‘Nuking the Moon, and Other Intelligence Schemes and Military Plots Best Left on the Drawing Board’ by Vince Houghton
“Compulsively readable laugh-out-loud history” – Mary Roach
‘Nuking the Moon’ is ‘This is Going to Hurt’ meets James Bond, meets cats?
Vince Houghton, curator of the International Spy Museum, has created a book that is equal parts hilarious, terrifying, and down-right outrageous. He cleverly guides his reader through inverse history – what could have, but did not happen. The blurb reads…
“Bomb-carrying bats. Cigars laced with mind-altering drugs. Listening devices implanted into specially-trained cats. A torpedo-proof aircraft carrier made out of ice and sawdust. And a plan to detonate a nuclear bomb on the moon… just because.”
As you read ‘Nuking the Moon’ is feels as though you have fallen through Alice’s looking glass, but instead of ending up in Wonderland, you’ve accidentally arrived in Dr. Evil’s universe – except this time it’s all real. Houghton states “[i]f necessity is the mother of invention, desperation is the drunk uncle” and as a reader you can feel history’s desperation seeping through the pages of this book.
Houghton starts with ‘Acoustic Kitty’ to ease you in to the game. A plot based around creating a covert listening device out of a house cat. Yes… you read that right… a house cat. If you have ever owned a cat you can probably already spot the fatal floor in this plan; which is a lot more foresight than the CIA at the time… maybe you should consider being a spy! To cut a very interesting story short, our lovely acoustic kitty was unfortunately run-over before we could ever determine true success. However, you know what they say ‘history seldom repeats itself, but it does often rhyme’* …
There are many other fabulous stories throughout the book, and I don’t want to give away too many spoilers. ‘Nuking the Moon’ is a great read to keep by your bedside table, it is easy to dip in and out off, with clearly defined stories within each chapter. Houghton keeps the tone light, accessible, and mostly humorous with just the right touch of sarcastic wit. For me, ‘Nuking the Moon’ offered some lighter reading between heavier books on the rule of law, justice, and the legal system (which I hope to be sharing my thoughts on shortly). It would make a great Christmas stocking filler; just perfect for settling down with a hot cup of coco.
Published by Profile Books in the UK, I was incredibly lucky to have been invited to the launch event at ClueQuest in London. We were tasked with saving the world from Dr. Blacksheep, and I’m happy to report back that we did so in record time! I would highly recommend checking out Profile, they’ve got some amazing books out at the moment including ‘Mindf*ck’ by Christopher Wylie and ‘Bedtime Stories for Worried Liberals’ by Stuart Heritage.
Oh, and finally…
“If the neighbourhood cat suddenly takes an unnatural interest in your private conversation, don’t say I didn’t warn you”
‘Nuking the Moon’ in Facts:
Author: Vince Houghton
First Published Date: 2019
Publishing House: Profile Books
Pages: 296 (279 as bulk read)
*I’m kidding, kinda…