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102 Minutes [Paperback]

Jim Dwyer , Kevin Flynn
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
Price: 5.59 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

1 Sep 2005

At 8.46 am on September 11, 2001, 14,000 people were inside the Twin Towers in New York - reading emails, making calls, eating croissants... over the next 102 minutes each would become part of the most infamous and deadly terrorist attack in history, one truly witnessed only by the people who lived through it - until now.

Of the millions of words written about that unforgettable day when Al Qaeda attacked the western world, most have been from outsiders. New York Times reporters Jim Dwyer and Kevin Flynn have taken the more revealing approach - using real-life testimonies to report solely from the perspective of those inside the towers. 102 Minutes is the epic account of ordinary men and women whose lives were changed forever in this kamikaze act of terrorism. This unique book about unique people, includes incredible stories of bravery, courage and overcoming unbelievable odds. Immortalised in this non-fiction masterpiece are the construction manager and his colleagues who pried open the doors and saved dozens of people in the north tower; the police officer who was a few blocks away, filing his retirement papers, but grabbed his badge and sprinted to the buildings; the window washer stuck in a lift fifty floors up who used a squeegee to escape; and the secretaries who led an elderly man down eighty-nine flights of stairs.

Chance encounters, moments of grace, a shout across an office shaped these minutes, marking the border between fear and solace, staking the boundary between life and death. Crossing a bridge of voices to go inside the infernos, seeing cataclysm and herosim one person at a time, Dwyer and Flynn tell the affecting, authoritative saga of the men and women - the 12,000 who escaped and the 2,749 who perished at Ground Zero on September 11th 2001 - as they made 102 minutes count as never before.

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102 Minutes + 9/11 Ordinary People: Extraordinary Heroes: NYC - The First Battle in the War Against Terror! + 102 Minutes That Changed America [DVD] [2008]
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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow; 1st UK Paperback Edition edition (1 Sep 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099492563
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099492566
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 19.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 31,068 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"A heart-stopping, meticulous account ... a fitting tribute to the people caught up in one of the great dramas of our time ... a cathartic release" (New York Times)

"Heartbreaking and inspiring" (Boston Herald)

"With its tragic and preordained conclusion, the book becomes a tearjerker in the most essential way" (Entertainment Weekly)

"Writing in a way that confers dignity on each subject ... This is one book that will stay with readers for a long time" (People)

"Insightful, compassionate and unrelievedley tense" (Baltimore Sun)

Book Description

A massive New York Times bestseller: the untold true story of the fight to survive inside the twin towers on 9/11; the blackest day in living memory.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing - and heartrending 13 Nov 2012
In November 2000 I left the employ of Aon, an insurance company whose HQ was on the top floors of the South Tower of the World Trade Centre. I worked in London but knew many people in the New York office. 10 months later I watched on the tv as the world fell apart. Fortunately most of the people I knew well survived - but not all of them, and many people I knew less well died. Aon lost nearly 200 staff. Meeting up later with friends and colleagues I heard stories of how they had survived and snippets of what had happened to those who didn't, including the fact that some of them returned to their desks as they were told it was safe to do so and were then trapped when the second plane hit.

This book helped me put all the pieces together to really understand - as much as it is possible for those of us who weren't there - what it must have been like for my friends and colleagues and all those others there. The bravery, the confusion, the incompetence, the shortcuts in implementing the building code, the utter horror, all are examined in detail. The stories of people who seemed certainly dead yet survived, the stories of those who went through so much in their struggle to escape - and then died anyway, often only a short distance from safety. One story in particular stands out for me and it isn't the story of anyone I knew, but the tale of Ed a paraplegic and his friend Abe who. when he could have escaped to safety, waited ("I'm staying with my friend") patiently on the 27th floor of the North Tower until they could be rescued and Ed could be got out in his electric wheelchair. They died.

A great book and required reading for anyone who wants to have any understanding of that terrible day.
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43 of 48 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely horrifying 22 May 2006
By Kentspur VINE VOICE
This is a very detailed account of what it was like to be in the Twin Towers on the morning of September 11th, 2001. It is not so concerned with the politics of the hijackers or the details of the planes. rather the stories of the survivors and those who did not.

The confusion of the day is well conveyed, with some still sitting at their desks trying to work as people above them died. The lessons learnt from the 1993 bombing - and how they influenced the behaviour of people who recalled all too well that the people who had stayed put had been put to least inconvenience then - are also well told.

About a hundred pages in, you are just overwhelmed all over again. You can recall what it was like that day, to watch the towers abalze on TV. Some of it is almost too much, like a camera has been put inside a gas chamber at Auschwitz. The descriptions of what helicopter pilots saw particularly at the top of the north tower as people threw themselves to their deaths are truly horrendous. Relays had to be worked out at the bottom of the tower for those being evacuated so they could not be killed by the falling bodies; cops had to scream at people not to look at the plaza because it meant they would stop and stare, open-mouthed, and slow the evacuation.

The mistakes of the day are highlighted. The miserable lack of inter-service co-operation between the fire service and the police and the unnecessary equipment dragged up by doomed firefighters who became too exhausted to get out when many knew the south tower had collapsed.

The astonishing heroism of ordinary workers that day shows through. Many died so that others might live.

This is a painful, but utterly compelling book. Everyone should read it.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unromanticised story 11 Sep 2011
By Mister G TOP 100 REVIEWER
This book doesn't romanticise the event - it tells the story, warts and all.

For example, I thought that the collapse of the South Tower would lead to firefighters and the police immediately evacuating the North Tower. The book reveals that many of the firefighters had no idea that the South Tower had fallen - the police knew (as the police helicopters relayed the information) but on the police frequency only. Firefighters and the police used different frequencies. Cooperation between the two was poor due to longstanding rivalry.

I write coincidentally on the 10th anniversary of 9/11 (I happened to finish the book today) so there are many TV programmes on at present. The book enables me to recognise untrue stories - for example a TV programme today stated that doors accessing the roofs were locked in order to prevent suicides. Well, the book states that the doors were locked due to longstanding FDNY (Fire Department, City of New York)/police rivalry. It explains that during the 1993 bombing, a police helicopter lifted people to safety off the roof. FDNY thought that it was a publicity stunt and was dangerous as it would cause confusion in a fire, with people heading in opposite directions. So the doors were locked.

Incidentally, years ago (immediately after 9/11?) I heard a third story - the doors were locked to prevent a helicopter assault by terrorists. These three different stories show how the truth gets warped and how we cannot necessarily believe what we read even in apparently respectable newpapers or hear in TV news reports from presenters who we trust. Of course, even the story in the book could be wrong but the explanation is so detailed that it seems believable.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent piece of journalism
I bought this book as soon as it came out in paperback some years ago. I've read it several times since. It is a quality piece of journalism. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Ginger
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good but limited in scope
To be fair as the title suggests the book is limited to what actually happened from the first strike until the towers' collapse , with no inclusion of events leading up to the... Read more
Published 6 months ago by A. Frost
5.0 out of 5 stars 102 Minutes to read.
A small volume, but tremendously interesting and excellent value for money. A book that leaves you with so many questions.
Published 6 months ago by kenneth evans
5.0 out of 5 stars Shocking
An excellent book. The content was always going to be shocking but it was written extremely well which ensured you could keep reading despite the horrors being described. Read more
Published 11 months ago by E. Bristow
5.0 out of 5 stars Astonishing
If you read just one book about 9/11 then it definitely has to be this one. I don't think anyone has written a more gripping account of that day than this. Read more
Published 11 months ago by loveisastateofmind
I want to warn you that this is not a book for the faint hearted. I have had nightmares, felt depressed, cried, I can go on and on. Read more
Published 12 months ago by rattyratbag
5.0 out of 5 stars Will keep your partner quiet for an hour or more
Bought this for the wife as she is so into this tragedy and it helped her to understand what it must have been like for those involved. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Mr. Kevin Winyard
5.0 out of 5 stars The saddest best thriller tragedy I've ever read
I read this book in about 4 days and every emotion from A-Z flashed through my mind. Tears were streaming down my face most of the time, what a horrific day. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Mrs. Sharon L. Lawson
5.0 out of 5 stars 102 Minutes
This is a very well written, compassionate and respectful, but not overly emotional, account of that dreadful morning when people went to work on a normal Tuesday morning and found... Read more
Published 22 months ago by S Riaz
5.0 out of 5 stars A tale that needed telling
Very early on in this book the authors make a statement that comes partly as a shock, partly as a revelation:
"... Read more
Published 23 months ago by Mieczyslaw Kasprzyk
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