Vous voulez voir cette page en français ? Cliquez ici.

Sign in to turn on 1-Click ordering.
Tell the Publisher!
I'd like to read this book on Kindle

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

To Reach the Clouds [Paperback]

Philippe Petit
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 16.95
Price: CDN$ 12.37 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
You Save: CDN$ 4.58 (27%)
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
Temporarily out of stock.
Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we ship the item.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.ca. Gift-wrap available.


Amazon Price New from Used from
Hardcover --  
Paperback CDN $12.37  
Join Amazon Student in Canada

Book Description

Nov. 17 2008
More than a quarter-century before September 11, 2001, the World Trade Center was immortalized by an act of unprecedented daring and beauty. In August 1974, a young Frenchman named Philippe Petit boldly—and illegally—fixed a rope between the tops of the still-young Twin Towers, a quarter mile off the ground. At daybreak, thousands of spectators gathered to watch in awe and adulation as he traversed the rope a full eight times in the course of an hour. In Man on Wire, Petit recounts the six years he spent preparing for this achievement. It is a fitting tribute to those lost-but-not-forgotten symbols of human aspiration—the Twin Towers.

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

Product Details

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

On the morning of August 7, 1974 having already illegally rigged and walked steel cables between the towers of Notre Dame in Paris and Australia's Sydney Harbor Bridge French funambulist Petit illegally rigged 200 feet of 7/8" steel cable between the two World Trade Center towers and walked between them repeatedly, lying down at one point and making eight crossings in all. This incredible feat resulted from six years of obsessive planning and problem-solving, meticulously documented in this engrossing, truly exhilarating account of how he pulled it off. Petit has penned four previous books in French regaling his various exploits, and here establishes an elegantly energetic and quirkily poetic English as he tells of secretly (and benignly) casing the World Trade Center, assembling his team of helpers for the enormously complicated (and improvised) rigging job, getting the heavy cable and rigging tools to the roof, running the wire across in the dead of night (via an arrow shot between the towers!), and tightening the cable: "Even in the midst of the hardest rigging job or most demanding clandestine adventure, I never fail to pause and admire the moment when tension brings my cable to what I consider its most seductive shape. Then I pause and smile back." The way in which the walk itself stopped traffic and galvanized the city is captured in Petit's descriptions and the 140 b&w photos (including Petit's notebook sketches), a most fitting remembrance of the World Trade Center as a piece of New York social architecture. The spirit behind Petit's form of trespass undertaken with enormous care, to the point of wrapping the rigging in carpet so it would not damage the towers acts directly against the violation of the city's structures and the murder of its people.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

On August 7, 1974, French funambulist Petit, then 24, performed an astonishing high-wire act on a cable that he and his accomplices had surreptitiously rigged between the north and south towers of the World Trade Center. In short, predominantly one-page chapters, Petit details the entire adventure, from its inception in a Parisian dentist's office in 1968 through his hour-long aerial feat of eight trips across the cable, 1350 feet above the ground, while more than 100,000 New Yorkers watched. Wonderfully documented are the assemblage of his confederates, the innumerable covert trips to the towers, the exhaustive planning, and, especially, the seemingly endless frustrations, problems, fights, and difficulties throughout the six-year period that led up to the "artistic crime of the century." Part Houdini, part Evil Kneivel, Petit is certainly fascinating; if his prose sags a little under the weight of too many exclamatory and interrogative sentences and hyperbolic tropes, he is to be forgiven; after all, he spent an hour suspended between heaven and earth. The 140 drawings and photographs are by Petit and his comrades and tend to be a bit amateurish, but they do give readers an idea of just how audacious a feat it was. Essential. Barry X. Miller, Austin P.L., TX
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse and search another edition of this book.
First Sentence
By four years old, disdain for my fellow man starts to show: I climb onto everything to distance myself. Read the first page
Explore More
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt
Search inside this book:

Sell a Digital Version of This Book in the Kindle Store

If you are a publisher or author and hold the digital rights to a book, you can sell a digital version of it in our Kindle Store. Learn more

Customer Reviews

4 star
3 star
2 star
4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Firstly, i am so surprised that this book does not figure in the "Hype list" of any Media outlet. Luckily, i came across a short review of this book in a magazine and was intrigued to know that Sep11'2001 was not the first time that the towers of World trade centre captivated the attention of millions around. It was way back in 1974, when a French tightrope walker did the unprecedented daredevilry act of walking between the peak of two towers on a cable which he had rigged illegaly the previous night. He walked for 45 minutes from one tower to another, making the sky his theatre. Why did he do it?? Was it for fame? Money? Lunacy?? Philipe Petit's book explains the whole adventure in simple prose accompanied by sketches and photographs which were done during the unfolding of his "project". It is an amazing adventure. Reading it is like reliving it- Petit achieves that magic of retelling a story and giving his readers a feeling of experiencing it vicariously.
When Petit was asked by a TV crew why he did it - his answer was, when i saw three oranged, i juggle. When i see two towers, i walk ! ;-)
Petit was not alone in his effort to breakthrough the security of the towers and implement his plan. Aiding him where his friends who believed in his ability and went to great lenghts against all odds in planning and pulling off the feat.
This is a great book, in the true spirit of adventure and the endless capacity of a human to set and achieve his goals. One more imporant thing to note, Petit doesn't sound arrogant or egoistical. At the peak moment of his success, he is modest and humble, bowing to the gods in every element which helped him in the feat - the wind, the sea, the people below, his dear friends, the friends who stood by and the friends who gave up- he sees gods in all of them and thanks them for their role.
I am not given to effusive praise and there is nothing like a perfect ten. But, this is a fine read.
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars is he Reel? April 11 2010
This story is so genuine and mind boggling, it takes you to a different level of reality, not your own as a reader, as the reader you are kept breathless wondering how will he accomplish this feat and he explains every single step of his experience, you just cannot put the book down, and then when he walks on the wire accross the Twin Towers, you feel like you are in inside his brain and that you are actually doing the walk yourself. Mr. Petit doesn't only walk on wires, ropes etc., he is a wonderful well spoken writer and speaker and you just want to read his other books after reading this one.
Chantal Lion
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars Dreams Do Come True! April 30 2003
This is a beautiful book that proves dreams do come true if you really want something bad enough and are willing to work hard enough no matter what the risk to reach that goal. It was Paris, 1968, when young 18-year-old street performer Philippe Petit saw a sketch of the proposed World Trade Center towers, and he was so awestruck that he drew a line between the two rooftops of the towers, and decided then and there that his ultimate goal was to one day walk on a high wire between the two towers. Over the next six years he perfected his craft. He did public performances atop Paris' Notre Dame in June, 1971, and he walked between the northern pylons of the world's largest steel arch bridge in Sydney harbor, as well as other high wire acts. One day in late summer 1974, Petit's dream came true. As thousands watched he made eights crossings between the towers, 110 stories above the ground, in less than an hour.
I think the most fascinating aspect about this story, was the lengths that Petit and his co-conspirators went to plan, train, and carry out this unauthorized feat. It's all here in vivid detail. And even if you didn't bother to read the text in this book, the photographs are amazing and breathtaking by themselves. This is a captivating memoir that captures the excitement, triumph, and joy of Petit's stunning achievement. Now that the towers are, sadly, gone, it's all the more important as a part of the towers history. I more than enjoyed this memoir, I was fascinated by it. It is certainly a positive and enlightening ray of hope for those who dream of the impossible!

Joe Hanssen
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars Wit, Charm, Bravery, An Impish Sense of Fun Nov. 2 2002
By A Customer
Philippe Petit pulled off the ultimate caper: to connect two post-modern towers by a slender thread, which he then danced upon, smiling, to the surprise of the world. The ultimate tribute to the towers is this story, written by a guy whose cleverness and hard work led to a celebration of the height of our aspirations. This Frenchman, who refused all the profits of fame, still aspires to create moments to remember. Do you dream? Do you look at the dullness of the world and see infinite possibilities? Then you should read this funny, poetic, inspiring book. This is a how-to book for dreamers.
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars Back to gentler times Oct. 12 2002
By Herod
Writing in English, Phillipe Petit brings alive his 1974 high wire walk between the twin towers of the late World Trade Center.Through a spell binding account and through meticulous details Mr. Petit tells us about his incredible high wire feat. Nuimerous photographs and gripping descriptions are sure to bring moisture to the palms of most readers! A quick read, this book makes the reader hunger for more and the wish that Mr. Petit would follow with additional books about his exploits at Notre Dame in Paris and his Sidney Harbor walks.
Was this review helpful to you?
Want to see more reviews on this item?
Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars In this Day and Age...
In this day and age, when so many people are following sheep, it is inspiring to have one individual be undaunted by the obstacles forbidding him to try to accomplish a great work... Read more
Published on Oct. 2 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful ride w/a guy who, like all visionaries, is a nut
I loved this book (though I had a galley and so could not see the photos) and had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Read more
Published on Oct. 2 2002 by A.C. Adams
5.0 out of 5 stars FORMIDABLE
What a wonderful book. It's mesmerizing affect has you in the moment - on the tightrope itself or on the prowl preparing the walk. Read more
Published on Oct. 2 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars FORMIDABLE
What a wonderful book. It's mesmerizing affect has you in the moment - on the tightrope itself or on the prowl preparing the walk. Read more
Published on Oct. 2 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars ELEGANCE, CHARM, PATRIOTISM
Phillipe's book is phenomenal. What he did was absolutely stunning, both physically and artisticly. Read more
Published on Oct. 2 2002 by Mark Twain
1.0 out of 5 stars Constant put-downs
Reviewer RRiis is correct - this man may be an artist on the tightrope, but he has nasty attitude toward his audience. Read more
Published on Sept. 13 2002 by gentle reader
5.0 out of 5 stars A moumental feat
when philippe petit strung a wire and walked between the twin towers in 1974, it was the first time those mostrous buildings seemed human. Read more
Published on Sept. 9 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional!
Until now we didn't know that Philippe Petit's exceptional gifts extend well beyond the high wire. This book is the best sort of 'caper' account: although the reader knows the... Read more
Published on Sept. 9 2002
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Look for similar items by category