24 Down, 28 Left (52 Weeks, 52 Books)

a fall of moondust

To be succinct, this book is Apollo 13 on a high-tech tour bus, trapped in quicksand, on the moon.

I’d say Arthur C. Clarke’s A Fall Of Moondust is just as enjoyable as the Ron Howard movie, except Sir Clarke tends to be a little quaint with regards to what one might consider interesting.

Among the first things the passengers decide to do when stranded are book discussions and funny little skits to combat boredom. I mean, its made clear there’s nothing they can do but wait for rescue, but the idea of getting riled up about pulp romances when trapped under 20 tons of lunar dust seems faintly ridiculous to me.

Also, keeping in mind this was written in 1960 – a couple years before the women’s rights movement – Sir Clarke is a tad chauvinistic when it comes to his women characters, who are either stewardess, ex-strippers, or old prudes. Sure, the stewardess is spunky and all can-do spirit, but it doesn’t make his tone any less condescending.

But once you get past all that, the book is really quite gripping. For me, the best part of Apollo 13 is the cool troubleshooting by the engineers back in Houston, and Moondust has its fair share of dorky inventor moments as well. As pop sci-fi goes, this book is great for some quick brain candy.

A Fall Of Moondust
(ISBN No: 0575073179) Check NLB Catalogue for item availability.

My next book will be Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis.

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