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Download Magnificent Desolation: The Long Journey Home from the Moon Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Magnificent Desolation: The Long Journey Home from the Moon Audiobook, by Buzz Aldrin
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (361 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Buzz Aldrin, Ken Abraham Narrator: Patrick Egan Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2009 ISBN: 9780307577474
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Forty years ago, Buzz Aldrin became the second human, minutes after Neil Armstrong, to set foot on a celestial body other than the Earth. The event remains one of mankind’s greatest achievements and was witnessed by the largest worldwide television audience in history. In the years since, millions more have had their Earth-centric perspective unalterably changed by the iconic photograph of Aldrin standing on the surface of the moon, the blackness of space behind him and his fellow explorer and the Eagle reflected in his visor. Describing the alien world he was walking upon, he uttered the words “magnificent desolation.” And as the astronauts later sat in the Eagle, waiting to begin their journey back home, knowing that they were doomed unless every system and part on board worked flawlessly, it was Aldrin who responded to Mission Control’s clearance to take off with the quip, “Roger. Understand. We’re number one on the runway.”

The flight of Apollo 11 made Aldrin one of the most famous persons on our planet, yet few people know the rest of this true American hero’s story. In Magnificent Desolation, Aldrin not only gives us a harrowing first-person account of the lunar landing that came within seconds of failure and the ultimate insider’s view of life as one of the superstars of America’s space program, he also opens up with remarkable candor about his more personal trials–and eventual triumphs–back on Earth. From the glory of being part of the mission that fulfilled President Kennedy’s challenge to reach the moon before the decade was out, Aldrin returned home to an Air Force career stripped of purpose or direction, other than as a public relations tool that NASA put to relentless use in a seemingly nonstop world tour. The twin demons of depression and alcoholism emerged–the first of which Aldrin confronted early and publicly, and the second of which he met with denial until it nearly killed him. He burned through two marriages, his Air Force career came to an inglorious end, and he found himself selling cars for a living when he wasn’t drunkenly wrecking them. Redemption came when he finally embraced sobriety, gained the love of a woman, Lois, who would become the great joy of his life, and dedicated himself to being a tireless advocate for the future of space exploration–not only as a scientific endeavor but also as a thriving commercial enterprise.

These days Buzz Aldrin is enjoying life with an enthusiasm that reminds us how far it is possible for a person to travel, literally and figuratively. As an adventure story, a searing memoir of self-destruction and self-renewal, and as a visionary rallying cry to once again set our course for Mars and beyond, Magnificent Desolation is the thoroughly human story of a genuine hero.


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Quotes & Awards

  • Buzz Aldrin relives the Magnificent Desolation of space, and the soul-sucking depression that awaited back home. Vanity Fair, “Hot Type”
  • "An admirable account of an icon of the golden age of space flight. Kirkus Reviews
  • “Space fans, in particular, will cheer. Booklist
  • “Aldrin presents a no-holds-barred account of how his celebrity, career and human weaknesses nearly destroyed his life….This inspiring story exhibits Aldrin as a different, perfectly human kind of hero, giving readers a sympathetic look at a man eclipsed by his own legend. Publishers Weekly
  • “Buzz Aldrin relives the Magnificent Desolation of space, and the soul-sucking depression that awaited back home. Vanity Fair, “Hot Type”
  • “Riveting reading. The Economist
  • “Leads the field of new releases.The candid portrayal of his earthly battles—often written with great humor—make this a cut above the rest….Great holiday reading. New Scientist
  • “Captivating….an engaging first-hand account by one of history’s most important explorers. Alive East Bay
  • “Riveting reading.” 

    Economist

  • “Buzz Aldrin relives the Magnificent Desolation of space, and the soul-sucking depression that awaited back home.”

    Vanity Fair

  • “Leads the field of new releases. The candid portrayal of his earthly battles—often written with great humor—make this a cut above the rest.” 

    New Scientist

  • “Captivating…An engaging first-hand account by one of history’s most important explorers.”

    Alive East Bay

  • “This inspiring story exhibits Aldrin as a different, perfectly human kind of hero, giving readers a sympathetic look at a man eclipsed by his own legend.” 

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Space fans, in particular, will cheer.” 

    Booklist

  • “An admirable account of an icon of the golden age of space flight.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • A New York Times bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Evan | 2/8/2014

    " this book was okay but it was boring and very depressing. i expected him to tell a beutiful and amazing adventure of space. but it was boring flat out boring even if you love space don't read it. i cant really say much though because buzz is really old so i dont expect him to be an amazing writer but i just didnt like this book but it did have some good parts "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 David R. | 1/29/2014

    " A complete disappointment. Aldrin's alternating pity parties and name-dropping left me cold. In fact, I found myself rather disliking this childhood hero. I wish I hadn't read the book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Darrick | 1/23/2014

    " The most interesting part only took up 10% of the book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lisa | 1/23/2014

    " I enjoyed the chronicles of the space program, and felt a lot of sympathy for Aldrin and the way his life deteriorated after his walk on the moon. The latter part of the book lost my interest as it focused on private space adventures. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Liz | 1/9/2014

    " First part of the book is about the moon landing, the part of Aldrin's life most are familiar with. The rest deals with his battles with depression and alcohol while struggling to find out what to do with himself post NASA. Interesting but somewhat repetative. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 David Griffin | 9/22/2013

    " This book contains a good combination of his professional and personal life. I admire his honesty about his struggles after returning from the moon. All in all a must read for people with an interest in space. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Teo smite | 9/20/2012

    " Great description of his moon landing followed by his own personal crisis. The last part of the book is superb as he hashes out how best to continue exploring space. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Vicki | 9/7/2011

    " The author was at times repetitive but also very interesting and honest. I didn't always agree with him but it was interesting to read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 John Lueckenotte | 1/28/2011

    " Love this personal account from Dr. Rendezvous "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Bill | 12/29/2010

    " Interesting, but not great book. Frankly, I got a little tired of Buzz. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kathy | 10/20/2010

    " Life after walking on the moon was a big comedown (ha-ha) for this former astronaut, who embarked on a liquid diet as he tried to determine what to do next...The ghostwriter's workmanlike prose slowly reveals an intriguing story about personal reinvention. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Cristy | 8/25/2010

    " I'm a huge fan of Mr. Aldrin, but someone should've gotten him a co-writer. In wrongly assuming he was capable of writing a book, Aldrin took a captivating story and marred it with every writing mistake imaginable. Truly unfortunate. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Janel | 8/21/2010

    " Last third was too personal. Want to know Buzz has successfully overcome major personal issues, but not in such detail. First two-thirds very interesting related to moon landing and immediate subsequent events. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Teo | 8/4/2010

    " Great description of his moon landing followed by his own personal crisis. The last part of the book is superb as he hashes out how best to continue exploring space. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Patty | 7/14/2010

    " This was an interesting book about Buzz Aldrin the second man on the moon. I really enjoyed reading Buzz's account of the moon landing and how it affect his life "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Greg | 5/29/2010

    " Very interesting book about Buzz Aldrin's life after the moon landing. I found the space-related stuff the most compelling. Some of his struggles were pretty heavy, and the discussion can be a bit of a downer. But if you're interested in Buzz, it's a must-read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 John | 5/25/2010

    " Love this personal account from Dr. Rendezvous "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 G0rd0 | 4/28/2010

    " I'll never tire of reading about Apollo missions, especially from a primary source, so the first hundred pages were great.Aldrin's passion for space seems to overwhelm his mere earthling existence.Nice to see the human side of an astronaut. Not a spellbinding book but a memoir of proportion. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Maren | 3/29/2010

    " Although the first part of book is really good, going from the moon landing to Aldrin's battle with alcoholism and depression, the last third becomes very self promotional, with a lot of name dropping "My friend the King of Spain..." and promoting his ideas about space exploration. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Liz | 1/8/2010

    " First part of the book is about the moon landing, the part of Aldrin's life most are familiar with. The rest deals with his battles with depression and alcohol while struggling to find out what to do with himself post NASA. Interesting but somewhat repetative. "

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About the Author
Author Buzz Aldrin

Buzz Aldrin, best known for his Apollo 11 moonwalk, holds a doctorate in astronautics and continues to wield influence as an international advocate of space science and planetary exploration. He has written a number of books, including several nonfiction books, science fact/fiction novels, and two children’s books.

About the Narrator

Patrick Egan is an audiobook narrator whose readings include Miguel Nicolelis’ Beyond Boundaries, Peter Guber’s Tell to Win, Harvey Sachs’ The Ninth, and numerous others.