Fire in the Grove: The Cocoanut Grove Tragedy and Its Aftermath
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Fire in the Grove: The Cocoanut Grove Tragedy and Its Aftermath

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  142 ratings  ·  15 reviews
On Saturday night, November 28, 1942, Boston suffered its worst disaster ever. At the city's premier nightspot, the Cocoanut Grove, the largest nightclub fire in U.S. history took the lives of 492 people--nearly one of every two people on the premises. A flash of fire that started in an imitation palm tree rolled through the overcrowded club with breathtaking speed and in...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published October 10th 2006 by Da Capo Press (first published October 9th 2005)
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Todd
Quite a good book about the Cocoanut Grove fire. The BFD released the witness statements in October of last year, but this reads as if Esposito got hold of them for the book. The BPL also has a collection of photos, some of which were presented to the jury at the trial. I've read most of that stuff, so I am pretty familiar with the events, but this book does a good job at highlighting the corruption and malfeasance of city and state officials which makes all the more tragic that no officials wer...more
Caroline
An overcrowded night club covered in flammable velvet. A maze of hallways and staircases. Exit doors locked or hidden behind palm trees or in service areas. City codes ignored. Palms greased. A match is lit by a bar boy. In ten minutes, the Cocoanut Grove is engulfed in flames, panic ensues, and 492 people lose their lives. Soldiers, students, couples celebrating anniversaries, staff.

This tragic tale engaged me, saddened me, angered me. It should be remembered.
Shay Caroline
Having read and been fascinated by my father's copy of "Holocaust!" by Paul Benzaquin (1959), I was familiar with the subject of the famous Cocoanut Grove nightclub fire of 1942, and looked forward to reading this book. It was okay, but I liked Benzaquin's book much better.

"Fire In The Grove: The Cocoanut Grove Tragedy And Its Aftermath" concentrates largely on the behind-the-scenes chicanery that set the stage for this disastrous fire in which almost five hundred people lost their lives. Publi...more
Drebbles
On November 28, 1942, Boston's Cocoanut Grove nightclub caught on fire. Trapped by flames and deadly fumes, 492 people died in what was ultimately the worst nightclub fire in United States history. "Fire In The Grove" details the events of not only the fire, but the events leading up to it: shoddy construction; the use of flammable materials; overcrowding; blocked exits; the employment of minors; and the willingness of public officials to overlook the violations. The book also covers the stories...more
Yael
On Saturday, November 28, 1942, at approximately 10:18 p.m., what was to become the worst nightclub fire in America's history broke out in the Coconut Grove nightclub in Boston, Massachusetts. The fire took the lives of 490 people, nearly one out of two people in the club at the time. A fire that began unobtrusively in an imitation palm tree in the basement Melody Lounge bar roared through the egregiously overcrowded club with incredible speed, taking only eight minutes to completely destroy the...more
Margi
An interesting tale of the fire at the Cocoanut Grove in Boston on November 28, 1942. It cover the before and after which makes for a good story. It shows what changes were made after the fire to make these types of places safer. An interesting note though, the last chapter of the book covered the fire in the Rhode Island night club in 2003. It is interesting that all these years later people are still not willing to follow the rules and these horrible fires still happen. The book also gives som...more
Dixie Diamond
I think this book is about as exhaustively researched as a book could be that is about an event that basically happened in the span of eight minutes. Well, obviously, there is a lot more before and after that eight minutes, but the fire itself was short. If you get frustrated by details, you'll be put off.

If you're frustrated by corruption and people who don't take responsibility for things, you'll be very put off.
Lisa
This was an excellent and well written chronicle of the Cocoanut Grove fire in Boston--until the last chapter. An editor should have yanked it or redirected the author accordingly. Definitely worth reading and chock full of interesting asides about all the people involved in this tragedy.
Heather
A well-written, informative story about a horrible tragedy. A good mixture of facts about the fire, and information about those involved.
Mark Goodwin
Easy to read, very interesting and full of drama - both the actual event and the subsequent investigation and trial.
Sarah
An interesting read, I wish I knew a little more about fire safety standards going into it.
Will
Interested in the subject matter, but the book is more or less a well-researched Wikipedia entry.
Nancy L.
Better researched than the first Cocoanut Grove book by Keyes.
Dan
More an overview than a thorough look at the tragedy.
Meghann
re-read 4/20/2011
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