Customer Reviews


32 Reviews
5 star:
 (25)
4 star:
 (6)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing - and heartrending
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...
Published 20 months ago by LizWilliams

versus
1 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars pretty detailed storyline, but a bit dry.
Have got about half way through this book at the moment. Alot of research has obviously gone into this book, it is quite authoritative, in that it gives lots of background information about how the towers were built, and what legal wranglings took place regarding what fire safety measures should be present in such large buildings (it is these issues which were a...
Published on 17 Oct 2011 by David B


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 4 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing - and heartrending, 13 Nov 2012
This review is from: 102 Minutes (Paperback)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


43 of 48 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely horrifying, 22 May 2006
By 
Kentspur (Er...Kent) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: 102 Minutes (Paperback)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unromanticised story, 11 Sep 2011
By 
Mister G (Bristol) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: 102 Minutes (Paperback)
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. I can imagine a reporter assuming, for example, the perfectly reasonable 'suicide prevention' story or hearing it from a person he interviewed (who didn't actually know), therefore starting an urban legend. I wonder how many other historical 'facts' are untrue.

The book reveals that people who could have escaped (as they were below the impact zone) didn't (at least at first) as 911 told them to stay put and seal the doors to prevent smoke intrusion. That was official policy, and made sense as collapse was thought impossible. In addition, many people beneath the crash zone survived the impact and should have been unable to escape but couldn't because they could not open doors. They were the sort of people that the firefighters were (in some cases) able to rescue.

Many who started to evacuate the South Tower after the North Tower was hit were persuaded to return to their offices by an announcement that it was safe to do so.

It is not necessarily true that all those that jumped did so voluntarily. Some appear to have been nudged out by the crush to escape heat and smoke.

What is particularly shocking is that a group of people evacuating the North Tower after the South Tower collapsed reported that the 19th floor was 'carpeted with firefighters...'; '...they guessed there were at least 100...'. On telling them to evacuate, someone replied "We'll come down in a few minutes" (p. 226-227, 2005 edition). It appears that they were unaware that the South Tower had collapsed or that collapse of the North Tower was imminent. Many lives were apparently lost due to poor communication.

The book reports Giuliani stating that the firefighters had received the order to leave but interpreted it as an order to evacuate civilians, not to evacuate themselves. The book rebuffs this, stating that while some firefighters heroically remained despite knowing the danger, 'numerous firefighters recalled that they were unaware of how serious the situation had become in those final minutes' (p. 251-252). The book cautions against romanticising history.

The book never mentions the conspiracy theory but the stories it tells undermine it. People inside the towers reported, during phone calls, ceilings bowing (consistent with the theory that the Towers collapsed due to fires weakening the trusses). One supposed piece of evidence to support the conspiracy is that slow motion film of the collapse shows puffs of smoke coming out of windows on floors just beneath the area collapsing, with those puffs of smoke advancing downwards like sequential explosions just ahead of the collapse. On hearing this I immediately drew a parallel with closing a door in a room with the window open when it is normally closed - the door slams shut. It is all to do with the air trapped in the room. If a skyscraper is collapsing, air is shunted downwards and will blow out windows - that's no evidence of a controlled demolition. The book confirmed this 'trapped air' theory but astounded me regarding its ferocity - 'The impossible collisions of floor, steel, glass are belting towards them. Even stronger than the noise is the wind. Sal D'Agostino tries to open a door to leave the stairwell, but it flies out and throws him against the wall. The wind lifts the engine's chauffeur, Mike Meldrum, off his feet and heaves him one floor down; it carries Matt Komorowski down three floors...' (p. 244).

The New York Police, FDNY and many civilians willingly walked into a patently dangerous situation. I have nothing but respect for them.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent! At times you think you are actually there!, 15 Aug 2007
By 
M. A. Warren (London, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: 102 Minutes (Paperback)
A truly remarkably excellent book, so well written and at times you battle to come to grips that every bit of it really happened, every person in the book is a real person, every act of heroism is fact, one of those books that you wished never ends, by the end of it you want to know more and more so you will not be surprised when you find yourself doing your own research afterwards on the net. Its not very often that I find a book that grips me from the word go, one of those that you cannot put down, you've gotta keep going, as if each page of the book becomes a floor of the World Trade Center and a race against time, do not be surprised if you find your self still reading this book at 3am because you just couldn't put it down and you just wanted to know what happened next, apart from the absolute tragic end which we know all too well...
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You wish this was fiction, 22 Feb 2005
By A Customer
Having just finished this book - I was inspired to write my first ever review on Amazon. This book really is well written. It faces the facts and reveals the many elements that make up the reciepe for this unbelievable event.
It has brought home afresh the horror of that day but tempered it with a glimpse of human nature at it best. So many brave souls.
I only wish it were a work of fiction.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 9/11, 12 Nov 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: 102 Minutes (Paperback)
An excellent book giving an insight to the people trapped inside the WTC, and there efforts to escape. The failings are highlighted with regards to the rescue services communication equipment, the rivalry between the NYPD and FDNY something that goes back a long way. Having said that the bravery comes through from all concerned. The tragidy that the personell in one tower did not know the other had collapsed and theres was about to. A lot of information in the book that was unknown to me. A great read, recommended.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The inside story on how so many people died, 24 Sep 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: 102 Minutes (Paperback)
This is a gripping and very powerful book outlining the bravery of many civilians, police and firemen on that brutal day. The book also reveals the horrifying plight of those trapped in the upper floors of the towers after the planes hit. In addition it examines in detail how - over the past 30 years - architects, law makers and officials cut corners on fire-proofing the steel girders, and how fire exits and stairwells were ditched for the sake of gaining profit-making floor space. Add to that the total lack of communication between New York police and the fire service (due to long-standing bitter in-fighting) and you have a recipe for total chaos and disaster in which many hundreds of people died who could otherwise have escaped easily with ample time to spare.

A must read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Empowering, 2 Feb 2007
By 
V. Lydon "Vix" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: 102 Minutes (Paperback)
A terryfying account of what actually happened in the Towers on that dreaded day.

Tales taken from survivors, families, phone calls, this book must have taken true dedication and countless hours of reasearch.

The widely known devestating conclusion to the book does not however keep you from urging on those whose stories are told within to make it out safe and sound.

The unfortunate truth however is that many thousands did not. For them, this book is worth a read so that their story is neither lost or forgotton.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SAD, HEART WRENCHING, NIGHTMARISH BUT SO SAD ITS ALL TRUE, 15 Aug 2013
This review is from: 102 Minutes (Paperback)
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.
The bravery shown by Fire Fighters, Police, members of the public, off duty people was remarkable.

I have had this book for many years, and felt that I should read it, part of me wishes I never had, and part of me knows more of the truth behind the collapse of the Twin Towers, the bravery shown by an astonishing amount of people and I feel glad that I have.
At 8.46 hours on September 11, 2001 a plane hit the North Tower. Initially it was thought to have been a terrible tragedy, this book starts with a number of people who had arrived at work. The Twin Towers window cleaner, Dianne DeFontes, Christine Olender who was having a breakfast meeting from the Windows on the World restaurant. When the plane initially hit Diane was knocked from her chair and immediately thought a bomb had gone off. One man who worked for Marsh& Mclennan was found 5 blocks from the Twin Towers, the force was so powerful. In the South Tower the building rocked and brought workers to their feet but not all could see what had happened to the North Tower.

On the 84th Floor people were looking out of the window, and a lot of them decided to go. This was in the South Tower, they could see that something had happened in the North Tower. As previously described there had been a Feud between the Fire and the Police Department, so cooperation between the two forces did not happen. Elevators that could have saved peoples lives came to a standstill and did not open because they had been made not to open on floors that they did not operate on.

The way that the mezzanine scene has been described is particularly gruesome, descriptions of people with legs missing, clothing stained red with little human remains intact, people with head injuries, is particularly distressing, and how one policeman was killed when a jumping person landed on him and killed him.

It is stressful for the police helicopter team, who could not land and save people because of the intense black smoke. However, the doors at the top of the Towers were locked, so people could not get out.

When the second plane hit the South Tower, a lot of people had already fled, escaping, but lots of other people had returned to their desks, they had been told that they were safe.

Radios did not work, so firefighters were trying to save people, with no contact at all from headquarters, people were phoning home telling loved ones that they were not going to make it.

A heart wrenching book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 102 Minutes, 12 Oct 2012
By 
S Riaz "S Riaz" (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 10 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: 102 Minutes (Paperback)
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 everything changed forever. Using interviews, taped telephone calls and messages relayed from and to the towers on the day, the authors tell the story of a group of people in both the North and South towers. They also explain why so many people failed to escape the North Tower, despite a handful of people managing to get past the impact zone using the only remaining intact stairwell. It was saddening to read about the lack of stairwells, the designers more concerned with rentable space than safety, and a lack of communication which meant that appropriate information was not relayed to people who might possibly have had a chance of escape. Other important aspects of this book discuss why the South Tower (hit by the second plane) fell first, why so many firemen perished and how the lack of communication between the police and the fire department hampered efforts to coordinate the rescue efforts.

Mostly though, this is the story of people and how they responded to the events on that morning. How some immediately evacuated, despite safety procedures which suggested they stay put until help arrived, or who were told that the South Tower was perfectly safe after the North Tower was hit. At first, I was amazed that anybody in the South Tower would even consider heading back for their desks when the North Tower was ablaze, but as the authors explain, many of the people there had no idea what had happened. Even those coordinating the rescue were often unable to communicate with their own people and even when the South Tower fell, most of those in the adjoining building had no idea about what had happened. There are untold stories here of bravery, self sacrifice and heroic selflessness, which are humbling to read. It is impossible to read this book and remain untouched by the very best of humanity, even when faced with the very worst situations.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 4 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

102 Minutes
102 Minutes by Kevin Flynn (Paperback - 1 Sep 2005)
5.59
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews