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Publisher's Summary

From Homer Hickam, the author of the #1 bestselling Rocket Boys adapted into the beloved film October Sky, comes this astonishing memoir of high adventure, war, love, NASA, and his struggle for literary success.

Homer Hickam's memoir Rocket Boys and the movie adaptation October Sky have become one of the most popular stories in the world, inspiring millions to pursue a better life. But what happened to Homer after he was a West Virginia rocket boy? 

In his latest memoir, Homer recounts his life in college, where he built the world's biggest, baddest game cannon; how he fought through some of the worst battles in Vietnam, became a scuba instructor, discovered sunken U-boats, wrote the definitive account of a World War II naval battle, befriended Tom Clancy, made a desperate attempt to save the passengers of a sunken river boat, trained the first Japanese astronauts, taught David Letterman to scuba dive, helped to fix the Hubble Space Telescope, wrote his number one bestselling Rocket Boys, and was on set during the making of October Sky. Although told with humor and wit, Hickam does not shy away from the pain and hardship endured and the mistakes he made during the tumultuous decades since his life in the town he made famous—Coalwood, West Virginia.

©2021 Homer Hickam (P)2022 Tantor

What listeners say about Don't Blow Yourself Up

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Captivating getting to know Homer the man after reading all about Sonny the boy.

Great story that ties up all the dangling threads from his other books. Homer’s story telling is so fun. Once again I found myself in a world that was familiar. Having grown up in Huntsville, I had knowledge of almost all the people, places and activities described. I am planning to write him a letter and tell him some of my stories from a coal mining town, to Aqua Space and to the PCTC at Marshal Space Flight Center. Hope he laughs. His life is an inspiration and would be attainable by anyone who shoots for the stars and with perseverance, combined with intellect, competence and a cheerful attitude, is able to at least get significant altitude in life.

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Excellent book!

Homer is like a real life Forest Gump, minus the slow part. I was entertained the entire book. I already read October Sky, and will look for more of his work.