In a round-robin narrative, in the style of Jim Dwyer and Kevin Flynn's 102 Minutes, Lynn Spencer takes listeners right to the front lines as the realization hits that multiple hijackings are underway - and then that the country is under attack.
Spencer follows the story all the way through the end of the day, when the fog of war had finally lifted and the country could assess exactly what had happened. The drama unfolds from a variety of perspectives, including the computer screen of the comptroller who first noticed that American flight 11 was off course; the phone call from a stewardess onboard alerting American Airlines that hijackers had killed two flight attendants and entered the cockpit; the battle cab of the military commander who ordered fighter jets in the air; the NASA-like operations floor of the FAA Command Center; and the cockpits of a number of the 4,500 commercial airliners flying over the United States that morning.
Spencer conducted hundreds of interviews and spoke to every key player in the airline industry and military who was involved in the major air events of the day. Based on highly detailed accounts from these interviews, as well as on the voluminous records of radio transmissions, Spencer fills in many holes in the story as it was reported by the 9/11 Commission. She also brings to pulse-quickening life the confusion, the horror, and the fierce determination and quick thinking of so many key players as they improvised their responses to a shocking new type of warfare.
©2008 Luynn Spencer; (P)2008 Tantor
"Spencer...expertly elucidates the complexities and pitfalls of American aviation as it faced a staggering challenge." (Publishers Weekly)
SciFi/Fantasy and Classics to History, Adventure and Memoirs to Social Commentary—I love and listen to it all!
I really should've listened to the sample before spending a whole credit on this, but I was on a sniffly, cry-into-a-tissue, 9/11 kick and bought this. I'm giving this a 3-star rating simply out of respect for the victims, the first responders, and all the families, and hell, for all of us, 'cause that was a god-awful day/time and we deserve it.
The audiobook, however, doesn't. In the first place, while narrator Joyce Bean is trying her hardest, is in no way slacking off, she's doing what should be a man's job. Most of the voices are those of men, and she just can't hit the register necessary. While she doesn't get growly, she gets... stern and dry-sounding. Very odd.
Second, this is all just a really, really, really drawn out version of what happened. I STRONGLY suggest that, if you want to know what happened in those air traffic control towers, if you want to hear NORAD declare, "This is Real World," check out "Voices of 9/11." It's here on Audible, and it's free.
And, my God, it'll knock your socks off. Not quite two hours, and I cried like a baby for days...
I'm just a big kid.
Yes, I already have. It's just a gripping story that it's worth revisiting.
The airline pilots.
As a former USAF navigator I was impressed by the way the National Guard F-16 detachment at Langley AFB threw away the rule book and pressed on with the mission.
I was also impressed in a negative way about how useless the high levels of the Federal Government were. Apparently all the senior cabinet officials and military officers could do is join conference calls, chat with each other, and run around in circles.
All the key decisions were made by low level worker bees out in the field.
The only real guidance from the top came from Vice President Cheney, who authorized the military to shoot down a civilian airliner that was being hijacked.
Other than that the government's senior officials were useless.
This book desperately needed to be written. It is the story of how the aviation community reacted to the 9/11 attacks from the point of view of the pilots, dispatchers, controllers, and military officers.
The author is a professional pilot and it shows in the details. She does a good job of explaining the jargon and tools used within aviation in an easy to understand way for the lay reader.
I thought the narrator did a fine job.
British ex-pat living in NC. Have more personalities than Sybil which is reflected in my choice of books! Frustrated writer at heart.
Totally engrossing and well performed. I had absolutely no idea what was going on 'behind the scenes' on 9/11 however I lived not too far from Shanksville, PA at the time. To me, the untrained observer, it seemed as if one moment I could hear planes, lots of planes, coming into Pittsburgh a International to land and then I could hear birds. It was very eerie and remained like that for days.
I could, in a very small way, relate to the blissful ignorance of the Pilots as we too had no idea what was going on as we did not have TV. A conscious decision on our part at that time.
This story is written almost in real time and omits the 'gore' of the day which sadly we are all aware of. In stead it gives us the history of the facts. I could not stop listening.
Really enjoyed this book.
I am actually blown away by the average rating on this book, but different strokes for different strokes, surely applies on this rating, versus my own. The description of the book implies that the listener would learn much more about 9/11, and you did. It was air traftic controllers doing a good job, and thats the whole book. Repetitive verbiage drives you a bit off kilter, but I know books, and this was no book. Do not get the idea that you will enjoy this book, and the commenter was the absolute worst on this entire site, using probabilities.
You got to be kidding, other than a woman on testosterone treatments.
It did inspire me to write a review.
I am not fond of someone taking advantage of 9/11, to line their pockets, and part of the profit should be donated to NYC Firefighters Union. You can obtain the exact same material for free from the 9/11 Commision Report.
I liked the audio version just as much as the text.
I like hearing the story told from a different perspective than what has previously been told.
This book often made me tear up from imaging the pure terror and confusion of all those involved.
This is a terrific story about aviation activity on the day of Sept. 11th. However, the story is ruined by the female narrator. She constantly adjusts her voice to sound like a man and fails miserably attempting to speak with an accent (Arabic, Boston, etc). Too bad they didn't think this through more and have a male do the voice. Just doesn't sound right. Tough to listen to.
One of the best audiobooks i've listened to in ages
The sections where you were in air traffice control
Sometimes the stories that hit closest to home, are those above the clouds
Get this one
In the opening preface the author tells us s/he is a pilot. Which is no doubt why most of the actual narrative concerns the pilots. There are no stories at any length about any of the passengers in the air or the family members of those in the air.
The book needed editing. Terms in use such as CAP (combat air patrol) were defined over and over.
The book could have used tidbits of information about how the flaws in the response that day have been corrected, or not.
If you want to read this book, buy it used or take it out of the library.
My only beef with this book is the narrator. There is something that sounds so ridiculous when a woman tries to sound like a man. Seriously, it reminds me of my kindergarten teacher telling a story.
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