61 of 61 people found the following review helpful
9/11 in the Most Human of Terms...Essential Reading,
This review is from: 102 Minutes: The Untold Story of the Fight to Survive Inside the Twin Towers (Hardcover)This is a vividly rendered book, not remotely exploitative and yet so unflinching in the reportage that it demands your attention and ultimately earns your heart. Authors Jim Dwyer and Kevin Flynn, both from the New York Times, make this inevitably moving book suspenseful, almost surreal and ultimately a reflection of the human condition under the most dire of circumstances. As comprehensive as the revelatory "9/11 Commission Report" is, the stories in this book represent the missing perspective of that horrifying day, the voices of those who survived and perished in the World Trade Center.
What the authors are effective in capturing is how endless those 102 minutes seemed to the people inside the buildings, how the period between the first crash and the collapse of the north tower was so chaotic that the full scope of what happened was unknown to those trapped inside. Because we were able to watch the news coverage relentlessly that morning, the book clarifies that what was happening was far clearer from the outside than from the inside. Those inside had no way of knowing what happened to them or why, and certainly no way to know if they would live or die. There are stories of personal ingenuity and heroism, like the window washer who used his squeegee to scrape away a wall and manually bored himself and five others through a tiled wall in the 50th floor men's room. There are stories of paralyzing fear, such as the series of 911 calls from the various floors when the south tower started to collapse. And sadly there are stories that will be disappointing for the very acts of desperation they represent, such as people being pushed out of windows so that others could position themselves for fresh air and possible rescue. I doubt if there is a more harrowing story than the one about Stanley Praimnath, who was evacuated from the 81st floor of the south tower only to be told to return to his office and see the United jet come speeding toward him in the office window. These are the moments none of us can forget, and Dwyer and Flynn capture them with all their humanity intact. Essential reading.
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Initial post: Jul 8, 2011 10:56:28 PM PDT
m morrissey says:
excellent review with the perfect summing up: essential reading!
thanks for getting across what I've been feeling just having put the book down.
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