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Halberstam's Firehouse

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Moderator1, Aug 25, 2007.

  1. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    When David Halberstam died, I made a quick run to the Barnes and Noble near us to load up on the many of his books I hadn't read.

    One of them was Firehouse.

    Well, the Queen and I are on a brief three-day escape, soaking up some sun before the summer officially ends for us. I knocked out Firehouse yesterday from my beach chair. Thank gosh I had on my cool mirror shades. No one could tell I was crying like a baby a lot of the time.

    The book brought home two things:

    *Halberstam's talent. The master of efficiency. He let the story tell the story, which is an all-too-rare gift.

    *The magnitude of what happened on Sept. 11, 2001. I knew, of course. This served as a jarring reminder and let me know it was far deeper than I thought. The anecdote about the surviving firemen making a mini dress uniform for one of the fallen's sons, and putting the dad's medals on it, for the memorial service was as strong an image as I've come across.

    No real point here. Just thought I'd share. Going to go bake myself again today and read something a little lighter. It surely won't be as good.
  2. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    Great book.

    I also read it on a vacation and cried like a baby.
  3. SockPuppet

    SockPuppet Active Member

    Great, now I have a dusty read to look forward to.

    Seriously, thanks for the recommendation. I'm looking forward to reading it.
  4. Birdscribe

    Birdscribe Active Member

    Damn, I'm plowing through Caro's excellent "Path to Power" with PopeDirk's "stalwart" recommendation of "Dark Horse" on deck.

    Now Halberstam, one of my favorite non-fiction authors EVER, getting the Moddy SPF 200 Seal of Approval on his last (I believe?) work. Splendid. Now, I'll fall even further behind on my magazine reading for work.

    Too bad this pesky work thing keeps getting in the way ;D
  5. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    Well, you know, the rest of us have a books thread stickied to the top of the page that we are all happy to post to, but apparently Moddy finished his Hooked on Phonics tape, read a book that had chapters instead of illustrations, and figured that his book deserves it's own special thread.

  6. SockPuppet

    SockPuppet Active Member

    Moddy's rules.
    Moddy rules.
    Either way.
  7. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    Actually, if you read it *** my post is about a lot more than the book. The ol' thinking about 9/11 thing. But I'll put the next one on the book thread. I'm well aware it is there. I started it.

    Bird, this is a quick read - kind of like teammates. The Queen has it now. She'll be up all night in tears.
  8. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    I was joking, you goof. The smiley face is common protocol. You act like a real asshole in a post and then it is all OK because you put the smiley face with the teeth. Didn't they teach you that one?
  9. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    I was absent that day. My bad.
    Carry On.

    Queen reading Firehouse now. Tears in 3-2-1 *** there they are already.
  10. Colton

    Colton Active Member

    Moddy: Thanks for the tip. Just added to my collection of next reads.
  11. gingerbread

    gingerbread Well-Known Member

    Not to disparage David, obviously, but he got an awful lot of details wrong in Firehouse. 40/35 is my local firehouse and I know many of the guys who work there. They were mostly small details, but it's still a shame he didn't have a fact-checker, and that the publisher was in such a rush to get it on the shelves.

    However, there probably isn't another journalist in the world who could get these guys to open up about their fears and their lives, especially in the months after 9-11. David lived around the block from 40/35; he, like many in the neighborhood, gravitated to the house a day or so after the attacks. Eventually he was invited into the kitchen and gained the trust of the FFs. Their relationship with him was especially interesting given his skepticism of the government. This was a time when no firefighter or rescue worker wanted to hear anything critical about our country's leaders. I had far too many teary arguments with some of them about Bush and Iraq, but David had a way of making them listen to his points without anyone getting upset.
    At his memorial service in June, one of the firefighters from 40/35 gave an incredible eulogy.
  12. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    He can read a book, but not the rules... k....
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