Free «The Worst Book: In the Shadow of the Moon» Essay

The Worst Book: In the Shadow of the Moon

Comparing books that cover different issues is a complicated thing to do, taking into account that each person has his or her own tastes and emotional reactions. Realizing the subjectivity of the task, I can express my point of view about the three books under analysis. In my opinion, the book In the Shadow of the Moon Francis French can be named the worst one, compared to other two books: Brad Snyder’s A Well Paid Slave and Walk on Water by Michael Ruhlman. I believe that the book is weaker than the other two in several ways: it has a weaker documentary writing, the theme is less interesting and less relevant today, and it lacks in-depth psychology and dramatic touch of the other works.

All of the three books under analysis belong to non- fiction genre but each of them specializes in a different field and is quite different in a writing style. In the Shadow of the Moon by Francis French loses to two other works because of the topic chosen by the author. Indeed, the United States’ space programs can be an interesting theme to discuss but the content of the book is not appealing. There are several reasons for that: first of all, American mission to the Moon has been a topic to all kinds of artistic and media works for a huge number of times. There have been lots of books, articles and films created about it because it has been discussed for several decades. Thus, having one more book addressing the same old topic does not look so alluring, and it would be hard for this book to outdo its successful counterparts that were written before. Even several interviews with astronauts do not make it sound especially innovative. Besides, the author does not make the best of the opportunity to include personal stories. So, the book remains dry, while the author is trying to bring some romanticism by idealizing the astronauts. However, it does not bring any positive results because it neither draws an objective picture nor gives an in-depth psychological portrayal of the characters.

In contrast, the other two books are quite lively, and would appeal to the readers by discussing the themes that are relevant today. Thus, Brad Snyder’s A Well Paid Slave discusses the price that professional sportsmen have to pay for their success. He gives a historical overview of how the rules of commercial play changed, which resulted in “enslaving” of athletes. So, the story is quite personal and focuses on a person’s life rather than giving a general overview of the topic. In the same way, when describing the way surgeons work in a pediatric center, the book Walk on Water covers the challenges that Dr. Roger Mee has to face during his work. Thus, in contrast to In the Shadow of the Moon, the other two books focus on revealing the idea by covering a life of one person. This approach makes them more intimate and gives more integrity to them. French’s book is rather a chronological compilation  of separate events, and it does not even provide the reader with an opportunity to track this chronology.

All in all, there are several reasons why In the Shadow of The Moon is the worst out of the three books. First of all, it covers the theme of travel to the Moon, which has been already discussed for decades, so it is hard for an author to bring some interesting innovation. Secondly, it is less personal and does not have a proper psychological emphasis, which makes it less appealing.

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