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To Reach the Clouds by Philippe Petit
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To Reach the Clouds

by Philippe Petit

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202587,463 (3.9)None
  1. 00
    Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann (BillPilgrim)
    BillPilgrim: Petit's feat is a central event in McCann's book.
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Showing 5 of 5
Not a great book, but with no doubt about an extraordinary idea of a very strange man indeed. What makes people do things? Perhaps this helps understand, or at least helps finding a good (extreme) place to start thinking about it. ( )
  flydodofly | Oct 4, 2012 |
This is a poetic book that takes your breath away with its photography. Even black and white photos of Petit walking the high wire between the two towers are dramatic and mesmerizing. Petit focuses on his six year journey from the moment he reads a newspaper article about the construction of the World Trade Center to the fateful early morning when he completes his journey. While there was a lifetime of preparation for this achievement the moment is all.
Yet it is with his spare and, at times, poetic prose that he captures the reader's attention with his many moments of improvisation along the way as he gathered the necessary aid and materials to accomplish his task. The reality of his journey is in many ways stranger than fiction until you reflect that this event actually happened. For many of us it happened in our lifetime and this record of it helps to preserve the memory of the New York City skyline from the previous century. The event has been preserved on film in the excellent documentary Man on Wire.
Philippe Petit is an individual artist, a magician, a juggler, and a funambulist of uncommon stature and abilities. He will always be remembered for his artistic achievements and his unique accomplishments on the high wire. ( )
  jwhenderson | Nov 19, 2011 |
One of the best books i have ever, ever, ever read. Found it a few years ago and have evangelicised on it ever since! Truly uplifting, beautiful, and poetic. No other book has ever had my heart pumping with excitement as much as this. Even though [from the cover alone] you know that "he does it" - the suspense when I turned the pages just before he steps on the wire was incredible! So glad the film has been such a success, Petit deserves high praise indeed! ( )
  Polaris- | Jan 24, 2011 |
OK, I have no great love for Philippe Petit. I'm sure he is a raving egotist and an overall pain in the kiester to be around. But I found this book, and the movie based on the book, to be extraordinarily compelling reading and viewing. Quite simply, I couldn't put the book down until I had finished it. And the fact I read every page of this darn thing, including the acknowledgments and notes in the back before I would give it up is telling.

Walking a wire between the twin towers of the World Trade Center is an extraordinary achievement. It seems completely impossible that anyone could have such courage. I am reading the book, and I know the man survives this, but my heart was beating fast nonetheless. I've seen more beautiful books. (This one is bound so cheaply it looks like it will disintegrate if I pass it along to all my friends, as I intend to.) And I have seen a great many books that are better written. But there are few that have this kind of emotional impact on me. What a wonderful way to spend an evening! ( )
  co_coyote | Dec 17, 2009 |
Picture Book--depicting the tale of the man who crossed the tight rope between the twin towers. Amazing and inspirational. Don't worry, the ending is happy. ( )
  mhackman | Jan 14, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0865476519, Hardcover)

An artist of the air re-creates his six-year plot to pull off an act of incomparable beauty and imagination

One late-summer day, a feat of unimaginable audacity was perpetrated on the twin towers of the World Trade Center. The year was 1974. A hundred thousand people gathered on the ground to watch in awe as twenty-four-year-old high wire artist Philippe Petit made eight crossings between the all-but-completed towers, a quarter mile above the earth, over the course of nearly an hour.

Petit's achievement made headlines around the world. Yet few who saw or heard about it realized that it was the fulfillment of a dream he had nurtured for six years, rekindling it each time it was in danger of expiring. His accomplices were a motley crew of foreigners and Americans, who under Petit's direction had conpired, connived, labored, argued, rehearsed, and improvised to make possible an act of unsurpassed aerial artistry.

In this visually and verbally stunning book, Petit tells for the first time the dramatic story of this history-making walk, from conception and clandestine planning to the performance and its aftermath. The account draws on Petit's journals, which capture everything from his budgets to his strategies for rigging a high wire in the dead of night between two of the most secure towers in the world. It is animated by photographs taken by two of Petit's collaborators, and by his own wonderfully evocative sketches and unquenchable humor.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:22 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

In 1974, 100,000 people on the ground watched 24-year-old high wire artist Petit make eight crossings between the World Trade Towers. In this visually and verbally stunning book, Petit tells for the first time the story of his walk, from conception and clandestine planning to the performance and its aftermath. 140 illustrations.… (more)

» see all 4 descriptions

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Skyhorse Publishing

2 editions of this book were published by Skyhorse Publishing.

Editions: 160239332X, 163450500X

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