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

4.22 of 5 stars 4.22  ·  rating details  ·  4,530 ratings  ·  566 reviews
The dramatic and moving account of the struggle for life inside the World Trade Center on the morning of September 11, when every minute counted

At 8:46 am on September 11, 2001, 14,000 people were inside the twin towers-reading e-mails, making trades, eating croissants at Windows on the World. Over the next 102 minutes, each would become part of a drama for the ages, one w
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Hardcover, 322 pages
Published January 12th 2005 by Times Books
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Matt
The last moments of Kevin Cosgrove’s life were presented as the Government’s Exhibit P200017 in the case of United States v. Zacarias Moussaoui. Originally labeled the “20th hijacker,” Moussaoui was eventually tried as part of a conspiracy to launch a second wave of attacks against the United States, following September 11, 2001.

Exhibit P200017 is a split-screen video: on the right side of the screen is the South Tower of the World Trade Center; on the left side of the screen, you see the trans
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Mary
Oh

My

Goodness

I would put a spoiler alert on this, except that everyone already knows how this story ends.

I almost didn't make it through the book. I originally started reading it because of the technical explanations it had for all the things I never understood fully: the lack of communications, the faulty design of emergency exits in the towers, the layout of the buildings, the timing of the events, and so forth. However, the personal stories of the people involved are interspersed throughout
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Theo
Sep 22, 2008 Theo rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: any american
Shelves: history, favorites
7 years after the event, I finally dug within myself to find the courage to read this book. I don't think I WANTED to know what happened inside The Towers...it was just TOO close. I was right about that...I didn't want to know. And yet the tying together of this multitude of perspectives to provide a clear picture of the events of those most devastating 102 minutes in our nation's history was done so skillfully as to present an incredibly clear picture of the events. That being said, I can't say ...more
Jennifer Wardrip
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
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Robynne
I'll tell your right off - this is a hard book to read. I've actually been working on it for a couple of weeks, but because of the subject matter was only able to handle so much at a time. The authors did an excellent job of pulling together a multitude of accounts and putting them into the timeline of what happened in the Twin Towers on 9/11. They weren't overly dramatic or graphic, but gave a true to life history of what happened there from the inside out, rather than the outside in. I gained ...more
Rick
Extraordinary account of what went on inside the Twin Towers from the first impact on September 11th to the fall of the North Tower 102 minutes later. The authors, two veteran New York reporters, do nothing to embellish or dramatize their account. The prose is spartan, free of useless or striving adjectives or adverbs, and free of any kind of assist the reader with authorial insights into personal courage, dramatic ironies, or embellishments of the action. The authors trust the reader and trust ...more
Bruce
I hate to trash such an enormous amount of reporting, but facts badly strung together do not improve the result by being more numerous.

The reporters' downfall here was the ill-chosen decision to tell the story of the "102 Minutes" in chronological order. All the jumping around from person to person and tower to tower prevents the development of any personalization, any real emotional impact.

There's some interesting background information on the building of the towers and the development of fire
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Mauoijenn ~ *Mouthy Jenn* ~
It was just another Tuesday morning. I was just rolling out of bed after sleeping in. I made my way to the tv in the living room before i got myself a bowl of cereal. The today show was just coming back from commercial break and I heard Katie Couric's voice saying that what was being displayed on the tv screen was a live shot of what appears to be a small aircraft had just hit one of the Twin Towers.

I looked and stopped pouring my breakfast out. I sat on the sofa and was looking at smoke pouring
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Mary
After the events of 9/11 I read quite a lot of books written by people involved in the events, cleanup or building of the World Trade Center. Then for quite a few years I didn't read anything more. With the tenth anniversary of those terrible attacks there were obviously books being re-released and catching my eye.

This book tells the tales of those that were in the towers from the time the first 'plane struck to the the falling of the North Tower. Needless to say this is a moving book. It seems
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Christopher
The 102 minutes of the title refers to the moment the first plane hit the towers until the second tower fell.

It is well researched and tells the harrowing tales of both survivors and those that died.

A few stories that stand out:

-A 30something year old guy who was doing temp work took one of the express elevators down prior to the attacks and was jumping up and down in the elevator when the first plane hit. The elevator dropped but the safety catch kept him from plummeting to his death. However,
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Lara
It was a Tuesday like any other. I rose after my normal snooze delay, always thankful for a few more minutes of rest, and got ready for work. My daily routine was uneventful. This morning was different, though. Unlike other weekdays the television remained off, freeing me from the usual background chatter of morning news anchors as I dabbed on some mascara and brushed my teeth. I relished the empty house and the total silence. I got in the car, buckled myself in and made a point not to turn on t ...more
April Lyn
I'm surprised so many people liked this book as much as they did. I didn't think it was very good, and I can't think of anyone I'd recommend it to. I wonder if people just felt obligated to like it due to the subject matter? Or maybe it just reads so much better than it sounds (on audio CD) but I can't imagine the difference is that drastic.

Anyway, I have two big complaints. The first is that there are a ton of names dropped (which is fine), but they will talk about what a person did for five mi
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Mike
I read this book to rekindle my flagging support for our war in Afghanistan (a result of reading War, which tells the story of so many brave men in an impossible area). What better way to refuel my rage than to read about the 102 minutes of terror that emanated from the terrorist refuge in Kandahar. But I came away with a completely different, unexpected result. I come away inspired and humbled by the stories of that day in the towers told in this riveting account. The self-sacrifice and courage ...more
Caroline
I got about 50 pages into this book and then had to do some really hard thinking about what I was getting out of it. A LOT of crying, for sure. But I wasn't sure what else. Would I actually learn something new and useful, or put myself through an emotional ringer and just be the same person I was before? I found myself thinking about Dave Cullen's book on the Columbine shootings. In so many ways that book made me a better citizen, a more educated citizen, and hopeful (Frank DeAngelis should be n ...more
Lauren Hopkins
This is an excellent account of what went on inside the World Trade Center towers immediately before, during, and after the planes hit on September 11. The narrative takes readers through the 102 minutes after the first plane crashed and until the final remaining tower fell, during which the 14,000 people in the towers fought to live despite the badly organized NYPD & FDNY joint rescue effort, the lack of stairways open to those trying to escape, and the general confusion from people who had ...more
Nshslibrary
“102 minutes” by Jim Dwyer and Kevin Flynn is a non fiction book written about what the tragedy of 9/11 was like inside the towers. Jim Dwyer and Kevin Flynn (employees at the New York Times) investigate deeper into the story. The two men are able to incorporate many stories told by the survivors. The stories are told from the eyes of the survivors giving you a real picture and image of what it was like.

This intriguing book will make it hard to ever put the book down. With it’s fascinating detai
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Ashley W
I was ten years old and in 5th grade on that day. Nothing was told to us during the school day, though I do remember that my teacher being a bit more subdued than usual. When I got home from school that day, I saw that my mom was home, which was unusual. She worked at a bank and usually didn't get off of work for another hour or so. I asked why she was home and she told me that all federal business got out early. Then, I remember her asking me if I knew where the World Trade Center was. I didn't ...more
Emily
this is the book I'm reading for English non-fiction. It's really interesting and I love it so far. It's a bit depressing though, but if you are interested in this type of stuff, I'd read it. It really tells you more about
9-11 than anyother news report!!
Kaylee Noll
102 Minutes: The untold story of the Fight to Survive Inside the Twin Towers by Jim Dwyer

I read the book 102 minutes by Jim Dwyer. This book was a collaboration of stories of people who were in the world trade center buildings the day of the attack that gave true stories from people inside of the building as well as details about the building that may have been a downfall. The book was amazing and I would recommend it to anyone that loves a historical read, it had stories that I was absolutely
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Mishehu
Like nearly everyone else on the planet, I remember exactly where I was as the towers tragedy unfolded: in Cambridge, MA, at some now defunct electronics shop, watching on a wall of televisions screens, in real time, as the second tower was hit, and then as the second and then the first tower collapsed. The images of that day are forever seared on my mind's eye. Reading 102 Minutes I learned a great deal about the events of 9/11 that I hadn't known, and about some of the people who experienced i ...more
Kelly
This is a compelling and painful story. The loss of life that day was something I hope we never experience again. The willingness of civilians to protect and rescue each other fills my heart with much needed hope.

I listened to this book with my husband who provided another take and opinion. Neither of us feel this book missed its emotional mark, but being an architect, my husband felt that some (much) of the "facts" relating to the fire proofing, stair access and the like was not accurately pre
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Mieczyslaw Kasprzyk
Very early on in this book the authors make a statement that comes partly as a shock, partly as a revelation:
"... simply to declare that the hijackers alone killed all those people gives them far more credit as tacticians than they are due. The buildings themselves became weapons... so, too, did a sclerotic emergency response culture in New York that resisted reform...
" At least 1,500 people in the trade centre - and possibly many more - survived the initial crashes but died because they were un
...more
Sigrid
What an amazing book that depicts what happened in the World Trade Towers on September 11th! In a very compelling way, the authors describe through personal accounts and interviews, radio dispatches and 911 phone call transcripts the struggle for survival. So many people were able to escape that day (Yay!!) and had there been other measures in place, many more of the people could've gotten out--probably most.

I marveled at how the authors presented in an easy format some of the problems: the his
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Glenn
I read this book a couple of years ago, but am adding it to my list because it is one that I highly recommend. It is incredible how thoroughly these writers recreated those heartbreaking minutes between the collision into the first Twin Tower, and the collapse of both towers, using documents, interviews, e-mails, phone conversations, text messages, etc. I felt I was inside the buildings watching the whole thing unfold. I learned a lot, too--not only about the human beings dealing with the disast ...more
Christie
A gripping and heart wrenching account as told by those who managed to survive and escape the towers within the 102 minutes from the first impact by American Airlines Flight 11 to the collapse of the second tower. Within the narration are also transcripts of 911 calls and voicemails left to loved ones when some of the victims realized they would not survive. The stories of those who stopped and helped others who were injured truly demonstrated that, even during a tragedy, many heroes rise to the ...more
Jenny
Jul 15, 2007 Jenny rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in knowing more about 9/11
It took me a long time to start this book. I read the first paragraph about a person who had just arrived at work, and I closed the book because I knew what would happen and that person didn't. I eventually picked it up again and kept going and am so glad I did. This book is not so much about the buildings or about the politics (though there is both) but about the people who were in the buildings. Do you even think about that? Does anyone? I think not. We talk about the buildings or about the ev ...more
Miranda
Wow, what an extremely powerful read. I literally read this with a tightness in my chest the entire time and screaming, "Run, get out!" in my head. Though mundane, it was interesting to read about the structural factors and communication issues that impacted this day. I became attached to some of the people and wanted so badly to hear they made it safely. I am glad that I spent the time reading about and becoming educated about such an important part of my generation's living history.
Adam Meade
The collection of accounts here-in are moving and paint a very vivid picture of what it must have been like in different places within the towers. There are so many different names that it can sometimes become confusing as to who's who, but the power of the stories is not lost. There is little philosophical meandering in the book, which may be a plus for some readers, though I prefer a bit more of that. Given the nature of the material and the fact that many of the people we read about perished, ...more
Bookmarks Magazine

The meticulous reportaging and superior writing on display in 102 Minutes have earned its authors high praise. Piecing together this unsentimental account from interviews, voicemail messages, e-mails, government documents, and other sources, The New York Times journalists have created an exquisitely detailed account of how thousands of individuals experienced two of the most difficult hours in U.S. history. Alternating between an intensely personal narrative style and thoughtful, critical questi

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Marci
I was instantly gripped by this book and finished it really quickly...which means I MADE time to read it...which means I really liked it :-)! It was definitely sad and frustrating because you knew what the end result would be, but I still found it fascinating. The author pieced together information from multiple sources and is able to offer a great look at what was happening inside the tower during the whole morning, really shedding new light on the tragedy of Sept. 11th. I loved that the chapte ...more
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wow...wow 9 53 Apr 05, 2013 08:48AM  
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