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3.97  ·  Rating details ·  1,049 Ratings  ·  132 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
Published May 29th 2002 by Brilliance Audio (first published January 1st 2002)
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Oct 25, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Ciara Travers
Apr 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ciara Travers
May 2, 2012

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
Edmund Davis-Quinn
Jan 10, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library
This review was also a post on my blog.

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
Jun 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book “Firehouse” written by David Halberstam, was a close to heart story for me for many reason and the following is one of them. My uncle passed away on September 11, 2001, this book is about the Emergency Responders who helped in the 9/11 terrorist attack in New York City. I recommend this book for the age of 14 years of age and up, due to some language and graphic writing.

The book is written with a story before, during, and after the attack on the Twin Towers, told by each fire house mem
Dec 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As one might imagine, this is not a happy book. However, it is an important one. The author takes us into the lives and culture of the NYC firefighters who were among the first responders to the 9/11 attacks. You close the book feeling like you actually knew these men and their families.
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.
Jerry Smith
it is always difficult when one reads an account of heroic actions and admirable people, only to find the book somewhat unsatisfactory as was the case here. I didn't hate it and I very much admire the writing of DH in his authoritative account of the Korean War and I thought I would read it over the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

It is a straightforward telling of the story of a firehouse in NYC that lost 12 of its brightest and best on that terrible day. I have never ending admiration of fire
Guy Choate
May 19, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
While the content and story of the firefighters is heartbreaking, the manner in which Halberstam chose to tell the story made it hard to feel for the characters as individuals. Rather than jumping from firefighter to firefighter, I think if we’d have gone deeper into the life of a single man, I would’ve gotten more from the story. I'm guessing this one was rushed to publication to capitalize on the post-9/11 craze.
Aug 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Such an interesting book about one of the Fire stations that lost
so many men in 9/11.
Carianne Carleo-Evangelist
I feel as if I'm talking to a ghost. Not just the ghosts of the men from Engine 40/Ladder 35, but the ghost of David Halberstam who was gone within a few years of writing this book. So many lives lost way too soon.

I seem to be on a 9/11 drive, having read The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland earlier this year and just finishing Thunder Dog: The True Story of a Blind Man, His Guide Dog, and the Triumph of Trust at Ground Zero prior to this book. ALthough both of those book
Apr 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 27, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 11, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Joshua Emil
Aug 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Byron Hill
This book will be interrupted many times. Great !!
Aug 14, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hookah
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
Joe Haynes
Sep 14, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 27, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, 2013
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
Michael Harris
Feb 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jaymie Shook
Oct 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Our entire country suffered on 9/11. Much of it was our innocence being taken away. Fighting during wartime was one thing, but most of that happened overseas, so civilians were somewhat removed. We've all heard so many personal stories about that day. Many of those I've heard, though, have been from people far away from New York on that day.

I was in high school in Indiana and was taking the ISTEP when the news started covering the planes flying into the World Trade Center towers. My homeroom tea
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
After over 30 years in the fire business there were few surprises in this one. The basis for the story, 9/11, brought back memories of how that day started for me working as a battalion chief for a major metropolitan fire department. When the dispatch center called me and said "Chief, I think our world has changed!" the intonations in their voice was enough to make the hair stand on the back on anyone's neck; and stand it did for the next few days.

To say I personally knew any of my brothers-in-a
Mar 30, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  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,
Feb 24, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
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
Sep 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jesse Goodsell
Jun 10, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"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
Feb 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
This tells the story of the Engine 40, Ladder 35 firehouse in NYC that responded to the 9/11 attacks and how out of the 13 men that went out that day only one survived. Seeing that only one man survived to tell his story and that his memory of that day is not complete due to injuries he suffered this book is mostly about the men themselves. It tells how they became firemen, joined the firehouse, about their families, and small details of their lives, which makes the book emotional at times. Book ...more
Aug 15, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, nonfiction
The wounds of that day will forever be with us, more so of course for those who lost loved ones. Of the many brave and selfless acts on that day the courage and sacrifice of firefighters was most notable. Here we have a short tribute to the men of one firehouse that lost two squads, with but one survivor, that rushed to the fire. A few times I had the feeling Halberstam may have soft peddled some of the bios, but that is ok, especially for the families. One does not want to tarnish a hero unnece ...more
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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 about David Halberstam...

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“She was young and scared, and hadn't realized there was time to spare.” 1 likes
“He saw the pleasure you took from your job every day of his life, and THAT was what he wanted.” 0 likes
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