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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

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  8,776 ratings  ·  1,051 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
Paperback, 384 pages
Published January 10th 2006 by Times Books (first published January 4th 2005)
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Tori Reeves Yes, though this book brings up hard topics and deals with morality. But its definitely suitable for young adults it gives a good glimpse of reality.
Katbyrdie Whom ever you're thinking of, this is not him…moreWhom ever you're thinking of, this is not him(less)

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Average rating 4.26  · 
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 ·  8,776 ratings  ·  1,051 reviews

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Sep 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, 2019, library
While reading this book, I had a business trip to Boston. While at the Boston airport I took the following photo. The flag over gate B32 is one of the memorials at Boston’s Logan airport. This is the gate that the plane that hit the North Tower departed from:

This book is fascinating but difficult to read. If you do not wish to relive the horrors of that day, this is not the book for you. You may also want to refrain from reading the quotes from inside the towers that I have included below. I kno
Will Byrnes
Oct 29, 2008 rated it really liked it
description description
Jim Dwyer and Kevin Flynn - images from the National Book Foundation

102 Minutes covers the time from the initial impact at World Trade Center #1, the North Tower, to its collapse 102 minutes later. The focus is on survivors, how people managed. In telling heroic tales of survival and sacrifice, Dwyer and Flynn offer much relevant information about how the city construction code was subverted to allow the Trade Center’s design. There were, for example, an insufficient number of stairways, insuf
Apr 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
A flawless book that accomplishes the seemingly impossible: Presenting chaos and destruction in an orderly and cogent manner. I've seen documentaries and read other books about 9/11 but nothing has given me the nightmares that "102 Minutes" has. This is an instance where well-done literature can get much closer than a zoom lens.

The authors have impeccable credentials and smartly collate masses of information in order to bring the reader into the offices, the stairwells, alongside the firefighter
Greta G
In gripping details, the New York Times reporters Jim Dwyer and Kevin Flynn have written down the attempts of the people in the towers to escape safely.
I still remember seeing the live news coverage of the catastrophe. Of the many documentaries I saw afterwards, most were told from the outside looking in. Like many people, I saw more images of destruction and death than I could absorb emotionally.
In this book, the reporters drew on countless interviews with rescuers and survivors, phone, e-mai
Jul 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A detailed, well written account of events inside the twin towers during the 102 minutes between the first airplane strike and the collapse of the second tower, with some astonishing stories of selflessness and bravery. A very good read, but not an easy one - which is exactly as it should be.
Jill Hutchinson
Aug 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book joins a few others that I have read that truly disturbed me to the point of tears. It is the story of the individuals, both civilian and police/fire personnel who were in the Twin Towers or went there on the rescue mission on 9/11/2001. It absolutely is emotionally devastating and I think what adds to the intensity it engenders is that we saw it live on television. The book doesn't need a long is a must read but be prepared to be relive the horror of that day. ...more
Sep 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing



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
Jul 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
On Tuesday, September 11, 2001, I was in a corporate supply chain meeting that started at 8:30 with representatives from my company's Silicon Valley headquarters and from other locations around the country. Seated next to me was a big, friendly, blond guy from San Jose, named Marshall, whom I knew pretty well. Sometime before 9AM, as I remember it, someone came in the conference room where we were meeting, and said, "You need to turn on the TV." As news of the plane hitting the North Tower came ...more
Oct 20, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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
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
Sep 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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 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
I happened upon this read browsing in the history section for another book. I didn’t have a particular one in mind, just wanted to mix up my reading a bit. I had two others in hand when I saw this one haphazardly shoved into a spot on the shelf and I knew instantly that I had found my next read.

This book is exactly what you think it's about. It’s straight and to the point and it lays out all of the detailed information in a very organized format. I have nothing negative to say about this book a
Sep 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 9-11
I read this in commemoration of the fifteenth anniversary of 9/11. This book was absolutely gut wrenching. It fact it was so emotionally draining that I had to put it down at times to take a breath and remind myself that I was not trapped in a smokey tower, almost two thousand feet off the ground with no means of escape. As I read it felt like I was traveling through the towers as I spent the last moments of people lives with them.

What I take away from this book was no matter how evil the terro
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
Sep 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
I'm not sure this book is a substitute for the official 9/11 report, but it does have a dignity all its own.
The one-hundred-two minutes referred to are the time between the first plane struck the first of the giant WTC Twin Towers in lower Manhattan on 9-11-2001, and both towers had collapsed. This focus here is as much on institutional fail as individual bravery; pay attention to the actions that political figures, some of them still prominent today, took before and after the disaster. The ki
Jun 21, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 21, 2012 rated it did not like it
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
Aug 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
National Book Award Finalist for Nonfiction 2005. It may be seventeen years since 9/11, but the memories of those awful minutes are brought rushing back with Dwyer and Flynn’s excellent recounting of that horrific morning. Never forget.
Jun 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: aty-2019
I feel like I better understand 9/11 from the inside- out instead of the outside- in, watching it stunned on my TV. A good timeline of what happened and a snapshot of the experience of various people from inside the two towers. I'm glad some time passed before this was published. A pretty honest account of what went wrong and why. I must admit I still felt stressed and emotional hoping for a different ending, but it's good to be reminded. Four and a half broken heart stars ...more
Jul 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
very interesting and compelling; obviously a subject full of drama and suspense but also extremely well organized and written. my only regret is I read it on my kindle so there are illustrations - plans of the towers, for example - that don't show up well. ...more
Renee (itsbooktalk)
Jan 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was a super fast listen at around 6 hours. It would make a good book pairing with The Only Plane in the Sky as this one gives a more detailed perspective of the 102 minutes between the planes striking each tower and their collapse. It’s also quite heartbreaking as I learned much more about how many people survived the plane crashing into the tower only to be trapped or misinformed ion their efforts to get out. The info on the tower construction and lack of regulations/short cuts that were t ...more
Nov 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Compelling account of those who survive and some of those who don’t. The authors make a case for how many more could have survived if the Port Authority had followed the revised building code of 1968 and included four stairways instead of three. The reduction of that lone stairway increased real estate (revenue) but forgot the lessons learned in the early years of the twentieth century when so many young women had also gone to the windows of a building two miles south of the Trade Center to esca ...more
Jun 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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,
Matthew Sullivan
Mar 09, 2019 rated it liked it
Everyone remembers where they were on September 11, 2001. I was in the 10th grade in American History class when the announcement came over the intercom. The principal of the school: “Attention students and faculty: About 30 minutes ago, a plane crashed into one of the twin towers,” the class broke out in murmurs. Some of us laughed, as images of a single engine Cessna bouncing off the side of the tower filled our heads. The principal paused, then continued, “About 20 minutes later, another plan ...more
Feb 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
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
Sep 25, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: usa
This was the first book that I read on 9/11. Although it was definitely a compelling read, I soon got bogged down with too many details, especially about the structure of the towers and the building codes. The authors included lots of information all that. They were extremely thorough, but it soon became rather repetitive.

I loved reading about all the individuals. The self-sacrifice and courage of so many were incredible, but I found it difficult to keep track of all the names. I think that I w
Apr 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
The title of the book pretty much explains what it is about. The book is taken from the fact that it was 102 minutes from the moment the first plane struck the north tower and second plane hit the south tower of the World Trade Center in 2011. An event that is engrained in our memories forever. The physical images of burning building and collapsing will never be forgotten. In all 2,753 people were killed at the trade center. The author really did a good job of communicating the courage and sadne ...more
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