28 October 2013

Review: That Day in September by Artie Van Why

That Day in September is a personal account of an eyewitness to 9/11. Unfortunately the first disappointment of the book is the realisation that instead of the book being written by someone who was in the Twin Towers, the Pentagon or a first responder, as I first assumed, it is actually by someone who was very close to the World Trade Centre that day but was never actually inside, and was in fact only in the area for a very short time after the planes hit. Indeed, very little of the book is actually a description of what he witnessed that morning, although some of the description he gives is harrowing, such as watching a pile of bodies grow as people started jumping from windows.

The vast majority of the book is the author’s life story, he talks about being gay and moving to New York, having a dead end job and eventually becoming an actor after releasing that life was too short to be held back. Unfortunately none of this is particularly interesting, and as Artie Van Why wasn't vastly more affected (in an overall perspective) than most others by 9/11, the post 9/11 events don’t hold the same draw as those told by those more profoundly affected like the victims families.

I think That Day in September is more of a cathartic experience for the author than a real attempt at producing a bestselling account of that day, and in this I hope it succeeded.

Overall, there is not really anything special about Artie’s short account, as he didn't really experience anything differently to thousands of New Yorkers, and wasn't really involved in the events of 9/11 for very long. As such it is not really an interesting read and is not a book I would recommend.

That Day in September is available from Amazon.co.uk for £3.85 and from Amazon.com for $5.73

[A review copy was provided by the author]

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