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102 Minutes: The Unforgettable Story of the Fight to Survive Inside the Twin Towers
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102 Minutes: The Unforgettable Story of the Fight to Survive Inside the Twin Towers

4.4 141
by Jim Dwyer
 

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"102 Minutes does for the September 11 catastrophe what Walter Lord did for the Titanic in his masterpiece, A Night to Remember . . . Searing, poignant, and utterly compelling."—Rick Atkinson, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of An Army at Dawn

Hailed upon its hardcover publication as an instant classic, the critically acclaimed New York

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102 Minutes 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 141 reviews.
Michael Neely More than 1 year ago
I find it interesting that most of the reviews of this book are rather lenghty. Is it due to the excellent writing of the two authors or could it be that we are given the opportunity to recall and recount our individual feelings of that day? Perhaps it is a combination of both. As I read, a visual reminder replayed over and over in my mind. Thank you Barnes and Noble for making this accounting of those events available. And may we NEVER FORGET!
jbc85 More than 1 year ago
I read this book in paper form over a year ago, and still think back on it from time to time. Very well written, with incredible insight from people who were really there. This is one I'll read again, and I don't say that about many books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book really puts you in the place of what happened, the horror and pain and fear that gripped everyone involved.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
This was an absolutely amazing book. Not just because of the true-life accounts of many who survived (or, in many cases, didn't), but mostly because the authors pull no punches in telling the story of 9/11/01.

This isn't a book that bashes the government, both local and national, but it does tell both the good and the bad, the positive and the negative. While I was uplifted and encouraged by so many examples of human kindness, I was devastated to read that so very many deaths could have possibly been avoided, if there had just been better communication between political-minded departments.

Also, the fact that so many shortcuts were taken in building the World Trade Center, simply to create more rentable space, shows just how far people will go to make a buck. It saddens me that so many lives might have been saved if there were more staircases, if they had been spread out more, if they had had proper fireproofing.

If you're interested at all in the story that is 9/11, then this is a must-read.
Tribute_Books_Reviews More than 1 year ago
It seems hard to believe that we're approaching the 10th anniversary of September 11th. At the time, I had just moved to Manhattan about two weeks before the attacks. When it happened, I was alone in a Greenwich Village apartment scared out of my mind. I remember hearing the roar of American Airlines Flight 11 as it flew over my roof before crashing into the North Tower. I remember seeing an armed military fighter jet flying overhead ready to shoot down any more hijacked planes. I remember hearing people hysterically crying as they returned to my apartment building and made their way up the corridor of steps that passed my door. I could go on, but I can only offer a limited scope on a day that defies all magnitude. I've wanted to read 102 Minutes: The Untold Story of the Fight to Survive Inside the Twin Towers by Jim Dwyer and Kevin Flynn for quite some time now. And I'm not afraid to say, it took me awhile to gather my courage before I could pick it up. I wasn't sure that even 10 years later I was ready to read about what happened inside the towers on that fateful day. The horror is beyond all imagining, but Dwyer and Flynn provide an important historical resource filled with humanity and backed by a gargantuan reporting effort. The amount of facts, interviews, phone recordings and email accounts is seamlessly woven into a gripping narrative that is utterly fascinating. I could not put it down once I started and ended up finishing the book in two days. The writers' ability to make you feel like you are inside the towers while these catastrophic events are unfolding is nothing short of investigative journalism at its best. What surprised me is that even after a decade of continuous media coverage there was still so much that I learned for the first time in this book. There were roughly 14,000 people in the towers when the first plane struck and over 12,000 made it out alive. That is a staggering number. When they descended multiple stories of narrow staircases, the survivors then had to exit a lobby from which bodies and fiery debris were dropping from above. The fact that so many were able to safely evacuate is astounding. There are so many individual stories profiled in the book, but one that stands out for me is Battalion Chief Orio J. Palmer, a marathon runner and FDNY firefighter. His determination led him to climb 78 stories to reach the impact zone of the South Tower. He made it to an elevator staging bay where people would transfer to complete their ascent or descent. Many were waiting here when American Airlines Flight 175 slammed through. The death and destruction Palmer witnessed and radioed back was beyond belief. The saddest thing is that despite a valiant effort he too perished minutes later when the South Tower collapsed. A poignant section features photographs taken inside the towers that day. You see Palmer in full uniform in the lobby. You see NYPD officer Moira Smith escort an injured man to safety before she herself perished in the collapse. You see pictures taken by survivor John Labriola as he snapped images of firefighters rushing up the stairs while a whole line of people trickle down and the lobby of the North Tower whose windows overlook a plaza filled with burning debris. These images are haunting as they offer a fleeting glimpse inside a moment of history. The horror of the day is told in pieces, but it adds up to a frightening whole.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
102 Minutes is a well researched, interesting book. It is details stories of individuals while still progressing through the events of 9/11. It was informative and though some legal parts were dull, they were spread out enough to keep the flow of the story. I liked reading about personal stories of people who were actually there instead of a generic history. I would recommend this book to anyone, but I would keep in mind that the book can be sad especially if you know someone who was in or near the Twin Towers on 9/11 or if you were there yourself. I think that 102 minutes did a great job of telling some of the stories of the unspoken heroes whose job was not to save lives but who did so anyway, many at the cost of their own lives. We owe them the honor of remembering them, and that is exactly what 102 Minutes did.
Nookhooked556 More than 1 year ago
For most people the images of 9/11 are indelibly burned into my brain. I watched the Twin Towers explode, burn & collapse but never really connected with the hundreds of people who were fighting for survival & those who attempted to rescue them inside of those buildings. 102 Minutes... paints a vivid picture of these courageous souls' struggles & the obstacles they encountered while trying to reach safety. After reading this book, those images are now viewed from a totally different perspective. I no longer just see structures but focus on the lives saved & lost within. This book is unforgettable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The detailed account of this attack was informative and riviting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great book that tells the 9/11 personal experience story. The day was so confusing that I can see how many conspiracy theories developed. I don't know what happened in all the reaches of the world that brought us to this day, but this book illuminates the stories of some of the people that lived & some that died & shows us that some of those conspiritorial theories are dispelled by first hand accounts. It is dense with those stories & has a good timeline of the events of the day. It reflects the ordinary heroism that was characteristic of many regular people that day as well as the bravery of the first repsonders who went in to rescue the people inside. I'm reading it again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book tells stories that have never been told. It puts the reader on the floors above the impact, from the eyes of a man who saw the plane coming, the 1st Responders and the survivors. We must never forget!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought it was a good book. However, I found it difficult to keep up with all of the people whose story was being told. It jumped back and forth too much. I am glad I read it. The stories were heart wrenching.
JessH More than 1 year ago
102 Minutes by Jim Dwyer and Kevin Flynn is the story of the events that unfolded at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, told from the people on the inside. Clips and excerpts from millions of phone calls, texts, emails, and later interviews were put together into one to show the struggles people faced to survive inside the Twin Towers during those minutes of disaster. The story begins on that morning, at if it was just another Tuesday like any other. You're introduced to people as they arrive for work and begin their morning routines, like Frank de Martini, a man who worked in the North Tower. You also learn about the many workers and people attending a conference at the Windows on the Worlds restaurant on the 106th and 107th floors in the North building. As the morning and story progresses you read fearful as the first tower is hit and the panic spreads quickly through the tower and next door into the South Tower. Many questions arise in the first few minutes after the first tower is hit and you read in horror as the South Tower is told "Building 2 is secure. There is no need to evacuate Building 2." (72) just minutes before Building 2 itself was struck by United Flight 175. The rest of the story the heart wrenching and saddening events as people fight to make it out of the Twin Towers alive before their collapse. The novel also tells about the building errors and cut corners that were taken to save money during the building stage and contributed greatly to the imminent fall. The subject in this book is bravery which contributes to the theme that extraordinary amounts of bravery were seen on this day during the attacks. Both showed bravery as they fought to not only save themselves but also the others around them like the ten colleagues that carried quadriplegic John Abruzzo down from the 69th floor. This reoccurring message seen throughout the book captivates you in a way that tugs at your heart and emotions, making it unable to put down the book once you have begun. The firsthand material from the midst of the disaster itself makes the book even more personal as you meet the people and become connected with their situations and struggles. But within the drama and disaster of the story Dwyer and Flynn go deep into the politics, contracts, and corruption that surrounded the World Trade Center which became confusing and hard to follow at times. 102 Minutes is a must read that tugs on your emotions and captivates your heart and mind, you will not be able to stop turning the pages as the events unfold before your eyes. Although this book contains some graphic images and controversial statements biased to the authors point of view. Another work related to the tragedy of 9/11 that must be read is called Touching Home by Lynn Spencer. I give this powerful story a overall rating of 4 out of 5 stars and think that everyone should read this book to be reminded of the great sacrifices that were made that terrible day.
Pam Gonzalez More than 1 year ago
I'm over halfway through this book and truly appreciate all the research the authors did to bring us the details of the 102 minutes. My only disappointment is that in the eBook version I was unable to read the informational diagrams as they are absolutely tiny. I actually borrowed a hard copy from the library so I could see what I was missing.
Terri Francisco More than 1 year ago
I had not read any of these facts and was totally captivated and engaged. This is a fascinating book but the information makes the losses of 9/11 even more tragic!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My family was residing out of the US when 9-11 happened. I read this book just before the September 2011 happenings in NYC, Washington, DC and PA. This account about the Twin Towers kept me riveted throughout my reading. Emotions of extreme sadness washed over me often, especially when I realized that both towers were gone within the titled "102 Minutes!" Dwyer and Flynn's words drew the reader into the experience without morbidity. I'm thankful for their care in researching and reporting these events, especially as we remember ALL those impacted by 9-11.
FelisAmorata More than 1 year ago
I read parts of this when it was originally published. I bought the book and will read it some time in what I hope will be the very near future - when I am able to work up the courage to open the cover. Based on what I read previously, I can say, without any reservations, that this is one of the most powerful pieces of literature you will ever read.
Mike Bixby More than 1 year ago
Very good reading.. Don't always believe what the media wants you to believe. More political BS brought to the surface.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
102 Minutes felt very relevant to me. As a high school senior, I look back on the events of September 11, 2001, and remember being about ten years old and very confused. Our school district decided that it would be better for the students to remain at school instead of calling parents to come get us. At the end of the day, my dad and a lot of other parents came to school to pick us up which was unusual. I knew something was wrong. When I asked him what happened, he told me that we would talk when we got home. Reading 102 Minutes gave me a much better understanding of the events that took place on 9/11. I got a first hand account of what the rescuers and survivors went through on that terrible day. The narrator's descriptions made me feel like I was experiencing the tragedy with them. The map located at the beginning of the book shows the area surrounding where the towers stood. It very much helped illustrate where things took place that day in New York City. Since the events of September 11th happened during my lifetime, I thought it was a very easy read. I could think back and clearly remember some of the things they described. I think anybody who enjoys reading about history, or is a younger person like me, could really learn a lot about what happened by reading this book. I think that whoever reads this book will realize how dramatic this event was and how our country united as one to become safer and more secure. It changed so many things, for so many people, that in some ways our country will never be the same. I'm glad I chose this book and hopefully I can encourage more people to learn about the events that took place on 9/11.
HannahMilgrom More than 1 year ago
I definitely enjoyed this book. It was very informative because I never would have realized what people inside the towers on September 11 went through, unless I had read this book. I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in what happened in 2001 in New York. I don't know of anyone who wouldn't enjoy this book. Even if you aren't interested in this certain event, it is probably just a good idea to read it anyways so you are informed on what happened and what went wrong. It also made me realize that we are much safer now because of what happened. Sometimes you have to go through traumatic experiences for things to change for the better. I would also recommend this book to anyone whose family member was inside the towers at the time of the crashes. This would help them to know what went on inside while their loved ones' fate was about to be decided. I liked this book because it helped me to understand a lot more about my country. I hadn't known how traumatic it must have been to be inside one of those towers after the crash. It made me feel like I was there with the people mentioned in this book because of the detail the book went into. It made me feel for the victims of the crash because now I can finally somewhat comprehend what those people were going through and what was going through their heads. Overall, I thought this was a great book. It helped me to understand my nation's past much better and it helped me be able to find things to relate to my fellow Americans with. I'm so glad I chose to read this book because if I hadn't, I wouldn't have felt so informed, educated, and sympathetic when it comes to the event of the attack on the Twin Towers. It really opened my eyes to what our country has been through.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a book you won't be able to put down. The details of the people inside the tower...the sites..you almost feel like you are there and you wish you could help all of them get out. Truly amazing and a must read for all people interested in what happened that horrible day!
Guest More than 1 year ago
As someone personally affected by the 9/11 attacks, I was apprehensive on reading this book, but hoped it would provide me with some answers. Once I started reading, I could not put it down. It gave me so many insights into the WTC buildings, our goverment and government agencies like the NYPD and NYFD, and into the attacks themsvelves. It allowed me to reflect upon my loss, but also opened my eyes to hope that we can learn from 9/11 to prevent it happening again. Thanks to the authors for telling such compelling stories and painting such vivid pictures of the 9/11 events as they unfolded. I truly believe that this book should be required reading by every American.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Most people already feel that this book wasn't necessary because they are 'sick of hearing' about 9/11. Even as the anniversary comes around, I see students who have already grown tired of it (I'm a sub. teacher). This book is important because if we do not remind ourselves of the horrors of that day, and those who experienced it, we will forget it. Reading this book makes it real because it is not a simple plot to a fiction book. Rather, it is a part of recent history, driven to remind us of what we should never forget.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As a survivor from Tower 2, who has blocked certain aspects from 9/11 from my memories, I found this book to be a look inside while I was watching the drama unfold from the outside. While no one but the unfortunate people who were inside can truly know what happened during those '102 Mintues' those who managed to reach out to family, friends and/or coworkers, told the tales of heroism, comradary, fear and pain in ways we will never be able to fathom. While everyone experienced the events of 9/11 in some shape (either in the towers, on the streets or watching it unfold on television) the path to healing make take longer for some than others. I found pieces of the events I experienced that I had previously 'blocked', were made painfully clear yet are an important part of the healing process, for me anyway. This book was truly a powerful read that I was completely unable to put down. This book answers questions that I'm sure many have wondered about such as what happened on the floors above the impact zones, what did they see up there as well as countless stories of people saving total strangers, coming together to aid whoever they could while disregarding their own safety.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you've been waiting for just the right book to read about September 11th, this is the one. Dwyer and Flynn put you there. With meticulously documented personal accounts, cell phone calls, answering machine messages and emergency personnel communications, the authors make YOU the one on the phone to your spouse and ducking under your desk as the plane hits. YOU are the one descending the stairwells or trapped in an elevator. Diagrams throughout and photographs add depth of understanding but its the prose that reads at a break-neck pace that keeps the pages turning. The ultimate you are there experience.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It's hard to believe that yet another five years have come and gone since this book was published.GOD BLESS all the family and friends who have to endure yet another anniversary of that horrific morning.