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After the Fire: A True Story of Friendship and Survival [Kindle Edition]

Robin Gaby Fisher
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.99
Kindle Price: $9.99
You Save: $5.00 (33%)
Sold by: Hachette Book Group

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Book Description

On January 19, 2000, a fire raged through Seton Hall University's freshman dormitory, killing three students and injuring 58 others. Among the victims were Shawn Simons and Alvaro Llanos, roommates from poor neighborhoods who made their families proud by getting into college. They managed to escape, but both were burned terribly. AFTER THE FIRE is the story of these young men and their courageous fight to recover from the worst damage the burn unit at Saint Barnabas hospital had ever seen. It is the story of the extraordinary doctors and nurses who work with the burned. It is the story of mothers and fathers, of faith and family and the invisible ties that bind us to each other. It is the story of the search for the arsonists--and the elaborate cover-up that nearly obscured the truth. And it is the story of the women who came to love these men, who knew that real beauty is a thing not seen in mirrors.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Three students died and 58 were injured in the January 2000 fire that arsonists set in the student lounge of Seton Hall University in New Jersey. Newark Star Ledger reporter Fisher tells the story of the two most badly burned survivors (roommates Shawn Simons and Alvaro Llanos), proceeding from the devastating fire through the grueling medical treatment into their life-affirming future. A medical education and a detective story unfold within this consistently dramatic account, as Fisher joins a reporter's curiosity and objectivity to a near-familial access to the principals. Unsparing in her description of the hard path to recovery (The gruesome nature of the work meant that few ever became old-timers in the occupation of treating burns), Fisher takes the reader inside Saint Barnabas Burn Center, where the charismatic director of the burn unit, Hani Mansour; the nurses; the physical and occupational therapists work miracles, celebrating victories and agonizing over setbacks. Honest and intimate in her account of the stress of distraught parents, the intense strain upon marriages and relationships, the prolonged suffering and multiple surgeries of the survivors and the evolving friendship of the accidental roommates, Fisher conveys a deep respect and compassion for all involved—except the arsonists. She succeeds in making what might have been yesterday's news into today's inspiration. (Aug.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


"A riveting and intimate read. That these two men survived is almost a miracle. That Fisher was there to document it is our good fortune." Minneapolis Star Tribune

"Keep some Kleenex handy."—Rocky Mountain News

Product Details

  • File Size: 273 KB
  • Print Length: 261 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; 1 edition (August 25, 2008)
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #280,751 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books I've read in a very long time... August 26, 2008
I LOVED this book. It's the true story of two young men, terribly burned in a dormitory fire at Seton Hall University a few years back. Living overseas at the time of the fire, I had no knowledge this tragedy ever occurred; but I bought the book on the recommendation of a friend and immediately found that I couldn't put it down.

It's an incredibly well-written story that will draw you into the lives of these two courageous young men and the medical staff who helped bring them back from the brink of death.

I was completely moved by this story and it touched my heart in a way that no book ever has. This is easily one of my favorite books of all time.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy this book August 27, 2008
Buy this book. Robin Gaby Fisher takes you on the heart-wrenching and heart-warming journey of two young men, who nearly died in a fire at their dorm. People magazine got it right in its four-star review of the book, saying in part: " While the descriptions of the burn treatment are horrific, the revelation that the fire was ignited by two pranksters who nonchalantly partied afterward is heartbreaking. Unimaginably moving - readers will want to keep a box of tissues at handy - and deeply compassionate." I agree, I know I used up my fair share of tissues, too, and I couldn't put it down until I'd read the last page. - marilyn and brian
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing... March 22, 2010
By Saber 8
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I hate when people ruin the plot of a book in their reviews, so I will not do that. I will say that this story is INCREDIBLE. I'm a Police Officer in a pretty rough city and I often see the absolute worse in people. Reading this book kind of brought me back to reality. The more I read, the more I remembered that not everyone is a terrible person, there are still a few angels out there. I am by no means a "softy" but on numerous occasions I caught myself holding back tears as I imagined myself in their shoes or my daughter being one of the victims in this story.

I would be absolutely honored to meet some of the people in this book. I HIGHLY recommend you read this.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review September 1, 2008
After the Fire: A True Story of Friendship and Survival is based on true events. It is under sad and unfortunate events that this story comes about. The day was January 19th, 2000, a day that no one will ever forget. On this fateful day a fire spread throughout the freshman dormitory halls of Seton Hall University. The fire claimed young three lives and injured many more. Robin Gaby Fisher tells the story of two room mates Shawn Simons and Alvaro Llanos and the angels of Saint Barnabas Hospital, who helped saved these two friends.

After the Fire: A True Story of Friendship and Survival makes you feel raw, heart-wrenching emotions of sadness, joy and triumphant. After the Fire: A True Story of Friendship and Survival is such a powerful book that it is beyond words on how to explain it. I credit this fact dooly to Robin Gaby Fisher's talent as not only an author and writer but as an amazing story teller. I was blown away from the first moment I picked this book up to read it. If Mrs. Fisher's goal was to show how with lots of strength, determination as well as setting a goal for yourself you can achieve anything; then Mrs. Fisher accomplished that with After the Fire: A True Story of Friendship and Survival. If there is ever one book you must read in your life then it has got to be After the Fire: A True Story of Friendship and Survival by Robin Gaby Fisher.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars this book deserves an award December 3, 2008
By jmcc
I couldn't put the book down!

Be prepared to feel the full range of emotions: love and hope for the two young men, awe and gratitude for the medical staff, and rage towards the arsonists (and towards their family/friends who covered for them).

The book left me thinking long after I had finished it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very well portrayed September 30, 2008
As a student at Seton Hall during the fire, I wasn't sure I would be able to read through the book without reliving January 19 all over again. But I must say - the author did a fantastic job of walking the reader through Alvaro and Shawn's recovery, while still providing insight to all of those involved with this day.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
It is hard to find stories about burn units, and when this one was featured in the People Magazine I couldn't wait to read it. I work in the burn unit and am extremely interested in burn care.
This book didn't disapoint.I was impressed with the authors ability to be in the unit and to get a first hand look at what we do daily. The story of the friendship as it developed and the emotional impact of the different stages unfolded, was terrific. You will enjoy the relationships that the boys made with women after the fire. They are truly special women!
I highly recommend this book and for you to look up the story and photos online!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Haunting Tale of Courage and Friendship September 30, 2008
After the Fire is a beautifully written story of two young men whose friendship helped them survive and thrive after devastating burn injuries. It is one of those books you don't put down until you you turn the last page. It is also one of those books you keep thinking about in the days and weeks after you finish reading it. I highly recommend it for anyone who still likes to learn about life via the written page.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by Rona
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended.
Great book, well written, fast-read. I read this book for my occupational therapy program.
Published 1 month ago by Ash S
5.0 out of 5 stars Very intense!
Great detail. Gets you very emotionally tied in to the book. It would be a really good book for a discussion group about the consequences of actions people take in different... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Tekla Jackson
5.0 out of 5 stars Great true story
Wow what a book. The courage these youth have is awseome. I like all of the details of how their lives. What a tragic fire that never had to happen.
Published 8 months ago by Lynn R. Jackson
4.0 out of 5 stars It's alright, not the best but not the worst either
This book is good overall, keeps you thinking just didn't like how they made it extremely boring at some points, and the ending wasn't what as great as I originally thought it... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Jakerocsu
5.0 out of 5 stars After the Fire...
This book was so good that I bought a copy of it for my grandson Angel. I wanted the story to motivate him and it did. Thank you
Published 10 months ago by D. Abercrombie
5.0 out of 5 stars great
Very sad book, but it was a great read. I had trouble putting it down. I love the history books and true story's so it was prefect
Published 10 months ago by Angela Cassista
5.0 out of 5 stars great book club read!
We read this in our book club and were amazed. Their journey was amazing and I am so glad they chose to share it.
Published 11 months ago by Since you've been gone
5.0 out of 5 stars rth
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Published 18 months ago by Timothy
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful courageous story
This is a powerful, true story. I loved the bravery of the characters. I would recommend it as it is very inspiring.
Published 21 months ago by Shirley Langloys
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