9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
A mixed bag,
This review is from: Windows on the World (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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Initial post: 6 Jul 2011 23:05:49 BDT
Nicky H says:
I agree that this book was a complete contrast between a very good book and a tedious book, however I believe the author intended to increase the tension and focus the reader on the trapped family. I felt that the philisophical musings of the author were banal, trivial and boring...however this provided an extreme contrast to the situation faced by the father trapped with his two sons. You as the reader have your own everyday self important thoughts and observations - this is what I think the author was trying to illustrate in the alternate chapters. It is self indulgent, but I think this reflects the self interest which we all exhibit.
I think this book was at times difficult to read and a very brave choice of subject matter, however I believe it was a supremely well written (although not entirely enjoyable) book.
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