Evidently, the public's fascination with the events of September 11, 2001, has not waned—three editions of the 9/11 Commission Report have appeared on national bestseller lists (Norton's official version ran on PW's chart for 17 weeks); many of the 9/11 TV documentaries have been rebroadcast; and several novelists are using the terrorist attacks as background for new works (S.J. Rozan's Absent Friends, Frederic Beigbeder's Windows on the World and Jonathan Safran Foer's Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, in fact, have all garnered starred PW reviews). Now a new nonfiction work on the subject hits our list at #7, an especially high landing given the book's relative absence of media hits. 102 Minutes: The Untold Story of the Fight to Survive Inside the Twin Towers by New York Times reporters Jim Dwyer and Kevin Flynn was published by Times Books on January 12; it's up to 120,000 copies in print after nine printings. In the words of publicity director Elizabeth Shreve, "The story behind the success of this book is an old-fashioned one: it's the read and good old word of mouth that are making it work. The authors have done a terrific amount of radio, a lot of print ads have run and the reviews have been uniformly wonderful, but I can't say we've gotten a big media break that has prompted these kinds of numbers." One in-print break occurred on February 16, when USA Today ran a Life section front-page story on the book and its authors.
Volume 252 Issue 8 02/21/2005