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Windows on the World Paperback – 5 Sep 2005


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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial (5 Sept. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007184700
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007184705
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 2.4 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 358,897 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Frédéric Beigbeder was born in 1965 and lives in Paris. He works as a publisher, literary critic and broadcaster.

Product Description

Review

‘Powerful…the combination of banality and panic is quietly devastating. Affecting and disconcerting’ Financial Times

‘Beigbeder has set himself a mammoth task. Foreknowledge of the outcome removes any narrative tension and reality has outstripped fiction. Given these constraints, the author is remarkably successful.’ Sunday Express

'Beigbeder's gripping apocalyptic novel…it is, on all levels, a stunning read.' Publisher's Weekly

'Beigbeder brings this off thanks to his electrifying intelligence and vaulting leaps of sympathy with all the victims – in the tower, the planes, and the unjust world beyond New York.’ Independent

Book Description

‘The only way to know what took place in the restaurant on the 107th Floor of the North Tower, World Trade Center on September 11th 2001 is to invent it.'

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Barton Keyes on 24 May 2005
Format: Paperback
If you chopped this book into several parts you might get one and half decent books. There would be a gripping and moving fictitious account of the horrible deaths of those trapped in the World Trade Center on 11th September one one hand and a slightly precious and very gallic essay on the meaning of that for rest of the world on the other.
Combined the two don't really work -- although Beigbeder is very very good at altering voices between the sections so that the imaginative desciptions of what happened are claustrophobic and frightening. But his thoughts are a long way short of a crystallisation of the meaning of the outrage and at times they slip into the embarassingly commonplace.But perhaps that's the point?
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jill Meyer TOP 500 REVIEWER on 8 Aug. 2010
Format: Paperback
French author Frederic Beigbeder's novel "Windows on the World" has certainly garnered quite a wide range of reviews as posted on AmazonUSA. I came to this novel relatively late; six years after its initial publication in French and subsequent translation to English for sale in the US and the UK.

I have never been able to read a fiction work about the attacks of September 11th, 2001. I start them - and most are very good - but can never seem to stick with the book after the first chapter or two. I realise I have missed many good books on the subject. Curiously, I have no trouble reading non-fiction on the subject. Beigbeder's book is the first fictional work I've been able to read through.

Frederic Beigbeder's novel is a minute-by-minute account - in two voices - of the time between the plane strike on the North Tower and its ultimate collapse. One voice is that of an American man breakfasting at Windows on the World with his two young sons. He states early on that he and his sons will not survive the day and, indeed as with all the diners and workers in the restaurant that day, they do not. The other voice is that of a French writer, who uses the name "Frederic Beigbeder", writing about a year or so after the attacks. The two voices are somewhat complicated but, in the end, echo each other. The difference is, of course, one voice is alive and the other has died with his sons in the wreckage.

The attacks nine years ago have been the subject of many works of both fiction and non-fiction. Non fictional work may be a little easier to quantify; the writer and the reader are dealing with the facts. Fiction often deals with the personal effects of the attacks.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Stracs VINE VOICE on 9 Aug. 2005
Format: Paperback
This book is on the one hand very good, but on the other hand quite tedious and hard to read. Really it is a book of two halves. The chapters alternated between the story of a fictional family trapped in the World Trade Centre on 911 and the authors philisophical musings on the meaning of these tumultuos events.
The chapters about the fictional family are very good. The emotions are conveyed really well and whilst we will never know just how it was for those trapped before the collapse of the buildings, this book gives as close a desciption as we will probably ever get. The author has been brave in writing about this topic and his aim of telling the story of the last minutes of those poor peoples lives is achieved. You develop a real sympathy for the family involved and all the characters are likeable, and very human. The author does not glamourise them or the situation at all which is what was required in a novel about 911.
However, this is spoilt somewhat by the authors own musings in the alternate chapters. Initially I could tolerate this but in the later stages of the book it really grated on me and I ended up skipping these chapters. The author's devotion of so much time to his opinions seemed self-indulgent in the context of the story he was telling. Perhaps this idea would have worked better if these chapters were shorter, but they seemed to take over the book and have more time devoted to them than the fictional story.
Overall this is half a good book, but certainly a brave one in tackling this topic and in the style in which it is written, whether you like it or not.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Tim Coupe on 29 April 2005
Format: Paperback
This book left me with mixed feelings. The fictional account of the slow death of the World Trade Centre and the horror within was evocative and moving. However the juxtaposition of this with the sometimes banal musings of the narrator just didn't work for me. The fears and tensions about events in 2001 are better explored in 'Saturday' by Ian Mcewan.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mea on 2 July 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Liked it... However, prefer to read Beigbeder in French.
He remains true to himself: a cynical ex-advertiser, a revolutionist far too attached to his material comfort to make his revolution happen, a self-depreciating a French..
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