The Right Stuff Read & Download ´ 104

Read ´ PDF, DOC, TXT or eBook ↠ Tom Wolfe

Ck Yeager the greatest test pilot of all and the fastest man on earth Pete Conrad who almost laughed himself out of the running Gus Grissom who almost lost it when his capsule sank John Glenn the only space traveler whose apple pie image wasn't a li. Catch up Review 2 of 4So this was a buddy read among the pantsless in honor of the 50th anniversary of the moon landing Unfortunately for me it was of a failure to launch than a successful mission See what I did thereI WANTED to like this I wanted to learn about the men who made this mission the ones brave enough to leave the planet and try to land on the moon the ones that clearly had cojones the size of beachballs that's the right stuff spoiler alert but I could not make it past the writing to get there This shit is DATED The writing is not good At all Chocked full to the brim with exclamation points and italicized emphasis and reiterations and repetition and regurgitation and repeating the same thing again just maybe one or two dozen times to make sure that you REALLY FUCKING GET IT and that's just the abysmal editing really The tone and style was also extremely problematic to me On the one hand Tom Wolfe is pulling zero punches when it comes to describing these pilots and the danger they constantly faced during their test flights He describes very clearly the risks they encountered every single day and not only lived with but THRIVED under But on the other hand at some point he crossed the line from healthy respect into gleefully macabre The way that he would go into gruesome unnecessary detail when it came to jet crashes and what happens to the pilot in them not only in general terms but minute detailing of the death the smell of the burning and the texture and the appearance of the corpse afterward it just came across as being exciting to him Which is super fucked up One part in particular really bothered me in this way and it was extremely offensive to me how he portrayed it Now I should just add a uick note here that I have family in the military and I respect those who serve even if it might be for reasons I disagree with but I am not one who blindly waves the support our troops flag or thinks anyone in uniform is sacred or something I can even walk by a uniformed person and NOT thank them for their service It's crazy I know So I think it should say something that I was super fucking offended by the way that Wolfe portrayed the death of one of these men who died on duty It was gratuitous completely unnecessary and actually pissed me off because of how irreverently and excitedly he wrote about it Granted the surviving pilots would have had to distance themselves from the understanding that it could be them crashing and burning at any time so they made light of it didn't dwell on it victim blamed that it was pilot error they'd never make etc But they were the ones who still had to go up in a plane the next day Their attitude was understandable to me Wolfe's was not This is nonfiction These men were real people They were someone's son Someone's father Someone's husband Someone's brother or cousin or friend He used these men's gruesome deaths to feed his fucking gleeful gore fetish and it made me mad The scene where the pilot bailed out and his parachute didn't open we all know what that means We get it We understand what an 8100 foot direct freefall onto concrete while strapped into a pilot seat will do to a human body There's no need to write what he wrote There just isn't The attitude and tone he chose to go with is disgusting These were REAL PEOPLE not Saw IV characters I understand that this pilot would have been alive but unable to do anything about his fate But rather than acknowledging that and being respectful of the terror of his situation in his last moments and the dedication it takes to know every single day that this could be your last and you know that despite all their talk and bravado every single one of these men did know that Wolfe goes the complete other way and reduces this person to a bag of fertilizer LITERALLYHow fucking disrespectful How insulting How cruel to his family to write something like that into a book for posterity That shit sickened me not because of the description but because of the condescending attitude of the shitty ass author who wrote it Fuck that guy Now I think it's likely that he was trying to be one of the guys and act as cavalier about death as they had to be but he wasn't one of the guys He was writing about them interviewing them and portraying THEIR story to readers who have no idea what that life is like The author a good author would take all of that and clarify it and present it in a way that doesn't change or take away from the experiences and interviews but makes it feel real and substantial without being cruel about it This just did not work for me And then there's this By 1949 the girls had begun turning up at Pancho's in amazing numbers They were young lovely juicy frisky—and there were so many of them at all hours every day of the week And they were not prostitutes despite the accusations made later They were just well just young juicy girls in their twenties with terrific young conformations and sweet cupcakes and loamy loins They were sometimes described with a broad sweep as stewardesses but only a fraction of them really were No they were lovely young things who arrived as mysteriously as the sea gulls who sought the suirming shrimp They were moist labial piping little birds who had somehow learned that at this strange place in the high Mojave lived the hottest young pilots in the world and that this was where things were happeningOh no no no no Nope NOPE I get that he's TRYING to represent how these guys would have seen the women but at the point he wrote it he was an almost 50 year old man talking about girls barely out of their teens Fucking gross That shit probably makes Bill Cosby cringe That was definitely the worst that I read I Noped out pretty much at that point but that definitely was not the first time it was pretty gross in the sexism sector The incredibly casual sexism of the time was on full display and I just couldn't do it It wasn't all bad Chapter 4 was pretty good I wish I could remember at this point what was IN chapter 4 but after well over a month of this just sitting around all I can think of was the really really bad stuff OH I just remembered It was the chapter in which the pilots were all being tested for the super secret mission and none of them knew what they were being tested for At this point they were all just regular jet pilots nobody had any thought of going to space at allStill I wouldn't recommend anyone NOT read it I would just forewarn you that you'll want to keep your sickbag handy and your hand on the ejector seat button as it is likely to get a bit bumpy and you may need to bail out I would recommend that you keep your seatbelt fastened at all times and in the event of a drop in cabin pressure resulting in a loss of consciousness well at least you'd know your fate Wolfe will have described it to you in all its gleeful detail

Summary The Right Stuff

The Right StuffWhen the future beganThe men had it Yeager Conrad Grissom Glenn Heroes the first Americans in space battling the Russians for control of the heavens putting their lives on the lineThe women had it While Mr Wonderful was aloft it tore your heart out. Treasure of the Rubbermaids 24 Rocket Men The on going discoveries of priceless books and comics found in a stack of Rubbermaid containers previously stored and forgotten at my parent’s house and untouched for almost 20 years Thanks to my father dumping them back on me I now spend my spare time unearthing lost treasures from their plastic depthsIf you a 21st century person ever sees one of the old Mercury space capsules in a museum you’ll probably be amazed at how small and primitive it seems Whatever device you’re reading this on right now has computing power than all of NASA had at the time It looks like a toy something that a kid might have in his backyard to play rocket ship rather than a vehicle that actually took a man into space Your next thought might be “What kind of fool would have volunteered to strap himself into that on top of a giant cylinder filled with highly combustible fuel and ride it out of the atmosphere” To understand that you can read The Right StuffThis isn’t some dry account of the early days of America’s space program filled with dates and scientific facts In fact if that’s the kind of history you’re looking for then you’d probably find this disappointing What Tom Wolfe did here is try to convey the mindset of an America panicked by suddenly finding itself behind the Soviet Union in the space race and how in its desperation it turned seven pilots chosen to be the first astronauts into national heroes Those men would find themselves in a media spotlight where the image they presented was often important than their actual skills in the cockpit Wolfe starts by explaining what the ‘right stuff’ is by taking us back to late ‘40s when a hotshot test pilot named Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier The fact that Yeager did this with broken ribs and used a length of sawed off broom handle as a lever to close the hatch on his X 1 rocket plane because he was in too much pain to lean over made it that much impressive What adds to his legend is that he got the injury in a drunken horse riding accident the night before and hid it from his superiors for fear they’d replace him on the flight That’s the kind of thing that shows that Yeager had the right stuff practically dripping out of his pores and put him at the top of the test pilot pyramidYet when the Soviets launched Sputnik and America scrambled to catch up Yeager wasn’t seriously considered as an astronaut candidate and to many of the other test pilots who were setting speed records and pushing the boundary of space anyhow in their rocket propelled aircraft it was only a matter of time until they'd be flying into space anyhow To them the Mercury program was a publicity stunt in which the astronauts would only be sealed in a can and shot into space without really flying the ship at all Hell it was so easy that a monkey could do it and a couple actually didYet after the media declared the Mercury 7 as the best and bravest that America had to offer everyone started forgetting about the test pilots and put all the resources and attention on the astronauts The seven men themselves would start pushing back for changes that gave them control of their spacecraft and while they may have started out as a little than guinea pigs they used their popularity to get power and control within the fledgling NASA This led to the egghead scientists taking a backseat while a military mindset of operational performance became the yardstick that determined a mission’s success More importantly to them it would show the world that they really did have the right stuffThis is all written as a novel than a history For example rather than tell us what was happening on the ground during flights Wolfe sticks to what was going through the astronaut’s head at the time so that something like John Glenn finding out that his heat shield may have been loose comes to us as a realization that he had rather than giving us the full picture of what was going on It also delves into the personal lives of the astronauts where they and their wives would try to present an All American image even as some of the men were taking full advantage of the new celebrity they had attainedIt’s also freuently very funny There’s a great seuence near the beginning about how if you find yourself on an airline flight with a problem and the captain on the intercom explains how there is nothing to worry about in a calm southern drawl it’s a direct result of generations of pilots imitating Chuck Yeager’s accent over the radio to mimic his understated sense of calmAs a space geek and historical stickler I do find it lacking at a couple of points Wolfe doesn’t give you any details about what happened to these men later so that you wouldn’t know something like Alan Shepherd would eventually be one of the men who walks on the moon after being grounded with an inner ear problem after his first flight I also think he also does a disservice to Gus Grissom whose mission nearly ended in disaster after splashdown when his capsule door unexpectedly blew open Grissom nearly drowned at the capsule was lost at sea It was recovered almost 40 years later It has been restored and can be seen at the Cosmosphere in Hutchinson KS Wolfe uses Grissom’s heart rate which was higher than any other astronauts during their mission to strongly hint that he was in a state of near panic during his flight and that he probably did blow the hatch despite his claims that he had done nothing wrong In other words Grissom didn’t really have the right stuff after all according to Wolfe It’s still unclear as to why the hatch did blow but even back then on a subseuent mission Wally Schirra had deliberately blown his own hatch as a test and showed that the force reuired to do it left visible bruises on his hand while Grissom had no marks at all I’ve also read other accounts and seen various documentaries in which other astronauts and NASA officials adamantly claim that it must have been a technical failure not anything that Grissom did wrong Wolfe omits all of this to leave a reader with a very strong impression that Grissom ‘screwed the pooch’ This seems especially unfair in that Grissom wasn’t alive to defend himself when the book came out since he had died in the Apollo 1 launch pad fire which also killed two other astronauts It’s a bitter irony that they couldn’t get out because the hatch of that spacecraft was badly designed so that it couldn’t be opened when the fire occurredDespite some flaws it’s still a fantastic read that really digs into the idea of how the macho code of these men was sometimes a crippling burden it was also maybe exactly what was needed to get a bunch of guys to willingly climb into rockets I also highly recommend the movie adaptation although it’s of an emotional story than historically accurate

Tom Wolfe ↠ 4 characters

The Right Stuff Read & Download ´ 104 Ð When the future beganThe men had it Yeager Conrad Grissom Glenn Heroes the first Americans in space battling the Russians for control of the heavens putting their lives on the lineThe women had it While Mr Wonderful was aloft it tore your heart out that the Hero's Wife down on the ground had to perform wThat the Hero's Wife down on the ground had to perform with the whole world watching the TV Press Conference What's in your heart Do you feel with him while he's in orbitThe Right Stuff It's the uality beyond bravery beyond courage It's men like Chu. Good GRIEF somebody please remind me about this the next time I think I will read a Tom Wolfe book I seem to read one about every 15 years and in between I forget what an unpleasant experience I find it I cannot Take The exclamation points I'm one of those people who constitutionally cannot ignore an exclamation point on the printed page so reading this was like being shouted at for great lengths of time As everyone in the free world already knows this is Tom Wolfe's book about the Mercury Space program focusing on the personalities of the test pilots and the social significance of beating the Russians into space or you know failing to do that I'm sure I've seen the movie countless times mostly in parts on cable but I had never read the book and that didn't seem right I'm not even sure it seems right now either but I will say that for a book that I found almost painful to read I have absolutely no doubt it informs just about every image we have of the space race and NASA in popular culture So that part is impressiveGrade I don't even knowRecommended This is one of those books where I feel like I gained something in the end but the process of getting there was almost unbearable