

I briefly spoke with Buzz last night about this book and his other upcoming title and the timing for the release of the two may change a bit so they do not overlap.

This will be his third memoir after "Return To Earth" (1973) and "Men From Earth" (1989). His children's book, "Reaching for the Moon" (2005) was also biographical.

capoetc
Member

Posts: 1705
From: Newnan GA (USA)
Registered: Aug 2005

posted 09-29-2008 07:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for capoetc   Click Here to Email capoetc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Did he say if he is writing the memoir himself or if he is going to have someone writing it for him?

Also, I wonder if they will release an audio version narrated by Buzz...

cspg
Member

Posts: 4046
From: Geneva, Switzerland
Registered: May 2006

posted 09-30-2008 12:48 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Why a third memoir?

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27327
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 09-30-2008 08:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by cspg:
Why a third memoir?
I have no specific knowledge as to what inspired "Magnificent Desolation" but in the past 20 years since his last memoir was published, a lot has transpired in Aldrin's public and private life.

In theory, there is enough material based on just the past two decades to justify a new book, but there's also the plot hook of a former moonwalker now contributing to the effort to return humans to the Moon...

capoetc
Member

Posts: 1705
From: Newnan GA (USA)
Registered: Aug 2005

posted 09-30-2008 11:43 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for capoetc   Click Here to Email capoetc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
...and there's also the fact that a member of the first crew to land on the moon publishing a memoir in the year of the 40th anniversary of the event will be a nice money-making venture.

I'm not saying he shouldn't do it, and I'm not saying I won't buy it, I'm just sayin'.

Jay Chladek
Member

Posts: 2211
From: Bellevue, NE, USA
Registered: Aug 2007

posted 09-30-2008 03:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Indeed there has been a lot to come along in Buzz's life in 20 years. His love life has been stable. He's the most visible of the Apollo 11 crewmembers and as such he seems to have somewhat embraced his "Rock Star" status and has done it with a bit of wit and humor (VH1's "Best Year Ever" appearance after the Lisa Nowak incident comes to mind). Then you have the infamous punch which seemed to elevate his reputation rather then damage it and he also seems to be letting his hair down more.

Besides, for somebody like me who hasn't acquired any of his previous bios, I would love to read what "Buzzer" has been up to these days.

SRB
Member

Posts: 258
From:
Registered: Jan 2001

posted 10-02-2008 09:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SRB   Click Here to Email SRB     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
With twenty years more distance, Buzz might even share with us some new stories or insights about the events before, during and after the Apollo 11 mission. After all, this could be his last chance to tell it like it was, or at least how he thought it was. That would really make a book worth buying.

cspg
Member

Posts: 4046
From: Geneva, Switzerland
Registered: May 2006

posted 03-01-2009 01:42 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A few more details and cover art via Amazon.com.
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Harmony (June 23, 2009)
  • ISBN-10: 0307463451
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307463456

Max Q
Member

Posts: 381
From: Whyalla South Australia
Registered: Mar 2007

posted 03-03-2009 04:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Max Q   Click Here to Email Max Q     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well I for one will be joining the list for one of these at my book shop. I wonder how in depth he will go into his private life and his struggles with his own demons.

Wehaveliftoff
Member

Posts: 728
From:
Registered: Aug 2001

posted 03-03-2009 11:40 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Wehaveliftoff   Click Here to Email Wehaveliftoff     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I hope cS will carry a list of dates for Buzz's new book signing dates.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27327
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 03-03-2009 11:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes, as available, Sightings will be updated with Dr. Aldrin's book signings.

Blackarrow
Member

Posts: 2024
From: Belfast, United Kingdom
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 06-23-2009 08:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I bought a copy in Waterstones in central Belfast on June 22nd. That left two copies.

SRB
Member

Posts: 258
From:
Registered: Jan 2001

posted 06-24-2009 07:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SRB   Click Here to Email SRB     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I haven't read the book yet, but I wonder why the cover art is a picture of Aldrin's EVA during Gemini 12 rather than one which relates to the book title, Magnificant Desolation, which refers to the moon.

Also, every time I see this photo of the EVA I think of the Christie's auction in 1999, which led to the boom in space memorabilia, since this photo was on the cover of the catalogue.

Jay Chladek
Member

Posts: 2211
From: Bellevue, NE, USA
Registered: Aug 2007

posted 06-26-2009 12:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Buzz was on the Today show a couple days ago and discussed why he wrote this book. Apparently when he wrote his last one, he did cover his depression, but didn't really get into his alcoholism as I guess it hadn't quite been diagnosed yet. But when the book came out, he realized he was an alcoholic and thus began that struggle. As such, this one covers that struggle as well.

In my opinion, the new cover works fine. All things considered I think this was probably Buzz's crowning achievement since he was the guy that helped to make EVAs doable again. Gemini 12 is what helped to make Buzz Aldrin popular in the eyes of many at NASA. Granted he played an important role on Apollo 11, but I think he probably considers his own role in 11 secondary to Neil's during the landing and the moon walk was sort of anti-climatic to the landing events. The world's reaction of course was different.

As such, I don't think "Magnificent Desolation" refers to the moon, but rather to what sort of happened to Buzz after he got back. Knowing Buzz, this was probably the intent of the title.

garymilgrom
Member

Posts: 1571
From: Atlanta, GA, USA
Registered: Feb 2007

posted 06-26-2009 07:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for garymilgrom   Click Here to Email garymilgrom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
At the ASF event last November Buzz showed me his 30-year sober medallion he received from AA. A superb accomplishment. I'm looking forward to reading this book.

Go Buzz!

FFrench
Member

Posts: 3093
From: San Diego
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 06-26-2009 02:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here's a review from the current issue of Bookpage. The printed issue (generally available free from local libraries) also has a roundup of other Apollo 11 books, and a brief Alan Bean Q+A.

garymilgrom
Member

Posts: 1571
From: Atlanta, GA, USA
Registered: Feb 2007

posted 07-08-2009 01:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for garymilgrom   Click Here to Email garymilgrom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I read this book over the long weekend. It's an interesting and enjoyable read. Buzz's space adventures are finished by page 58; the bulk of the book is devoted to the story of Buzz finding something worthwhile to do after "doing everything" (walking on the moon) at an early age.

Buzz is very gracious in the book. He writes thankfully about the influence of Ed White in his career decisions and John Houbolt's contribution to the Apollo program, then laughs about being "the first Buzz on the moon." He talks openly of his battles with depression and alcoholism. Finally he gives thanks to his wife Lois for the positive influences and structure she has brought to his life.

Buzz has had a bumpy road since returning from the moon, but it's reassuring to learn he is not a superman but a normal person who is approaching life's challenges much like the rest of us. Kudos to Buzz for his honest approach to life and this book.

Gary 'Scrub' Milgrom
www.spacegary.com

Gilbert
Member

Posts: 935
From: Carrollton, GA USA
Registered: Jan 2003

posted 07-09-2009 12:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gilbert   Click Here to Email Gilbert     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Good review Gary. I look forward to reading the book in the next couple of weeks.

Rob Joyner
Member

Posts: 1292
From: GA, USA
Registered: Jan 2004

posted 07-09-2009 02:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rob Joyner   Click Here to Email Rob Joyner     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Gary and those who've read the book, is the material appropriate for a recent high school graduate? Or do you think it deals too much with Aldrin's depression and alcoholism?

garymilgrom
Member

Posts: 1571
From: Atlanta, GA, USA
Registered: Feb 2007

posted 07-11-2009 08:08 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for garymilgrom   Click Here to Email garymilgrom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Buzz pulls no punches. He talks about staying in bed for days at a time depressed and drinking. He would only get up to go to KFC and the liquor store. He's also honest about liking women and being a stud before he settled down with Lois. He finally figures things out and ends with positive insights about life and his marriage, but I might wait a few years before letting a high school age kid read this. Then again it could be a useful guide in how not to conduct oneself.

I don't have kids so I'm not comfortable making a recommendation.

apolloguy
New Member

Posts:
From:
Registered:

posted 07-13-2009 10:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for apolloguy   Click Here to Email apolloguy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have finished reading "Magnificent Desolation" and was rather surprised at how many technical errors there were in it. He repeatedly refers to multiple engines on the SM, the LM ascent stage and the LM descent stage. Also says Shepard only went up 62 miles. Makes you wonder how much input Aldrin actually had.

FFrench
Member

Posts: 3093
From: San Diego
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 06-26-2010 01:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I see that the paperback edition has a new (written Feb 2010) afterword with his thoughts on NASA's new direction.

MarylandSpace
Member

Posts: 961
From:
Registered: Aug 2002

posted 06-26-2010 11:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for MarylandSpace   Click Here to Email MarylandSpace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I found a rare unsigned copy of Magnificent Desolation at our AAUW booksale last month and picked it up for $3.50.

capoetc
Member

Posts: 1705
From: Newnan GA (USA)
Registered: Aug 2005

posted 06-27-2010 09:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for capoetc   Click Here to Email capoetc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by MarylandSpace:
I found a rare unsigned copy
Now THAT might be worth something one day... an unsigned copy!

spacefan JC
New Member

Posts:
From:
Registered:

posted 07-27-2010 08:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spacefan JC   Click Here to Email spacefan JC     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I got a hardback first edition of this book signed, wanting to put it away for my little girl to discover when she is my age (it would be around the 75th anniversary). Not really thinking of massive appreciation, but it would be worth something, right? Or are there so many of these out there to hold value? Any tips on storage to make it last as long as possible? I guess by then she might be able to go to the Moon for a weekend break. As long as she brings me back a stick of moonrock.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27327
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-27-2010 08:59 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by spacefan JC:
Not really thinking of massive appreciation, but it would be worth something, right?
I would think that a hidden gift from a father to his daughter would be priceless in the eyes of the daughter. The market will be what it will be -- almost impossible to predict now, more than three decades separated.

As for preserving books, the U.S. Library of Congress offers some tips.

spacefan JC
New Member

Posts:
From:
Registered:

posted 07-27-2010 10:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spacefan JC   Click Here to Email spacefan JC     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Robert, as always, your expert guidance is appreciated. I am seriously thinking about getting my next batch of autographs (Autographica?) made out to her. I'm not trying to push my hobby onto her, but I'd like to think that she would prize them and look after them, even if she was more into handbags and shoes.

All times are CT (US)

next newest topic | next oldest topic

Administrative Options: Close Topic | Archive/Move | Delete Topic
Post New Topic  Post A Reply
Hop to:

Contact Us | The Source for Space History & Artifacts

Copyright 1999-2012 collectSPACE.com All rights reserved.


Ultimate Bulletin Board 5.47a





advertisement