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Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
Absolutely... Most of my friends are New Yorkers... they'd love this, because it's TRUE stories of the best of the best. To add to this, my father was a New York City firefighter with 43 Hook & Ladder in upper Manhattan. This book took me back to the days when he told his stories... and brought me to the firehouse to meet his "brothers".
What did you like best about this story?
It was a great combination of the drama and terror of a fire and life in and around the firehouse... as experienced by Joe D'Albert (aka Joe Corso) an NYFD firefighter in the turbulent 60"s and 70"s in downtown Manhattan... the Village. Joe's stories bring the perils and personalities of a special breed of public servant. I love stories of the NYFD and this one is/was top notch. I can't wait to hear the next volume.
Which character – as performed by A. T. Al Benelli – was your favorite?
Wow... this is hard. The book is told as a narrative in the first person from the perspective of Joe D'Albert, a larger than life, genuine New Yorker... complete with all the accent, attitude and urban charm of a man's man. But I also loved the voices around him... Bill, Joe Black and Captain McLaughlin, with his trace of an Irish brogue. Benelli seems to be a master of characterization. You can distinguish the participants without the drudge of a million "he-saids" or "she-saids" that ruin the transition from printed books to audio productions. In summary... I liked 'em all!
Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
This book definitely tugs on your emotional duffel-bag. I'm pretty sure I didn't laugh out load or shed tears but it brought me back to some sad times. My dad attended the funeral of the 12 brave firefighters lost while responding to the infamous Box 598 alarm in the 60's... That one hurt. I was just a teenager, but I still remember my dad crying... not a sight I saw very often. Then there were the "pranks" that all firemen pull... and endure. I know I smiled listening to those. The "peanut butter" incident was hilarious. I wonder if I could get away with something like that with my buddies.
Any additional comments?
I've listened to a lot of the collaborative works of Joe Corso and Al Benelli... they make a great team... but this was the best to date and I hear there's more "...Fire Stories" coming. Can't wait!