Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Book Review: That Day In September by Art Van Why


Title:  That Day In September
Author:  Artie Van Why
Publisher: (June 23, 2006)
ISBN-10:  1411683153
Pages:  108 pages
Format: Paperback

About the Book: (from

We all have our stories to tell of where we were the morning of September 11, 2001. This is one of them. In "That Day In September" Artie Van Why gives an eyewitness account of that fateful morning. From the moment he heard "a loud boom" in his office across from the World Trade Center, to stepping out onto the street, Artie vividly transports the reader back to the day that changed our lives and our country forever. "That Day In September" takes you beyond the events of that morning. By sharing his thoughts, fears, and hopes, Artie expresses what it was like to be in New York City in the weeks and months following. The reader comes away from "That Day In September" with not only a more intimate understanding of the events of that day, but also with a personal glimpse of how one person's life was dramatically changed forever.

Setting:  New York, September 11th – Ground Zero

About the Author: (from

Originally from Maryland, Artie Van Why moved to New York City in November of 1977 to pursue an acting career; albeit a slightly successful one.

Artie left show business in 1988 to enter the corporate world; as a word processor. He worked for the same law firm in midtown Manhattan for thirteen years. In June of 2001, his firm moved to other quarters downtown, across from the World Trade Center. Artie was at work the morning of September 11th, and witnessed the horror of that day from the streets.

He quit his job after three weeks of being back at his office's building near what was now called Ground Zero. He began writing about his experience of that day and the days and weeks following, giving a vivid accounting of what it was like to be in New York City on that day in September, and afterwards.

Interview with the Author:

My Review:  Artie Van Why contacted me via my blog and asked if I would be willing to review his book.   With the 10th Anniversary of 9/11 on my mind, it seemed a perfect time to revisit this tragedy through Van Why’s recollections of that day and the days surrounding the attack on New York. 

As many people will tell you, they know exactly where they were when they heard about the attack or saw it on TV.   I was getting ready for work.  I was 8 months pregnant with my youngest son.   My oldest son was watching TV, home sick from school, with my hubby.   They were watching the Today show reporting about the first plane.  I came out to watch in complete disbelief as we saw the second plane hit live on TV.   I can’t begin to explain the feelings I had.   A desire to protect my children so strong and such a sense of fear.   I had that strong of a reaction and I was in the Midwest.  I can’t even begin to comprehend the feelings that Artie Van Why had on that day. 

Artie gives what I believe to be a honest recollection of the events of that day.  He didn’t sensationalize the event or his part.   He did a wonderful job of helping the reader to “feel” his feelings that day and the days that followed.   I found tears in my eyes more than once in this short read.  I was so drawn into the first hand account of Van Why’s actions and feelings that I read the book in one sitting.   Some of his descriptions were so vivid that I am still thinking about them.   The following description will stay with me for a long time.  

“The man who had been running behind me from my right reached me and stopped. I turned to ask, “What do we do?” and was aware of someone falling on top of a pile of clothes just across the plaza. It took an instant to register that it wasn’t a pile of clothes. The person had fallen on a pile of bodies that were already lying there. I stood and stared as one body after another fell.”

What a powerful and heartbreaking vision.   I feel Artie Van Why provides good insight to the events of 9/11 and how  they effected his life and the city.   As a society we need to continue to remember and not forget the many people that died in 9/11 and the lasting effects the event had on rescue workers and survivors.  

My Rating: 4/5 – read the book in one sitting – engaging and emotional

Other Bloggers Reviews:

Life Between Pages

Kritters Ramblings

Let’s Book It


Happy Reading!

My Rating Scale: 1 – didn’t like it; 2 – it was ok; 3 – liked it; 4 – really liked it; 5 – it was amazing

Disclosure: I received one copy of this book free of charge from the author.  The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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