Excerpts from Online Reader Reviews

from Amazon.com


“If you think you know the story… ***** (Five Stars)

“I am a survivor of the Station fire. I have worked extensively with family members and fellow survivors for the past 9 1/2 years in fundraising and offering financial and emotional support. With that being said, I truly felt as though I knew all there was to know about the fire as well as the people it affected. I have lived and breathed it since the very first night. I was wrong. I have been asked countless times to talk about that night and tell people what “really happened”. I now intend to point them toward this book.

It is a comprehensive and educational account of the facts surrounding the fire and the aftermath. You could read hundreds of newspaper articles (and there are certainly hundreds) that would not give you the concise and accurate information found here.

…I encourage you to educate yourself by reading this book. Remember the loss of life and those who will live with the physical and emotional scars forever. Remember what happened, and honor those lost, by helping to make sure it never happens again.”


Best True Crime Book of the Year is also the Best Rock Book of the Year ***** (Five Stars)

“…The best true crime book of the year is also an unlikely candidate for the best rock music book of the year. A major accomplishment on a dozen levels, and one which provides uncomfortable truths about show business, rock and roll, greed and brutal death. Killer Show is horrendous, meticulous, and as gripping a book I have read this year.

…This is an indictment, and expose, a tribute…but most of all a remarkable literary (yes, literary, heavy metal fans) accomplishment of the highest order, and one which takes the traditional true crime genre to a new level of achievement. Once living and vital participants turned murder victims in a flash are located on the fortunate tape and sound recordings like ghosts who come back for justice.

If you want the gloss, razzle-dazzle and “glamour” sham of rock and roll, you know what to read. If you want a serious, fascinating account of what really happens when commerce meets electric guitars, read this. You will never enter a juke club without locating the exits again. This book could literally save your life. …”


Essential reading for lawyers and real people alike ***** (Five Stars)

“Take ‘A Civil Action,’ with its scathing indictment of the law as a way of mending harm. Add the drama, technical perfection, and uncanny ear for real people that Sebastian Junger brought to ‘A Perfect Storm,’ Mix with Prosser on Torts (inside lawyer reference), and one barely begins to capture the scope of this remarkable work.”


Outstanding! ***** (Five Stars)

“…It is an anatomy of an event that should not have happened. The book explains the ignorance, arrogance, negligence, and greed that came together to create a setting that, once ignited, would kill and injure so many.

…the personal stories add a human dimension to the event that should cause people to think that the decisions they make could have consequences that can affect the lives of others.”


This is masterful! ***** (Five Stars)

“Barylick has written the new bible for West Warwick, Rhode Island. Because there were no Perry-Mason moments at all for the fire victims and the agonized community, this narrative actually heals. If you could provide psychotherapy for a whole town, this book has the chance of doing it. How did Barylick turn a hurricane of info bits into this coherent whole? Whew. Turns its own pages!”


The Best Book of its Kind You Will Ever Read ***** (Five Stars)

“Mr. Barylick has rendered a harrowing and unflinching account of hundreds of people who, within mere seconds, were thrust into the unthinkable.

…Heart breaking, infuriating and sobering this well-crafted work will leave the reader forever changed.”


Breathtaking ***** (Five Stars)

“The day after the Station Fire, I remember thinking: “How could 96 people (later, 100) die in a nightclub fire in America in this day and age?” This book answers it. It answers it so clearly, and with such an emphasis on the banality of greed and laziness that set the tragedy in motion, I feel like I was naive before reading it. It leaves you feeling that it is probably going to happen again somewhere else.

The description of the fire is riveting. The stories of individuals that night will leave you saddened, impressed, and infuriated. So will the stories about the actions of individuals in the days, months and years following the fire.

…The book is told in a fast paced, informative style that covers every aspect of the fire, from what led up to it, how the building’s layout played a part, to the science of fire and how it was a lopsided race between the quick-moving fire and the people trying to escape it….”


Fascinating chronicle told by the best person possible ***** (Five Stars)

“Today I read through Killer Show in one continuous reading session. I had always been fascinated by this case, but hadn’t thought much about it in several years. This book is written by one of the attorneys who co-led the personal injury/products liability case that achieved some measure of justice for the survivors and their families. As such he was uniquely positioned to have access to a complete set of information about the case, what happened, and the people and products which led to this tragedy.

Barylick does not pull any punches, and assigns blame and praise where it’s warranted. This is not for the faint of heart due to the subject matter, but it’s a very well written and compelling narrative. I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to learn more about this case and the interaction of the criminal and civil legal processes that follow an event like this one.”


Masterpiece ***** (Five Stars)

“…This is a masterpiece because in 244 pages, Mr. Barylick provides a richly detailed (and often gruesome), suspenseful and educational book. I would not have thought a 244 page book could cover so much information in a way so breathtaking and easy to understand. There are haunting stories of survivors and those not able to get out of the fire alive. …Killer Show is the very definition of a page turner….One of the most well written books I have ever read.”


Amazing and Tragic Story ***** (Five Stars)

“…The book is a fascinating read…. I think the story will strike a chord with anyone who has ever gone to a concert in a small run-down bar/venue. This tragedy could have happened anywhere in the US to anybody….This book is most definitely worth a read!”


A Comprehensive Compassionate Telling ***** (Five Stars)

“I, too, must give a 5 star rating to this complete telling of a horrific event which took place on February 20, 2003 at The Station in West Warwick, Rhode Island. What struck me first while reading Killer Show was how well researched the account seemed to be. The historical, legal, medical, and personal aspects were covered in an extremely informative manner without bogging the reader down. While the writing made the reading compelling, there were times I needed to put the book down to cope with emotion – but I always went back. I couldn’t help realizing the surviving victims could not put their suffering aside. This book, written with much compassion and empathy, is a comprehensive telling of a needless tragedy and the many factors “perfecting the storm”. It is a great tribute to the the victims and their families. I am left with food for thought.”


My View of Killer Show ***** (Five Stars)

“…Whether you are a Rhode Islander or not this book is definitely worth reading….”


Excellent Read ***** (Five Stars)

“…this book was riveting and an eye opener for all those that go to these night clubs. I never ever thought of looking for alternative exits when I went out. Now I check every building I enter.”


Killer Show***** (Five Stars)

“Living in Rhode Island at the time of the Station Fire, I thought I knew what had happened that night. John Barylick’s book delves into all the details of this tragic event. I can only say that the victims of this fire deserve whatever memoriams and compensation possible.

It is a very well written and comprehensive story of a night gone very wrong.”


Read this book if you have ever been to a small venue for a show. ***** (Five Stars)

“…I was fascinated by the way the author broke down every aspect of the tragedy. …I was equally fascinated by the fire science and the legal information that was explained in a very organized and concise manor. The personal stories reduced me to tears and the arrogance of others caused me to get quite angry at times. …I will never look at going to venues like the Station the same way.”


A Tragedy That Should Have Never Happened **** (Four Stars)

“…The author provides a minute by minute account of the fire and as a result of his role provides and in-depth analysis of the circumstances and the impact on the hundreds who were left scarred physically and emotionally. But beyond all this the book sends a clear message that greed and incompetence resulted in tragic consequences that should have never happened.”


Amazing ***** (Five Stars)

“This is an amazing book, and one that definitely needed to be written….
One of the most shocking things Barylick discusses is how few people were willing to take any kind of responsibility, even – perhaps especially – when their actions cost lives: the bouncers who turned people away from open exits, sending all but a few to their deaths; the journalist who kept filming, blocking an exit for crucial seconds; the club owners, who never accepted responsibility; the leader of the band; city officials who failed their jobs at the most basic level. Only one man ever accepted responsibility for what happened, and he was all but the last link in the chain.
…If there’s a lesson to take away from this book, it’s this: pay attention to your surroundings.”


excellent book ***** (Five Stars)

“Since I had a son who died in the Station fire I thought this book was a very comprehensive study of the events leading up to the fire and the aftermath. I recommend it to anyone who either lost someone in the fire or survived with a lifetime of horrible memories.”


Must Read – Sad, but very enlightening ***** (Five Stars)

“Killer Show is a very well researched and written story – A story that must be told. There is not enough money in the world that could compensate the victims of this tragic event. I commend the attorney for writing this book and encourage everyone to read it – It is a story you will not forget.”


Meaningful and Significant Five-star Book ***** (Five Stars)

“…Barylick structures the story with care and his writing is strong. The result is a gripping account that will hold you to the last word.
Killer Show provides a voice for the victims of this horrific fire, insight into the judicial system that struggles to remedy unfathomable loss, and perspectives on how we might reduce the occurrence of these types of devastating events.”


A deadly fire and its aftermath ***** (Five Stars)

“If you are a shoddy landlord or an ageing heavy metal rocker who uses pyrotechnics to cover up your complete lack of talent, you do not want John Barylick to write a book about you. Even your own mother will end up wanting to nail your head to the floor. This author commands the weapons of the English language, and he knows all of the facts behind your pathetic penny-pinching motives for dodging the building codes, or setting off fireworks in an enclosed space that also contained 462 human souls.
…’Killer Show’ is a horrifying, riveting true-crime read that will make you mad and sad, all the while teaching you how our legal system deals with crimes of stupidity, negligence and greed.”


A KILLER BOOK… ***** (Five Stars)

“…This is one amazingly well-researched and compellingly written book that I simply could not put down! …In exploring the myriad of reasons and underlying greed that were the catalyst for such a tragedy to take place, the author creates an enormously gripping work of non-fiction. The book, with its relentlessly engrossing narrative, simply rivets the reader to its pages. …Those who enjoy true crime, as well as those who enjoy superlative non-fiction, will most definitely enjoy reading this top notch book. Bravo!”


A detailed reconstruction of a disaster ***** (Five Stars)

“…The incredible amount of research required to compile this account is evident in the level of details (not to mention the nearly 40 pages of notes), but this isn’t a dry technical report. Instead, the author has done an incredible job of bringing the story to life, evoking a wide range of emotions, from outrage at the gross disregard for safety that resulted from greed, to admiration for the strength and courage of any number of survivors.
…The author’s evaluation of the possible lessons to be learned is both insightful and heartfelt. This book should serve as a cautionary tale of the potential consequences when safety takes a backseat to greed and when the public servants tasked with enforcing safety rules fail to properly do their jobs.”


Great book on so many levels! Deserves 5+ stars ***** (Five Stars)

“In his thoughtfully written and well researched book Mr. Barylick sets himself apart from many of his colleagues in his chosen profession as a man of integrity, empathy and ethics. I say this as a life long resident of the state of RI having followed Mr. Barylick in the news as he led the Plaintiff Steering Committee in hopes of salvaging some justice for the victims of this entirely preventable tragedy.
Having said that this book is an eyeopener. After reading it I realized that I barely knew anything about the details of this case but thanks to Mr. Barylicks masterpiece that has all changed.”


from iTunes


I could not put this book down ***** (Five Stars)

“I saw the author on television this week and had no idea how so many people, companies and government officials could be so greedy, lazy and/or inept. So many people lost their lives so quickly and it should never have happened in the first place. This book will make you THINK about the safety of your surroundings as you can’t assume where you are will be ‘up to code’.”


Wow. ***** (Five Stars)

“What a book. If you recall The Station fire at all, this book is something you should read. I couldn’t put this book down and plan on retreading it in the future. It’s amazingly well written and, in my opinion, and honest and forthright accounting of the tragedy. Kudos to the author for such an incredible book. Thank you for writing it.”


from Barnes & Noble


***** (Five Stars)

“…You will be shocked by just how quickly a fire can overrun you. If you have heard you have two minutes to get out of a building that is on fire, you’ll find out that there are times when a delay of 10 seconds can determine whether you will or will not make it out alive. My husband has been the Chief of a suburban Volunteer Fire Company. And no matter how many times we have talked about house and business fires, and how fast you have to get out the door, it did not make the impact this book made by giving the second by second account of how fire starts, builds, and seems to take on a life of its own. Unlike what you see on television, a fire is not bright; you will soon discover how quickly the room goes black from smoke. After you read this book I think you will find yourself looking at your surroundings wherever you are in a whole different light. It’s like seeing your surroundings with new eyes and you’ll realize the most important thing you need to do is get out!”


***** (Five Stars)

Excellent account of a true tragedy and travesty…


Excellent book !! Very thoroughly investigated and well written. As a former firefighter for 17 years, I highly recommend this book. The author researched this incident giving personal accounts, legalities, fire science, and accounts of some of the people that were involved in tis tragedy.


***** (Five Stars)

“This is an excellent book about a modern tragedy. It explains complicated scientific and legal concepts so that they are easily comprehendible by laymen and women. The author is also able to capture the human elements of the story, through the book you will be able to connect with the victim, survivors and first responders. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading non-fiction current event stories and also to those who lived in the area who are interested in learning the whole story about the Station Nightclub Fire. Many questions about the tragedy are answered, although sadly not the key question of how the safety of the customers they served could be so little valued by the band, the club owners or the fire safety inspector.”


***** (Five Stars)

“Totally horrifyingly honest. The whole story from beginning to end.”

One response to “Excerpts from Online Reader Reviews

  1. This is an outstanding book. There were times I was so angry I wanted to scream. The author should be commended for the excellent research he did to tell this horrific story. It’s a must read for anyone who has ever been to a rock concert.

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