Last Man Down: A Firefighter's Story of Survival and Escape from the World Trade Center
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Last Man Down: A Firefighter's Story of Survival and Escape from the World Trade Center

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  400 ratings  ·  62 reviews
The Barnes & Noble Review
Anyone who witnessed the 9/11 terrorist attack on New York City probably wonders, What was it like to be inside the towers after the planes hit? New York Fire Department battalion chief Richard "Pitch" Picciotto was there, inside the North Tower, evacuating survivors, when the South Tower collapsed. He and his men quickly realized they had only...more
Paperback, Large Print, 347 pages
Published December 31st 2003 by Large Print Press (first published 2002)
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9/11 Related
20th out of 111 books — 120 voters
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Russ
I read this sometime in 2006, but I can't really remember which month.

"Last Man Down" is the amazing story of Richard Picciotto, a NYC fireman who was at the scene of the 2001 World Trade Center attacks. Richard tells, in vivid detail, what it was like to experience that day. He describes his role as a fireman during the rescue efforts and tells just how crazy and chaotic the scene really was.

Surprisingly, the book isn't too emotional, except in the ending chapters. Picciotto tells the story li...more
Nm Boi
This was another book I picked up at the station where I work. Read it in two days! Not a bad read at all. Richard Picciotto an FDNY Battalion Commander was in the World trade center on September 11th 2001 with a group of firefighters and one civilian when it collapsed sending him and the others into a fight for survival. This story gives me chills knowing what those firefighters were up against that dreadful day. And a whole new level of respect for the courage and sacrifices made that day. A t...more
Sam
I really enjoyed this book. I found the author to be a bit arrogant at times but it was interesting to get a point of view of what it was like for Firefighters on 9/11.
After reading the book I read online a lot of the others mentioned in this book and trapped in the stairwell with Picciotto no longer speak to him because of liberties he took. Making up stuff and taking credit for actions taken by others - that kind of ruined the book for me. If it was all true it would be amazing.
Scott L.
This book is a good read, but not great. I think that Picciotto's egotism got in the way of what could have been a truly excellent book on the September 11th attacks. Having said that, I think that all the firefighters, police, EMS and rescue workers deserve credit, and I give him credit for being one of the Bravest. Unfortunately, he chose to boost himself with this book instead of the whole effort.
Al
Wow this guy really loves himself. I certainly appreciate the fact that he made it out, but does he sit on the right hand of God? Book overall was Ok a little difficult to read at times.
Lisa
I read this book in a day because I just could not put it down. This book brings a new side to the tragedy of 9/11, somebody who was on the inside--literally.
Will
There is to much self gratification within the book, though the subject matter is very interesting.
Keith Slade
Excellent survival story of a man caught in the World Trade Center on 9-11 and how he got out.
Jun Kun Kanashii
Chief Rich Picciotto was stuck. As he watched the first plane hit the World Trade Center on September 11th, 2001, with his men at a fire station in New York city, he knew he had ot do something. He wanted to be there as badly as any of the firefighters under his command.

But despite the fire and chaos clearly visible on the news, dispatch didn't offer any orders for him, so Chief Picciotto went in alone.

Arriving at the tower, he grabbed a company of firefighters awaiting direction and headed up...more
Aaronpatsfanaol.com
The book I read about is called Last Man Down by Richard Picciotto and Daniel Paisner.

Last Man Down: This book is about heroism, on the date of September 11, 2001 a terrorist attack brought about by an infamous group called Al Qaeda hijacked four passenger air plans. Two planes hit the twin towers the third hit the pentagon and the fourth Shanksville, Pennsylvania The book tells the struggle of one man a Commanding fire fighter named Daniel Pasiner and his fellow fire fighters to save the people...more
Jennifer
Picked this up from a Bookcrossing Zone. Most of the others had some sort of war theme and somehow this seemed to go along with that. I was however far from certain that I would actually read it out of concerns of voyeurism. And once I realised there was a 'with' author, I suspected it might not be well written and be offensively formulaic.

However, when I picked it up I did not put it down until I was done. It seems to me a pretty straight (obviously other individuals might tell it differently)...more
Kylie Martin
A friend told me how good this book was. I'm about 30 pages from the end and have already lined my next book up.

The initial part of the book gives the typical 'lets rush in' american attitude. Picciotto should never have been there, he charged down and abandoned his own firehouse to help. Charged into the command centre and grabbed a group of firefighters, allocated himself a rescue. There ended up being no one to resuce so he abandoned the team he went up with and charged up further, found some...more
Mark Maguire
I found this book at a reduced price in a discount store. I read the preface and thought that for the price that I paid for it, it was "worth the risk". I was initially discouraged by the "fiction" classification that had been imposed on the book by the publishers.

In line with the majority of the World's population, I can still vividly remember the TV images that I was witnessed on that day and witnessed the heroism of the First Responders. My concern was, that any fictionalised account may tri...more
Janet
I’ve been away from Goodreads for some time, now. It is the season for spring cleaning, for squaring away one’s life in anticipation of summer relaxation yet to come, and in preparation for the festive business of the fall. Just because I’ve stopped reviewing for a time does not mean my literary life has ceased expeditions. I’ve got a pile of excellent books, steps high, awaiting review Ops. I finished another this morning, and as I man my garage sale, I’ll begin here.

Last Man Down is the story...more
chad cody
That a chief!

So as I was reading this book I am currently a career firefighter/paramedic in South Dakota. At the time of 9/11 I was a volunteer firefighter. I was working a dead end job as a medal fabricated for a heating and cooling company. I was at work and over the local radio we hear about the first tower getting hit by a plane. Our foreman stopped what we were doing and brought us into his office to watch the events unfold on TV. The only thing I could think at that moment is when is my pa...more
Margaret Barnhart
Richard Picciotto brings to life the tragedy of 9/11 in the year 2001. Having already spent an hour in the World Trade Center complex he found himself on the 35th floor with all of his firefighter equipment; out of breath and uncertain of what to do next. Then he heard the roar. The building shook as in an earthquake. It came as if from nowhere. No one moved. Everyone was silent. It was a noise never heard before. It was gaining speed and force; making a horrific, thundering noise.

As I read my...more
Jim
Richard 'Pitch' Picciotto was one of the very few people who survived the collapse of the Twin Towers from the inside, caught up in the devastation of the implosion in the midst of trying to evacuate the building. This is the story of how he and some of his compatriots made it out, and fascinating reading it is too. We are all too aware of the images of September the 11th and most of us must have wondered what it was like to be there on that day. This book gives one unique view, and although it...more
Jo
I have to confess that this book made me cry. I don't think I can read or see anything to do with 9/11 without doing so. I doubt I'm the only one. The author was one of the firefighters who went to assist on that fateful day and ended up being trapped when one of the towers collapsed. Amazingly, he wasn't seriously injured and he and his fellow trappees (I know that's not the proper word but it will suffice) escaped from the rubble virtually unscathed. It's a moving story of such a momentous occ...more
Xanthi
Even though this book was ghost written, it still comes across being rather amateurish. The whole book reads like an extended interview with the author. I admire his courage and gung-ho attitude and what he went through, however he is no writer. He is a man caught in extraordinary circumstances and it is good to be able to get a first hand account of what went on that day from someone who was not only there, but there in a horrifying way, and survived. I was pretty aghast at the parts where he d...more
Heather
This is the story of the last firefighter out of the World Trade Center on 9/11...he became trapped in a stairwell for approx. 4 hours after the collapse of the tower and then he tells how he, along with others escaped. It was interesting to read from his perspective...and how they had no idea what had happened or what was happening outside. I think everyone has the images of the towers collapsing and then the massive pile of rubble engraved on their brain...and these firefighters were thinking...more
Amy
A fascinating insight into 9-11 from the eyes of a NYC firefighter. His inside info & harsh criticisms brought a realistic view of the heroics. He had a remarkable personal experience of miraculous survival, told brashly & with the toughness of a New Yorker. Some language was too vulgar for my tastes, dozen or so F bombs & smattering of others. But I still think it was worth the read & the language was probably tame for a NYC firefighter.
Louise
I really found a sense of closure in reading this book. I really hadn't understood all that happened after the collapse of the towers on Sept 11. I enjoyed seeing Ground Zero, and this story helped fill in the details. I didn't appreciate his vocabulary however. I think he could have cleaned it up a bit. I'm sure he wanted it to sound real, but I felt that he could have sounded more professional if he had left that out.
Justin Meihls
This book about the firefighters escape from the world trade center kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time. I really felt like i was with the character the whole time. The language in this book is very strong but i feel it is necessary to make you feel what these guys went through. I give this book 5* and recommend this book to anyone who wants a good nonfiction book to read.
Nicky
I enjoyed this but found Richard to be a bit 'up himself' at times,but his descriptions of being trapped and the moment the tower fell is truly moving and he gives you a real no holds barred picture of what it was like - horrific by all accounts. Excellent descriptive writing and an inspiring story from a very brave man,all be it a bit of a self obsessed author?
Jaime
Read this when first came out and again last year. Still conjures up the vivid scene that must have been all around and sets a good historical piece from one mans view on that fatefull day.

Best to try and forget all that has happened since and put yourself back to those first few weeks/months after to get the best from this book.
Desertbird
I liked the honesty of this book; the author was not afraid to analyze his decisions in retrospect, but he did it compassionately and honestly. I finished this book very quickly over a three day period around the 12th anniversary of 9/11. It was interesting to see the events unfold from the author's perspective.
Jackie Hayter
This guy is a bit cocky, and a little defensive when he explains his decisions, but hey. He ran into the World Trade Centre when everyone else was running out, and he was inside one of the towers when it collapsed, and he survived and clawed his way out. That is quite a story!
James
A book of a true leader. Here is a guy that went through hell, but didnt leave till he made sure ll his fellow guys were out too. A true leader. I enjoyed the book, i think everyone should read it just to remind them of that sad sad day. Seems to be forgotten as time passes. God Bless America.
Joyce
Borrowed from public library.
September 11, 2001 Highest ranking firefighter to survive. Trapped in the collapse of the North Tower of the World Trade Center.
Not tight writing, lots of language. No mention of God except in curses. It's good for information about 911, but not well written.
Amarilli
Senza voler nulla togliere alla gravità dei fatti avvenuti o alla drammaticità dell'esperienza dell'autore, questo libro non mi è piaciuto a causa del tono troppo autocelebrativo. Sarebbe stata migliore una struttura a intervista, avrebbe accentuato i punti rilevanti moderando il resto.
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