Sunday, April 6, 2014
With Their Eyes by Annie Thoms
I could have died that day.
September 11, 2001
Monologues from Stuyvesant High School
Tuesday, September 11, started off like any other day at Stuyvesant High School, located only a few blocks away from the World Trade Center. The semester was just beginning, and the students, faculty, and staff were ready to begin a new year.
But within a few hours on that Tuesday morning, they would all share an experience that transformed their lives.
Now, on the tenth anniversary of September 11th, we remember those who were lost and those who were forced to witness this tragedy. Here, in their own words, are the firsthand stories of a day we will never forget.
With Their Eyes by Annie Thoms is written as a play. On September 11th, Thoms was the English teacher at the Stuyvesant High School which is just four blocks from the World Trade Center. The monologues were taken from a series of interviews with a number of students, teachers and staff from the school.
Reading the monologues was like reading short interviews from 9/11. There are no complete stories within the book. It was all small glimpses from different perspectives, just like the media got by pulling people aside on the street. There were also a tremendous amounts of "like's", "you know's" and "uh's" which may have flowed naturally in the play but did not read nicely at all.
What I really could not get over was that these monologues were played by actors telling stories that were not their own. In essence, it would be a reenactment of interviews. This is NOT a "first-hand account" as the description of the book states, but a second-hand, recycled and edited portrayal of interviews.
I did not enjoy this book. I wanted the stories of what these kids experienced on 9/11/01. The whole time I was reading, I hated the idea of this book and was disgusted that this teacher capitalized on these people's stories with a play and now a book. I only finished reading so I could write this review and warn people that they will not get what they are probably expecting when they purchase this book.
I rate With Their Eyes by Annie Thoms 1 star and would NOT recommend it. I suggest reading real stories directly from the survivors and families that were effected by 9/11.