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Review of The Right Stuff (1979) by Tom Wolfe

The narrative voice in this novel is exceptionally enjoyable. I laughed a lot more than anticipated for a book about test fighter pilots and the space program. I especially found the the “voice” of the chimps that Wolfe employed amusing and heart-breaking all at once. Those poor primates in the “box.” In a lot of ways, it points out the pains of progress and how the lab-coats viewed the astronauts as primates / lab rats as well. The fascinating part is that initially the title of astronaut was so dubious, many of the candidates seriously considered turning down this now most-coveted title.
Another part of the book that was unexpected was Wolfe’s narrative on New York City, when John Glenn has his parade there and how the city transcends the borders of the U.S. I’d never viewed it that way consciously, but his argument is valid and thought-provoking from a place I didn’t expect. All in all, this book gave me much to think about while being wildly entertaining as told in a strong voice that employed sarcasm, deception, hyperbole, and the righteous stuff!

Published inBook / Story ReviewsBook Reviews

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