The story of the nine Pennsylvania coal miners who were trapped underground for more than three days last July could have easily been sidetracked by aphorisms about America's post-September 11 can-do spirit and the like. But since this tale is mainly told via the miners' own words, it's a blessedly unsentimental and true-to-life account of a horrifying situation and a triumphant escape. Goodell (The Cyberthief and the Samurai: The True Story of Kevin Mitnick-And the Man Who Hunted Him Down) proves a knowing scribe for this story of adventure and endurance, alternating between filling in the setting when necessary and just letting the miners talk, oral history style. For example, one miner, John Unger, recalls, "To keep our spirits up, we talked about what we were going to do when we got out.... Nobody had anything extravagant in mind. Harpo was going to have a cigarette and a beer and a chew." Goodell then adds, "At about 2:30 p.m., Yost's drill finally reached a depth of about 230 feet, roughly 15 feet above the floor of the mine." It's a pulse-racing tale, in which a drill punches into an old, abandoned, water-filled mine, quickly flooding the space where the miners are working, trapping them in a dark, cold pocket of rapidly diminishing air. Goodell wisely keeps the focus on these hard-bitten men and the bravery that kept them going through those long, indistinguishable days and nights underground. Photos.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"A moving account of the near-tragedy from start to finish." -- Arizona Republic
"Isn't the only new book about . . . nine men from a flooded Pennsylvania coal mine, but it's the best." -- Atlanta Journal Constitution
Excellent story of a real life tragedy with a wonderful ending. This is the 2nd year my high school English Class has read it and they love it. Read morePublished 5 months ago by melody brown
This book really brought alive the story of the trapped miners! I loved it.Published on May 12, 2004