Thunder Dog: The True Story of a Blind Man, His Guide Dog, and the Triumph of Trust at Ground Zero tells of Michael Hingson’s ordeal on 9/11. He was working on the 78th floor of the north tower of the World Trade Center when he and his colleagues heard an explosion and felt the building tilt. Not knowing what had happened, they evacuated everyone and then tried to power down computers and such, but quickly decided they need to leave the building. The only way to do so was by 1,463 stairs.
There was just one problem. Michael has been blind almost since birth and had his guide dog, Roselle, with him.
But it’s not really a problem. Michael’s parents “mainstreamed” him before the concept became popular. During his childhood Michael’s parents calmly fielded neighbor’s concerned calls about their blind son zipping around the neighborhood on his bicycle.
Interspersed between details of 9/11 are flashbacks from Michael’s life: childhood, education, work life, acquisitions of guide dogs, marriage, and then how 9/11 impacted the rest of his life. Though I know that’s the style these days, I do miss the time when a book started at the beginning and told a story straight through to the end. But it’s not at all hard to follow, and both aspects of the story are quite interesting.
(This review will also be linked to Semicolon‘s Saturday Review of Books.)