4 stars. An easy, breezy read by one who has long been my hero, No Dream Is Too High is wisdom from moonwalker Buzz Aldrin. Through each chapter, he presents a precept that has guided him and discusses events where that lesson was learned or used. We gain some glimpses into his life and mind.
Dr. Aldrin was signing this book at my local bookstore, so I bought a copy and waited in line. And waited. And waited. Fortunately, that was pretty good reading time, so I was halfway through the book when I finally got mine signed.
Normally, I’m not a huge fan of inspirational work; it’s too often an exercise in either the author’s vanity or blowing sunshine up the reader’s posterior. I found his precepts moderately cheesy. What made this book interesting for me was his stories–he’s quite a character! Most of the narrative is told with warmth and humor, and more than anything else optimism and enthusiasm for science, learning, and exploration.
Dr. Aldrin cannot be accused of being a shrinking violet–occasionally he’s pretty full of himself! That’s tempered by his willingness to laugh at himself, such as when he was trying to get into a frequent flier lounge at an airport and finally resorted to trying to use his celebrity for access. The receptionist replied that she knew who he was, but she was not going to let him in without paying. He laughed it off and moved on to McDonald’s!
By far the best stories dealt with his Gemini and Apollo days, and the intense competition/cooperation between the astronauts. His recounting of the Apollo 1 tragedy was heartfelt and touching. The rivalry with a purpose between the astronauts perfectly illustrated his point about one’s friends and associates being such important factors in life. I also particularly enjoyed his passionate advocacy for a Mars landing.
No Dream Is Too High: Life Lessons From a Man Who Walked on the Moon was an entertaining read presenting an entertaining look at a true hero.