Firehouse
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Firehouse

3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  683 ratings  ·  91 reviews
"In the firehouse the men not only live and eat with each other, they play sports together, go off to drink together, help repair one another's houses and, most importantly, share terrifying risks; their loyalties to each other must, by the demands of the dangers they face, be instinctive and absolute." So writes David Halberstam, one of America's most distinguished report...more
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Published May 29th 2002 by Brilliance Audio (first published January 1st 2002)
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Ciara Travers
Ciara Travers
May 2, 2012
Firehouse

First Response Character
In my book Firehouse, it illustrates the hardships that engine 40 and ladder 35 go through. In this story it really illustrates how they live and they all grow together as a family. I would love to be a part of this fire house, because all the men are very caring and do everything as a team. For instance the firehouse in midtown Manhattan, feel passionate about being the best. It is an unusually strong house, filled with veterans who do n...more
Carin
I thought a nonfiction work by a famous author about a firehouse would be cool. Didn't realize until I started reading it that it's about September 11th. Still wanted to read it, but knew it would be hard, so even though it's very short, it took me a little while.

It's about Firehouse 40/35 (Engine 40, Ladder 35) in midtown Manhattan. On Sept. 11, 2001, the engine and the ladder both went down to the World Trade Center at 9:30 AM, with 13 men aboard the two trucks. One man survived. Mr. Halberst...more
Edmund Davis-Quinn
This review was also a post on my blog.
http://ed2dq.com/2013/01/10/firehouse...

September 11, 2001 is now over 11 years ago, but still feels fresh.

Especially to anyone who grew up in greater New York City.

I grew up in Montgomery Township, New Jersey just north of Princeton, and from the top of Grandview Hill on a clear day, I could see the World Trade Center 50 miles away (could see the Turnpike Towers of East Brunswick much better about 20 miles away).

The World Trade Center was always the build...more
Becca LovesBrooklyn
An intimate look into the lives of all the men who were with FDNY Eng. 40/Ldr. 35 who were killed on September 11, 2001. It also shows us how the men (and the families) coped in the days after 9/11 and how firefighters are truly a band of brothers.
Eric_W
I love Halberstam's books and usually make an effort to read them as soon as they come out. His tragic death last year hit hard. This book I postponed reading until recently. I suppose the events of 9/11 needed to be viewed through the distance of time. Even with that lens, it was often difficult to forge on.

The Engine 40, Ladder 35 firehouse was close to where Halberstam lived in New York. Twelve of thirteen who left for the Twin Towers on that day were killed. Halberstam recounts what happened...more
Michael Harris
Friends of the HHI Library find, published in 2002. I picked this up because it was written by David Halberstam, a first rate author and historian. He chronicles the lives of the men of the firehouse that housed Engine 40 and Truck 35 who lost their lives on September 11th. It is a beautifully written story of ordinary people who chose service to others putting themselves and their families second. With the benefit of time, reading the book was especially sad for me because of what America has b...more
Kristen
Firehouse is a biographical account of the firefighters from Firehouse 40/35 in Midtown Manhatten. Thirteen of them went out on a run one fateful morning. Only one returned.

If I were rating this on those 9/11 first responders remembered by this book, there would not be enough stars. They were courageous and selfless.

I am not rating them. I'm rating the writing.

Halberstam started out as a journalist. Maybe it is the difference between the writing of a journalist and a solely nonfiction history w...more
John
Every once in a while, I read a book that just stuns me. "Firehouse" is one of those rare finds that found me, not the other way around.

It's 2013 and we have just been through the worst financial crisis MOST of us have ever experienced. We've all struggled over these past five years in one way or another. And, unfortunately, for most of us, that struggle has been self oriented (job, money, debt, investments, etc.) "Firehouse" acts as a stark, yet passionate reminder of who we Americans REALLY ar...more
Joe Haynes
This was a very good book.

Inadvertently, I checked this book out at the begining of September not realizing that I would be reading it on the 11th. The timing could not have been better.

For me it served as a reminder of the sacrifice the firemen of New York made on that tragic day. The book helped me understand the loss on a more personal level. Halberstam includes a background on each of the men. How they came to the firehouse and how they related to one another. After only a few of these stor...more
Jann
Firehouse was a good insight into the workings of 40/35, a company comprised of Engine 40 and Ladder 35 belonging to FDNY. They weren't the closest company to the World Trade Center on 9/11/01, but they were on scene before the towers fell. Twelve of the thirteen men from 40/35 who responded were killed when the towers collapsed. The lone survivor barely made it out alive.

This wasn't as emotional of an account as other stories of fire department loss I've read. It may have something to do with...more
Joshua Emil
At first, I thought it was like a typical ride-along with a FDNY (Fire Department of New York City)firehouse. I later found out it was a chronicle of Engine 40 and Ladder (Truck) 35's professional and personal lives. This Engine/Ladder Company was almost wiped out when they responded to the tragedy of September 11, 2001. A young firefighter, Kevin Shea, was spared. All those who responded except him (Shea) didn't made it. It's not just a loss for a firehouse but also for their families and the c...more
Michael
my day is made. found another rock-star writer-- meaning somebody who's produced at least five non-fiction books, and can write well. the opening of Firehouse alone should be studied in narrative writing classes for how to build tension, brings out facts one-by-one for maximum impact, and create journalistic integrity combined with hollywood-level drama. Halberstam has always been fascinated by personas and personalities--he wrote an entire book about The Fifties which was chapter-by-chapter res...more
Sara
Firehouse by David Halberstam was a fantastically written book. However, it is not a book for the faint at heart. Halberstam takes 9/11 very seriously and pours the emotions of others into one book. I would say that this book is one for not only those affected by the event, but those who fought to make it more bearable for everyone. These aren’t the simple and empathetic tales of those who lost loved ones in a horrible accident. Although those stories can be extremely powerful, Halberstam takes...more
Courtney
While perhaps a short read, I wouldn't call Firehouse a quick one. I imagine you could read the book in an afternoon, but you probably wouldn't want to. Halberstam's account is definitely not overly sentimental, but given the nature of the central story -- the fate of a firehouse near Lincoln Center on September 11th -- it's difficult to read in one sitting.

That said, what I appreciated most about this book was the fact that it was sparse in its descriptions of the day. Instead, it focuses on th...more
Sher
Apr 01, 2010 Sher rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone wanting a closer look at the heroes of 9/11
This is a heart-wrenching story of Firehouse 40/35 in New York City. Thirteen firemen responded to the call on 9/11, but only one returned. The book tells about their lives, their families, and their love of being firemen. It tells of the events in each man's life leading up to the tragedy. It tells of those who missed being one of the ones to go on the call by some random happenstance, and of those who answered the call in the same way.

It is hard to imagine how any person, no matter how evil,...more
Nate
Halberstam delves into the lives of those firefighters at Engine 40 Ladder 35 in Manhattan where 12 of those firefighters lost their lives in the tragedy of 9/11. I loved this book for the way Halberstam is able to tell you about the men, their lives, their idiosyncrasies, and their abilities in such a way as to make you feel like you were there observing, like you knew them. I appreciated this book more than any other because it let me see into the lives of men who died for strangers, it helped...more
Jesse Goodsell
"Firehouse" provides a concise biography of each man from New York Fire Department's Engine 40 Ladder 35 company that died responding to the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center. Entwined with each the description of each man's personality is a description of their roles in the firehouse.

Halberstam masterly brings the men to life. I felt like I knew all the men from the firehouse. All of the men chose to be firemen. Some men took large pay cuts to become firemen. The fire fighters were...more
Kate
When I bought this book, based on the title alone, on 11 September 2009, I didn't know it would be about the amazing men from Engine 40, Ladder 35, who died on 11 September 2001. I have to say that this book as been the most moving book I've ever read. It was absolutely AMAZING! I can honestly say this book has given me an amazing perspective about what happened that day. It also gave me the chance to learn about the 13 men that set out from the firehouse that day, with only one to return. I wou...more
Tracey Cruickshank
I've enjoyed Halberstam's books before so I knew what to expect and I wasn't disappointed. This book was expectedly powerful and important, discussing the firefighter's lives of a firehouse which lost all but one hero on 9/11. Special.
Kirsti
A moving tribute to the men of New York firehouse, Engine 40, Ladder 35 after their loss during the tower collapses on September 11. Here are individual stories, from wives, parents and friends. It's not just a book about the events of September 11, but it is the story of their lives, why they wanted to be firefighters, how they meet their wives, the friendships with the firehouse.

This book is an emotional read, as you realize not just the world's loss with the death of so many, but individual f...more
Mitzi Cyrus
This book has created new respect for firefighters. Halberstam writes so beautifully, and does a wonderful job of giving credit to each man.
Kelly
Though this was a sad topic, it was interesting to hear the personal life stories of such courageous men and their families.
Teri Pre
Excellent book about the firefighters of Engine 40, Ladder 35 who died on September 11.
Byron
I went in expecting more of the story of what happened on 9/11, and maybe that was unfair. It appears they really didn't have much information to go on -- the men left, and then did not return. The book turned into a lengthy eulogy of the ones who were lost -- and I certainly don't knock that -- with interesting tidbits and anecdotes thrown in about life in the firehouse, the family nature of it and the strong bonds formed among the extended "family" members. I was just waiting to get to the sto...more
Robert Glustrom
I love Halberstam's early writings when he ushered in and perfected the anecdote as an integral part of historical writing. A way of taking the tedious and giving life and, in both an amusing and interesting way, excitement. This book has flashes of his depth and style but goes too deeply into the lives of those who only have significance due to their tragic death. Where it shines is his analysis and the significance of the valor and sacrifice of first responder firemen and life in the firehouse...more
Bonnie
The story of the firemen from Firehouse 40/Engine 35 who lost their lives in the 9/11 attack on the Twin Towers in NYC is handled with great respect and warmth. The strength of the book is the bios of the men, and the descriptions of their relationships and camaraderie. The audio version was good, but I thought the reader rushed a bit through the telling of the aftereffects, especially the memorial services, running them together as if he wanted to hurry and get through that part. The book is a...more
Matthew Dixon
A great writer composing a love letter to the unbelievably brave firemen who gave their lives in the 9/11 disaster. My problem with the book is that all of the firemen who are profiled come off as saintly, albeit often times with gruff exteriors. My experiences with people, firemen or not, suggests that these profiles don't tell the whole story. So the people come off as mere caricatures. I don't think it would take anything away from what these people did to present then as real people, warts a...more
Haley
a touching, delicate, beautiful novel - it really couldn't have been told any better. paragraph after paragraph, more of each fireman's story was unraveled and it was honestly so vulnerable and true that by the end of the book, I felt like one of their family members. as each loved one awaited the excavation of their bodies, tuned into the last voice message that they left on this world, and tried to grasp what they must have been thinking those last few moments, I waited too, longing and hopefu...more
NK
Brings a national tragedy down to a very personal level.
Nancy
Not only is this book inciteful regarding the life of firemen in New York City, it offers a wonderful tribute to the men who lost their lives—giving us intimate profiles of who they were as men as well as firefighters. We come to understand the culture of the firehouse; why gifted men do this and why in so many instances they are eager to follow in their father's footsteps and serve in so dangerous a profession—why, more than anything else, it is not just a job, but a calling as well.
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David Halberstam (April 10, 1934–April 23, 2007) was an American Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author known for his early work on the Vietnam War and his later sports journalism.

Halberstam graduated from Harvard University with a degree in journalism in 1955 and started his career writing for the Daily Times Leader in West Point, Mississippi. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, writing for...more
More about David Halberstam...
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