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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on 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
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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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 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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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on March 22, 2010
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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on September 20, 2008
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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 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
on December 3, 2008
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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
January 19, 2000 the campus of Seaton Hall was vaulted to the national news when a fire raced through a freshman dorm, killing three students and injuring fifty eight others. Robin Gaby Fisher was assigned by her editor to follow two of the injured students. Shawn Simons and Alvaro Llanos are roommates and the most gravely burned. After The Fire painstakingly follows the two from the moment they became aware of the fire in their dorm to present day. Fisher introduces us to two young men who were roommates by chance, but friends by choice. Taken to Saint Barnabas Hospital burn unit they were in the care of Dr. Hani Mansour and his experienced staff of nurses and therapists. Mansour's background and training led him to New Jersey where he had established one of the nation's top burn units. The staff he has assembled was prepared to battle along with these two young men to help them reclaim as much of their lives as they could manage. Local police worked tirelessly to find the cause of the fire and to bring anyone responsible to justice. The result of that investigation is theonly disappointment in this book.

The two young men...Shawn and Alvaro are the heart of this book. Their struggles to heal and reclaim their lives drive this book. Two bright, attractive and all around nice young men they had already bonded as roommates when the fire changed their lives. During the grueling recovery process the two were each others best sounding board, boosters and prodders. Each had a supportive family but sometimes turned to each other for help no one else could provide. Their families also struggled with the changes the fire wrought and the fears of not only loosing their sons, but the fears of what life after their hospitalization would bring. Alvaro and Shawn are a study in courage and grace....seeming ordinary young men, who, when faced by seemingly insurmountable odds, battles back to not only survive, but thrive. I will not soon forget them.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on July 12, 2010
I remember waking one cold morning to my radio reporting the horrific Seton Hall fire.
I later became acquainted with the wonderful St Barnabus' Burn Unit as an outpatient.
Although my burn was not at all life-threatening, I was treated with the same kindness, expertise and caring as is described in this book.
After the Fire shares the story of two friends burned in the fire and is an amazing example of the triumph of the human spirit.
I first read about the boys in Robin Gaby Fisher's articles in the Star Ledger -- the book delves more deeply into the story.
I was amazed at the total access she had to both the Burn Center and the families.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book which both brought me to tears and uplifted my spirit at the same time.
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