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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
To Reach the Clouds

To Reach the Clouds

My High Wire Walk Between the Twin Towers

Philippe Petit

North Point Press

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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.

To Reach The Clouds

BEFORE
Rebel poet?
By four years old, disdain for my fellow man starts to show: I climb onto everything to distance myself. At age six, I announce, "When I grow up, I want to be a theatrical director!"...

Praise for To Reach the Clouds

“It was Philippe Petit who connected the twin towers of the World Trade Center, in an act of beauty and ecstasy. Now that an act of terror has destroyed them both, his book resurrects and reunites them, in sheer defiance of gravity.” —Werner Herzog

“Philippe Petit planned and executed the perfect crime by walking on a high wire between the twin towers, and the whole world loved him for doing it.” —Guy F. Tozzoli, President, World Trade Centers Association

“One year after the nightmares of September 11, how good to remember that morning in 1974 when a young man gave New York a gift of astonishing, indelible beauty. How good that he has sat down now to give us this lively and often heart-stopping account of how he achieved his masterpiece.” —Paul Auster

“Every time I watch Philippe Petit perform, my heart beats a mile a minute, and I wonder, 'What is going through his mind and heart up there?' Now I know. This book is as awe-inspiring as are his accomplishments on the wire.” —Milos Forman

“An incredibly audacious magical tale of the impossible, To Reach the Clouds soars, thanks to Petit's absolute agility with language.” —Debra Winger

“The towers themselves were death-defying, a document in steel of human aspiration, and Petit's wire walk dotted their two i's magnificently.” —Anthony Brandt, National Geographuc Adventure

- … More…

“It was Philippe Petit who connected the twin towers of the World Trade Center, in an act of beauty and ecstasy. Now that an act of terror has destroyed them both, his book resurrects and reunites them, in sheer defiance of gravity.” —Werner Herzog

“Philippe Petit planned and executed the perfect crime by walking on a high wire between the twin towers, and the whole world loved him for doing it.” —Guy F. Tozzoli, President, World Trade Centers Association

“One year after the nightmares of September 11, how good to remember that morning in 1974 when a young man gave New York a gift of astonishing, indelible beauty. How good that he has sat down now to give us this lively and often heart-stopping account of how he achieved his masterpiece.” —Paul Auster

“Every time I watch Philippe Petit perform, my heart beats a mile a minute, and I wonder, 'What is going through his mind and heart up there?' Now I know. This book is as awe-inspiring as are his accomplishments on the wire.” —Milos Forman

“An incredibly audacious magical tale of the impossible, To Reach the Clouds soars, thanks to Petit's absolute agility with language.” —Debra Winger

“The towers themselves were death-defying, a document in steel of human aspiration, and Petit's wire walk dotted their two i's magnificently.” —Anthony Brandt, National Geographuc Adventure

- Less…

Reviews from Goodreads

Philippe Petit

Philippe Petit is a world-renowned high wire artist who has performed all over the world. He lives in the Catskills and New York City, where he is artist-in-residence at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine.

North Point Press

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