The Right Stuff


Originally published in 1979, Tom Wolfe’s ‘The Right Stuff’ tells the story of supersonic flight testing from the breaking of the sound barrier in 1949 to NASA’s Mercury 7 rocket programme. Wolfe’s story, however, was not about technology but about the bravery and sacrifices of the pilots.

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ISBN: 9781784873714 Category: Tag:


A wonderful novel and perfect book club choice, The Right Stuff is a wildly vivid and entertaining chronicle of America’s early space programme.


‘What is it,’ asks Tom Wolfe, ‘that makes a man willing to sit on top of an enormous Roman Candle?and wait for someone to light the fuse?’ Arrogance? Stupidity? Courage? Or, simply, that quality we call ‘the right stuff’?

A monument to the men who battled to beat the Russians into space, The Right Stuff is a voyage into the mythology of the American space programme, and a dizzying dive into the sweat, fear, beauty and danger of being on the white-hot edge of history in the making.

‘Tom Wolfe at his very best? Learned, cheeky, risky, touching, tough, compassionate, nostalgic, worshipful, jingoistic…The Right Stuff is superb’ New York Times Book Review