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To Reach the Clouds Hardcover – 17 Feb 2003


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Faber and Faber; First Edition First Impression edition (17 Feb 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571217702
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571217700
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 2 x 20.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 157,313 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

Review

A beautifully written heart-stopping thriller, infused with poetry and the spirit of a monomaniac artist possessed of total tunnel vision and determination. -- Scotland on Sunday, 2 February 2003

An incredibly audacious magical tale of the impossible. For a guy who walks the walk, he can definitely talk the talk. -- Debra Winger

How good that he has sat down now to give us this lively and often heart-stopping account of how he achieved his masterpiece. -- Paul Auster

Just looking at the photographs in Philippe Petit's superb To Reach the Clouds is enough to make the palms sweat. -- Publishing News, 24 January 2003

One of the most eccentric stories you'll ever read. -- Marie Claire, March 2003

Philippe Petit is an artist whose theater is the sky. In this absorbing book, he reveals himself to be equal parts Houdini, Nureyev, and Da Vinci. -- Robin Williams

Reading this book is a compelling, thought-provoking, and at times maddening experience … Still, it contains some heart-stopping moments. -- Evening Standard, 3 February 2003

Remarkably the book is as astonishing and beautiful as the act itself ... An act of beauty in the face of death. -- The Times, 19 February 2003

This book is as awe-inspiring as are his accomplishments on the wire. -- Milos Forman

This is an extraordinary book. It describes an act of such spectacular defiance and lunacy that it takes your breath away ... as gripping as any thriller. -- Independent, 19 February 2003

Book Description

To Reach the Clouds by Philippe Petit, now the smash-hit documentary film Man on Wire. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By R Venables on 11 May 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is unlike anything I have ever read and will remain with me longer than almost anything else, it is written in a style similar to Baricco, which means the style of writing may not suit everyone, but I thought it was beautifully written, funny and highly emotional. Nothing should detract from the fact that this man walked (stood, sat, danced, lay) on a wire half a mile in the air. The feat itself is imcomprehensible and without photos you would never believe it had happened. The audacity behind the feat is almost as amazing as the feat itself.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 25 Feb 2003
Format: Hardcover
This unusual little book gripped from start to finish. The writing is, quite simply, beautiful - the pictures atmospheric. Throughout the book, Petit's project appears doomed from every direction - all those around him (and, at times, even Petit) appear convinced that he will die in his attempt to cross between the Twin Towers, but he is driven on by his dream. The book gives a peek into the mind of the tightrope walker and the tensions between the artist and engineer cohabiting therein. Petit clearly loved the Towers and his comments on their destruction are poignant.
This book is a thriller, an architectural romance and a transcendental journey - altogether an irresistible read.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By MEKKA on 4 Mar 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the most gripping book I have ever read. Right from the start his style of writing sucks you right in. It is very interesting to see how the whole thing was planned over a matter of years. When it comes to the actual walk itself I couldn't believe how nervous I was. You really are on the edge of your seat, gripping the book and turning pages as fast as is possible!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan G on 14 Feb 2009
Format: Paperback
If you thought the film 'Man on Wire' was good, treat yourself and get this too.

Philippe Petit's writing style is warm, engaging and enthralling. There is no sense of unnecessary repetition of the film. Indeed, the book provides delightful detail of some aspects of 'le coup' that the film misses. You'll understand why Petit's safety relied on the use of gasoline, what it was that fell from the tower just before the walk, and why there was no movie footage of the walk itself.

Perhaps the most precious gift of this book is the description by Petit of his thoughts and feelings as he experiences the wire walk.

Impossibly daring and uniquely beautiful.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ann Fairweather TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 11 Aug 2008
Format: Paperback
I hope the documentary 'Man on wire' now out in the cinemas, will bring more people to read Petit own's account of his thrilling 'coup' in between the two towers. Somehow, because in the book we follow him from beginning to end without distractions, we feel totally involved and right next to him on the wire, sick in the gut for him, sweating with fear, a physical reaction to reading his fascinating account that the film does not match,
It is a must-read for anyone interested in beauty, poetry and freedom, daredevil and acts of sublime that defy all words. The stricking opposite of what some other sort of people did with the very same towers.
It will bring you to tears for more than one reasons. An absolutely unforgettable book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Verve on 14 Aug 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I can't even begin to tell you how compelling I found this. I'm really not a big fan of non-fiction, but this totally blew me away - and yes, lucky I'm not a high-wire walker. Anyway, excuse the lousy joke, but this is a seriously brilliant and breathtaking read. No wonder it keeps being unavailable, I guess they're reprinting like crazy. Anyway, after you get hold of a copy, if you then fancy a bit of fiction, I highly recommend this:
Soothing Music for Stray Cats by Jayne Joso, also brilliant.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Big Jim TOP 100 REVIEWER on 10 Sep 2008
Format: Paperback
This is a lovely book. Written almost in the style of an "oceans eleven" style caper the story of the set up for this escapade takes up the majority of the book, where the conspiracy to thwart the security on the twin towers in 1974 has many humerous and thrilling elements. The actual tightrope walk is written as a poetic piece, a total change of pace that is stylistically interesting and sets up the eventual capture after the walk as a return to the crime like escapade style.

A lovely book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By B. James on 12 Jun 2009
Format: Paperback
I bought this book after watching the film "Man on Wire" which blew my mind. I was fascinated by this maverick Philippe Petit and how one man could become so passionate about one thing and devote his life to it.
The book reads like he speaks on the film, flowing trains of thought and quite poetically descriptive. A wonderful testimony to an incredible feat in history which is hard to put down. Highly recommended.
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