It's been a long time since I've read a book as fast as I read Thunder Dog. Part of the reason is that the story of Michael Hingsons's and Roselle's escape from the 78th floor of the North Tower on 9/11/01 is interspersed throughout the story of Mr. Hingsons' blindness and how he has coped with it throughout his life. I kept turning pages because I wanted to know more and more. Ultimately, the book shows how the skills he'd acquired in life and the special relationship he had with his guide dog aided their escape from Tower One on that deadly day in history.
While not perfect—for instance, I found the changes in tense inconsistent and confusing at times—the story did hold my interest from start to finish. I think it also succeeded in the goal of the author (at least what I perceived to be his goal), to offer hope in troubled times and to educate those who don't understand the blind.
This was also a story from 9/11 unlike any I've read/heard over the past near decade. I truly felt the silence of that stairwell and how cut off those escaping were from anything happening outside those concrete walls. It gave me a new perspective on their courage.
A blind man and his guide dog show the power of trust and courage in the midst of devastating terror.
It was 12:30 a.m. on 9/11 and Roselle whimpered at Michael’s bedside. A thunderstorm was headed east, and she could sense the distant rumbles while her owners slept. As a trained guide dog, when she was “on the clock” nothing could faze her. But that morning, without her harness, she was free to be scared, and she nudged Michael’s hand with her wet nose as it draped over the bedside toward the floor. She needed him to wake up.
With a busy day of meetings and an important presentation ahead, Michael slumped out of bed, headed to his home office, and started chipping away at his daunting workload. Roselle, shivering, took her normal spot at his feet and rode out the storm while he typed. By all indications it was going to be a normal day. A busy day, but normal nonetheless. Until they went into the office.
In Thunder Dog, follow Michael and his guide dog, Roselle, as their lives are changed forever by two explosions and 1,463 stairs. When the first plane struck Tower One, an enormous boom, frightening sounds, and muffled voices swept through Michael’s office while shards of glass and burning scraps of paper fell outside the windows.
But in this harrowing story of trust and courage, discover how blindness and a bond between dog and man saved lives and brought hope during one of America’s darkest days.
I give the book a 4 out of 5 rating.
Disclosure: BookSneeze® provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for review.