Book Review: Thunder Dog: The True Story of a Blind Man, His Guide Dog, and the Triumph of Trust at Ground Zero by Michael Hingson and Susy Flory


Thunder Dog: The True Story of a Blind Man, His Guide Dog, and the Triumph of Trust at Ground Zero by Michael Hingson and Susy Flory

The true story of a man blind from birth and the extraordinary bond between him and his guide dog that allowed them to survive one of American History’s most horrendous tragedies comes to life in authors Michael Hingson and Susy Flory’s “Thunder Dog: The True Story of a Blind Man, His Guide Dog, and the Triumph of Trust at Ground Zero”.

The Synopsis

Faith.  Trust.  Triumph.

I trust Roselle with my life, every day. She trusts me to direct her. And today is no different, except the stakes are higher. Michael Hingson

First came the boom the loud, deep, unapologetic bellow that seemed to erupt from the very core of the earth. Eerily, the majestic high-rise slowly leaned to the south. On the seventy-eighth floor of the World Trade Center’s north tower, no alarms sounded, and no one had information about what had happened at 8:46 a.m. on September 11, 2001. What should have been a normal workday for thousands of people. All that was known to the people inside was what they could see out the windows: smoke and fire and millions of pieces of burning paper and other debris falling through the air.

Blind since birth, Michael couldn’t see a thing, but he could hear the sounds of shattering glass, falling debris, and terrified people flooding around him and his guide dog, Roselle. However, Roselle sat calmly beside him. In that moment, Michael chose to trust Roselle’s judgment and not to panic. They are a team.

Thunder Dog allows you entry into the isolated, fume-filled chamber of stairwell B to experience survival through the eyes of a blind man and his beloved guide dog. Live each moment from the second a Boeing 767 hits the north tower, to the harrowing stairwell escape, to dodging death a second time as both towers fold into the earth.

It’s the 9/11 story that will forever change your spirit and your perspective. Thunder Dog illuminates Hingson’s lifelong determination to achieve parity in a sighted world, and how the rare trust between a man and his guide dog can inspire an unshakable faith in each one of us.

The Review

The authors delivered a truly moving, compelling, and inspiring memoir. The visceral details of the harrowing experience both Michael and his guide dog Roselle had trying to navigate that stairwell and escape the towers that horrific day is chilling and haunting to read about, and is something that many readers around the world will be able to identify with as many experienced the fear and confusion that the news brought from that traumatic day.

The heart of the narrative lies in the bond between Michael and Roselle, as well as the emphasis the authors put on faith and trust as a whole. Whether it is the faith that Michael put into Roselle that day and throughout their lives as a whole or the faith in his belief system that gave him the confidence to face life’s struggles head-on, the theme of faith runs deeply through this book.

Now I will say I had the pleasure of reading another book on this man’s life story, and you can read my thoughts on that here, but what made this version of his story shine in a different light than the first one was the emphasis the authors put on showcasing blindness as a whole and trying to move readers to look beyond the “handicap” of those who are blind and see the people they are instead, which gave a nice balance to the rest of the events portrayed in this book.

The Verdict

Thoughtful, inspiring, and hopeful, authors Michael Hingson and Susy Flory’s “Thunder Dog” is a must-read memoir and nonfiction book on faith, trust, and loyalty like no other. The emotional connection between Michael and Roselle, as well as the importance of understanding blindness and the connection people make with either their pets or in this instance, their guide dogs, and the shocking details of an experience few could ever put into words made this one book you won’t be able to put down. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Anthony Avina Review

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Her fiction writing has received the Author / Ambassador at Library Journal Self-e Authors, Winner Queen of the West Reader Favorite Award, Amazon Bestseller - Historical, Double finalist in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards in the Mystery and Humorous Categories. Writing humorous cozy mysteries and romantic comedy, Jocie can find humor in most everything, even when she shouldn't. She lives in the Midwest on Dust Bunny Farm with her family.