Windows on the World debuted at #2 on the French national best-seller list and won the prestigious Prix Interalli prize in 2003. Now available in paperback, this unprecedented novel will once again astonish, provoke, and embrace the reader as it attempts to penetrate the unspeakable. Windows on the World unflinchingly imagines the moments from 8:30AM to 10:28AM inside the World Trade Center on September 11. Weaving together philosophy, myth, world politics, and humor, Beigbeder succeeds in creating a tapestry of fury and wonder, a tribute to thousands of unsung heroes.
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Frederic Beigbeder was born in 1965 and lives in Paris. He works as a publisher, literary critic and broadcaster.From Publishers Weekly:
"You know how it ends: everybody dies." Thus begins Beigbeder's gripping apocalyptic novel, which takes place on September 11, 2001 - the date on which New York realtor Carthew Yorston has taken his seven- and nine-year-old sons for a long-promised breakfast at the eponymous eatery atop the North Tower of the World Trade Center. Alternating with Smith's narration is the voice of Beigbeder himself - or a thinly disguised version of the French author - musing about the tragedy one year later over his own breakfast in Le Ciel de Paris, on the 56th floor of the Tour Montparnasse, the tallest building in Paris. Each chapter of the novel represents one minute on that fateful morning, from 8:30 to 10:29; nearly all are less than three pages, and several prove startling in their brevity ("In the Windows, the few remaining survivors intone Irving Berlin's 'God Bless America' (1939)"). Both men riff on everything from trivia to politics and make often poignant philosophical observations. Abundant doses of gallows humor at once add levity and underscore the drama. Yorston's overheard snatches of fatuous cell-phone conversations, for example, would be funny in another context, while the enforced exit of a cigar-smoking guest at Windows on the World "thereby proves that a cigar can save your life." Though some readers may be put off by this novel's subject matter, Beigbeder invests his narrators with such profound humanity that the book is far more than a litany of catastrophe: it is, on all levels, a stunning read.
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