I recently had the pleasure of sitting in the park on a warm (but thankfully not sweltering) day, listening to Ben Mezrich, the author of “The Accidental Billionaires” and “Bringing Down the House”, talk about his new book “Sex on the Moon”. Mr. Mezrich, first of all, is an incredibly engaging speaker and a pleasure to listen to – a man with 101 stories. He recounted the people he’s met, his writing process, and the crazy people who contact him, wanting him to tell their story. What an interesting life he must lead.
So back to the task at hand. “Sex on the Moon”. This book, sadly for some, is not really about going to the moon or about having sex on the moon – at least in the literal sense. The book is, however, about a smart young man named Thad who steals a 600 pound safe, filled with moon rocks, out of a secure NASA facility. Why, you may ask? Why for love, of course.
So let me start by saying that the book was definitely well-written. Unfortunately, however, I didn’t find the premise all that engaging. It’s not that the story wasn’t interesting. It was more that the story didn’t need a whole book. It felt like an amusing anecdote you’d tell a friend. “Hey, did you hear about that punk kid who stole those moon rocks and thought he wasn’t going to get caught? Seriously, what was he thinking?” Or maybe a corny rom com. “Thad worked for NASA. He thought space was his one and only love, but then he met… Rebecca.” Okay. So it wasn’t really like that, but you know what I mean.
But amazingly, Thad does come across as a somewhat likable character. Sure he’s a bit arrogant, a bit swaggering. But somehow you find a soft spot in your heart for him, for an idealistic kid who did something stupid for love and paid the price, giving up a big chunk of his life to do so. And I have to say I also somewhat admire the kid – he was able to take a bad situation and approach it with grace, taking a bad situation and making it, well, a positive one.