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The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland
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The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland

4.05  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,817 Ratings  ·  633 Reviews
"For the better part of a week, nearly every man, woman, and child in Gander and the surrounding smaller towns stopped what they were doing so they could help. They placed their lives on hold for a group of strangers and asked for nothing in return. They affirmed the basic goodness of man at a time when it was easy to doubt such humanity still existed."

When thirty-eight je
ebook, 256 pages
Published July 12th 2011 by HarperCollins e-books (first published 2002)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Kristyn Conner
Oh. My. God.

Everyone should read this book. No, seriously. DeFede is such a fantastic journalist and a fantastic writer. As someone who personally leans more toward fiction than nonfiction, I don't think I could have read this entire book without someone like DeFede weaving creativity and passion throughout the pages. A+ job, man.

Aside from the fact that it was a quick and simple read (I read it in a matter of hours while sitting at my desk at work), the story itself is pretty damn unbelievable
Sep 27, 2011 Nancy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was great! Made you feel that people really do care out there. If only each community could have this spirit......what a better place this world would be!!

"For the better part of a week, nearly every man, woman, and child in Gander and the surrounding smaller towns stopped what they were doing so they could help. They placed their lives on hold for a group of strangers and asked for nothing in return. They affirmed the basic goodness of man at a time when it was easy to doubt such huma
Jun 27, 2014 Caren rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult-nonfiction
The 9/11 disaster is history now, but it is the sort of history that is always with you if you lived through it. At the time it happened, I knew the airspace over the USA was closed, but it didn't really occur to me to wonder what happened to the planes that were too far into their flights to turn back. The USA feared there could be other terrorists on those incoming planes, so the flights were re-routed to our quiet, patient neighbors to the north. Yes, many of those planes landed in Canada. Th ...more
Apr 05, 2014 Cindy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read as a Bookcrossing bookring.

The only thing that kept me from rating this higher was the lack (?) of proofreading and fact checking. I can only assume that since this was published days before the one year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on America that there was a rush to get this on the booksellers' shelves.

Examples (some, at least in my eyes, very glaring):

- the author discusses the Gander tragedy that occurred in December 1985. This involved the members of the 101st Airborne, headquarter
Mar 04, 2011 Dee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everybody who can read
Recommended to Dee by: Jasbir
Shelves: non-fiction
An amazing story. I couldn't put it down. I want to move to Newfoundland now. When 38 jetliners bound for the US were forcd to land in Gander, Newfoundland, on September 11th the citizens of this communinity rallied together to care for thousands of stranded and very disturbed travelers. There was no stone unturned as they showed compassion and caring like nothing I have ever read about. I have never read a book about 9-11 because even ten years later I just didn't want to. I thought I had heard ...more
Zohar -
f I started reading a book about 9/11 and a few pages into it found that an American General, a CEO of an international clothing conglomerate, several members of the board of a wealthy charity, an NYPD detective and parents of a firefighter who is lost in the World Trade Center were stuck in a small Canadian town in the middle of Newfoundland (not to mention a long-lost native son) I would have put the book away with a chuckle and started a new one.

Nevertheless, this is not fiction and the even
Nicole Means
Aug 05, 2013 Nicole Means rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Have you ever finished a book, clutched it to your chest, and spoken the words “WOW!” aloud. Well, if not, after you read this book, you will have this exact reaction. “The Day the World Came to Town” reminds us that despite of all the evil that exists in today’s society, there is hope. Good does exist! Media spends so much time focusing on all the bad in the world, that sometimes we fail to remember that for every evildoer there are 100s “good” doers.
The premise of this book surrounds the even
Being an employee of American Airlines, and therefore forever tied to the events of 9/11/01 on a personal level, I can't believe I'd never heard of this book until recently. What a fantastic book it was. The writing itself is nothing fabulous, but the story is, as well as the way the author weaves the personal accounts of so many different people together to paint the overall picture. Imagine that 38 planes carrying more than 6,500 people from all around the world converged on the town of Gander ...more
Fuzzy Gerdes
I had a very interesting 2012 and one of the most interesting things—visiting Istanbul—turned into another unusual experience: our plane back had an engine die and we had an unplanned landing in Gander, Newfoundland. I was fascinated by the town and how a local industry was taking care of stranded travelers.

One of the stories that came up several times from locals was about how the town had dealt with 9/11. When American airspace was shut down that day, 38 planes carrying 6,000 people had to lan
Really good book, really a inspirational read. I picked up this book after reading this article over the summer. I was intrigued and wanted to know more about this town(s)

I read this book in about two hours, it was fast and gave me hope there were still good people in this world. After reading about how these small towns around Gander welcomed the people and crews uprooted from the events of 9/11 by literally opening their homes and their hearts. Like seriously. People striped their beds and emp
Jul 06, 2012 Stitchywoman rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Stitchywoman by: Assigned reading for work
Shelves: nonfiction
The book has a great premise, another side of 9/11. However, I found the book redundant. I get it, I get it already. The town of Gander is filled with saints. I also found the story hard to follow at times. There were people that walked in and out of the story and it was difficult to keep them all straight. The story itself was difficult to follow. The book kept jumping from story to story to the point that I was loosing track of what day in the drama we were in.

My review might be a little hars
I found this book to be a fascinating tale of a small town in Newfoundland and how it coped when over 6000 people were forced to land on September 11, 2001. the book takes place over about 4 days and captures the individual stories of some of the passengers, crew, and Gander residents. Now that some time has passed since this horrific event took place, it was a pleasure to read this book and have it feature the best of humanity and Canadian hospitality. The book is peppered with facts about that ...more
Jan 28, 2015 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
There are still good people in this world; people who are unselfish and compassionate and do the right thing just because it's the right thing to do. I had never really given much thought to the planes in the air on 9/11 that were ordered to land immediately and the people on those planes. I applaud the people of Gander who put their own lives on hold to make these unexpected guests feel welcome. The book is a quick read and just the right length. As much as I enjoyed it by the end I was ready f ...more
Dena Mehling
Jul 31, 2014 Dena Mehling rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a gem. A series of vignettes dealing with a part of September 11th that I never once thought about. Airspace was closed over the United States but what happened to all of those inbound flights? I was not flying that day so it didn't occur to me but hundreds of planes were in route to somewhere in the U.S. and had to land immediately. 252 jets landed in a little town in Newfoundland and what the people did for the passengers over the next week, the relationships that were forged and ...more
Dec 27, 2015 Ann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Perfect reading for the holiday season -- marveling at the welcoming citizens of Gander, Newfoundland whose actions were in direct contrast with the terrorists attacking the U.S. This story made me hope that I could be as selfless as the Newfoundlanders who welcomed over 6,000 people from 40 countries into their community of only 10,000. I hope I could be. I think Canadians welcoming Syrian refugees fall into this category. Inspiring and true tales of both the best and worst of humans in our wor ...more
While the author's handling of this story deserves 3 stars, it is the story itself that I award 5 stars to, and it baffles me that this is the ONLY book I can find on the subject. This is an amazing story, equally important to other stories from that day and those that followed, and should not be forgotten.

As the horror unfolded on September 11, 2001, the U.S. government shut down its airspace, and all airplanes were ordered to land immediately at the nearest airport. Air traffic controllers aro
Steph Miller
Oct 08, 2014 Steph Miller rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"The Day the World Came to Town" is such a wonderful title for this book because it sums up the collision of cultures that occurred on September 11th and the days following in the town of Gander, Newfoundland. Being a Newfoundlander myself and knowing their reputation for hospitality I was not surprised to hear that the whole town (and many surrounding towns) chipped in to help the thousands of stranded passengers. But what I hadn't pictured (I don't know why!) was the cultural diversity of the ...more
Apr 16, 2014 Teresa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a hard review to write for me. This book was uplifting and yet at the same time dredged up very painful, sorrowful memories. I'm sure that everyone who lives in the Washington DC area has personally been affected by this horrific event - and, I am no exception.

The beginning of the book details the normal and exceptional circumstances in which a very diverse group of travelers began their flights in various countries only to be waylaid to Gander, Newfoundland because of the events of 9/1
Michael Poresky
Nov 19, 2012 Michael Poresky rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Day the World Came to Town
This book is setup in a very different way. Instead of the normal chapters that are narrated by the author, there are accounts of different people’s stories. The book is about the issues after 9/11 and how people dealt with them. After the attacks all planes in the US airspace and planes that were inbound were grounded. Thousands of people were now stranded all over the continent. All planes that were going to the northeast were forced to land in a small airport in
May 04, 2009 Abby rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’d never thought about it before, but on 9/11 there were bunches of planes on their way to the U.S. when they closed American airspace. Turning around and flying back to the country they took off from was not necessarily an option, so many of them landed in Canada. A big group landed in Gander, Newfoundland, and the community had to take in over 10,000 airplane refugees for days until the jets could leave again. It was a pretty massive undertaking. Good job, Gander peeps.

It made me think about
Until now I had never considered what kind of risk Canada took in accepting all those diverted flights. The US government was afraid there might be terrorists aboard other flights, right? So they shut down US airspace. But if there had been additional terrorists, they might very well have acted even after their flight was diverted. So Canada took a very real risk when they accepted so many orphaned flights.

The day the world came to town is very readable as Defede concentrates of relating individ
Tyler Jones
May 09, 2014 Tyler Jones rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 9-11
I remember a headline in The Onion sometime in the days and weeks following the 9/11 attacks that went something like "Average American Finding it Difficult to Care about Dumb-Ass Shit Anymore." The gist of the article being that it was hard, in the wake of such a mind-numbing event, to care about trivialities like "Survivor" or where Brad Pitt had dinner. In fact most of us suddenly realized just how much of what we put our time and energy into was actually dumb shit. For a while it was as thou ...more
Jul 09, 2015 Tempie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting read. I had never really thought about all the passengers who were stuck outside of the US on 9/11. It is amazing that a town would come to the rescue of some many passengers like that and do everything that they did. I would love to read some kind of update on them to see how everyone is doing 14 years later.
Dec 21, 2015 Dave rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Working in NYC on 9/11, I had very little idea of what was going on in the rest of the world, except, of course, at the Pentagon. This book was an eye-opener, a true tale of human kindness to strangers. The good people of Newfoundland have shown us the way!
Lisa Latham
Mar 03, 2015 Lisa Latham rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2015
This was an amazing book. The kind, compassionate, wonderful people of Gander Newfoundland, give testament to the goodness of mankind. I had never heard this story before, as I am sure, many have not. I highly recommend reading this book.
Dick Pilskog
Jan 22, 2016 Dick Pilskog rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Easy and very interesting read. This book relates to the people who considered 9/11 and who helped a great deal and asked for nothing in return. Gave me faith that there is humanity still out there.
Great topic and the people of Gander were heroic and amazing, but I did not care for the way this book was written. It was choppy and just never seemed pulled together. i would have rather read a few stories all the way through. I also think this book was just redundant and would have made a better magazine article than a book. It just seemed a bit superficial (not profound or thorough, really just grazed the surface). But I have never really heard much about what happened to all of the diverted ...more
Nov 20, 2015 Lorelei rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes the simplest stories are the best, and sometimes the perfect book comes to you at the perfect time. For me, this was November 2015, 13 years after this book was published. It felt as though I couldn't look at my Facebook news feed without seeing individuals I knew to be otherwise kind and caring people making hurful comments towards Muslims or prospective Syrian refugees. Jim DeFede's book reminded me of one of my favourite quotes: "Despite everything, I believe that people are really ...more
Oct 04, 2015 Ann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a fascinating story that needed telling. It is the story of what happened to the people who were traveling overseas when the United States closed all its airports after the attacks of 9/11. What surprised me is how little information was available. They were never told where they were going or how long they would be there.

Many of them were sent to Newfoundland, an island and Canadian colony. Just before WW II, a giant airport was built in Gandor as a refueling station before planes could
Aug 21, 2015 Kieran rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thought this book was incredible.

Mr. DeFede did a wonderful job of taking an intricate, interwoven story with MANY characters about a subject that will forever be a defining point in nation in many ways, and he simply told the story looking through the lens of Gander, Newfoundland.

He didn't get overly emotional or smarmy. It would have been easy to do given the subject matter. But his writing wasn't dry either. In a way, his writing reminded me very much of the old TV series M*A*S*H (Best sh
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“Although it felt much longer, within a few seconds the pilot came over the loudspeaker. He spoke in German and Roxanne couldn’t discern much from the tone of his voice. Then she heard the passengers who could understand him audibly gasp. This made her even more frightened. Finally, in somewhat broken English, the pilot announced that airspace over the United States was closed and he had been ordered to land in Gander, Newfoundland. He offered no further explanation.” 0 likes
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