Book Review: Thunder Dog by Michael Hingson and Susan Flory

Michael Hingson became blind due to excess oxygen in the hospital when he was born.  His parents made the decision to not enroll him in any special schools and to treat him as “normal”.   Thunder Dog tells the story of his guide dog, Roselle, and his escape from the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.  It also tells of his life growing up and some of the challenges he has been forced to face due to people not knowing how to deal with someone who is blind. (For instance – his parents let him ride a bike around the neighborhood and a neighbor called up to let them know their blind son was riding a bike around!)

The recollection of them leaving the World Trade Center from the 78th floor and going down 1,463 stairs was incredibly emotional to me.  I liked that the chapters alternated between the events of September 11th and his life growing up because if not I am not sure I could have made it through the entire book if it was strictly focused on the heavy story of the attacks.

Towards the end, there are also several chapters from Mike’s wife Karen’s point of view.  I can’t even imagine what she must have been going through! Mike called her once when the first plane hit, not knowing what kind of explosion had happened and told her he’d call her later to update her.  Of course, later it was nearly impossible to get through on cell phones and Karen watched everything unfold on the television with no idea where her husband was. She also had to field phone calls from friends and family calling to see if Mike was ok, having no idea what had happened since he had first called her.

I purchased a copy of this book on September 11th when Thomas Nelson was doing a promotion selling it for Nooks and Kindles for $1.99.  It retails for $22.99. I was not required to write a review of this book, it was simply something I wanted to share with my readers.

About The Book

A blind man and his guide dog show the power of trust and courage in the midst of devastating terror.

It was 12:30 a.m. on 9/11 and Roselle whimpered at Michael’s bedside. A thunderstorm was headed east, and she could sense the distant rumbles while her owners slept. As a trained guide dog, when she was “on the clock” nothing could faze her. But that morning, without her harness, she was free to be scared, and she nudged Michael’s hand with her wet nose as it draped over the bedside toward the floor. She needed him to wake up.

With a busy day of meetings and an important presentation ahead, Michael slumped out of bed, headed to his home office, and started chipping away at his daunting workload. Roselle, shivering, took her normal spot at his feet and rode out the storm while he typed. By all indications it was going to be a normal day. A busy day, but normal nonetheless. Until they went into the office.

In Thunder Dog, follow Michael and his guide dog, Roselle, as their lives are changed forever by two explosions and 1,463 stairs. When the first plane struck Tower One, an enormous boom, frightening sounds, and muffled voices swept through Michael’s office while shards of glass and burning scraps of paper fell outside the windows.

But in this harrowing story of trust and courage, discover how blindness and a bond between dog and man saved lives and brought hope during one of America’s darkest days.

Category: Book Review
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