What seems to be the only pertinent and essential aspect of this hasty biography is included in the last dozen pages --Shepard's association with Project Mercury and his daring flight into space. Whether because of uninspired writing or lack of exciting content, the rest of the biography is flat and relatively uneventful. The first chapter especially, which tells of young Alan's first attempt to fly in a homemade glider- like the mechanism itself- never gets off the ground, largely because it evokes echoes from a hundred different books and TV scripts about the same thing. The authors shift nervously from the anecdotal to the straight, factual approach, telling how Alan was once caught in a hurricane, describing his training at Annapolis, telling how he met his wife and how he wound up later at the Naval Air Station. Only because of the timely appeal of Alan Shepard's flight, the book may draw news interest -- otherwise it is unexceptional.