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The Perfect Storm: A True Story of Men Against the Sea

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"Takes readers into the maelstrom and shows nature's splendid and dangerous havoc at its utmost". October 1991. It was "the perfect storm"--a tempest that may happen only once in a century--a nor'easter created by so rare a combination of factors that it could not possibly have been worse. Creating waves ten stories high and winds of 120 miles an hour, the storm whipped the "Takes readers into the maelstrom and shows nature's splendid and dangerous havoc at its utmost". October 1991. It was "the perfect storm"--a tempest that may happen only once in a century--a nor'easter created by so rare a combination of factors that it could not possibly have been worse. Creating waves ten stories high and winds of 120 miles an hour, the storm whipped the sea to inconceivable levels few people on Earth have ever witnessed. Few, except the six-man crew of the Andrea Gail, a commercial fishing boat tragically headed towards its hellish center.


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"Takes readers into the maelstrom and shows nature's splendid and dangerous havoc at its utmost". October 1991. It was "the perfect storm"--a tempest that may happen only once in a century--a nor'easter created by so rare a combination of factors that it could not possibly have been worse. Creating waves ten stories high and winds of 120 miles an hour, the storm whipped the "Takes readers into the maelstrom and shows nature's splendid and dangerous havoc at its utmost". October 1991. It was "the perfect storm"--a tempest that may happen only once in a century--a nor'easter created by so rare a combination of factors that it could not possibly have been worse. Creating waves ten stories high and winds of 120 miles an hour, the storm whipped the sea to inconceivable levels few people on Earth have ever witnessed. Few, except the six-man crew of the Andrea Gail, a commercial fishing boat tragically headed towards its hellish center.

30 review for The Perfect Storm: A True Story of Men Against the Sea

  1. 4 out of 5

    Petra X

    I didn't see the film so I came fresh to the book. It had a lot of impact on me because I have been in a small boat, a 34' catamaran in a 4 day storm out in the Atlantic before Brazil. It wasn't a 'perfect storm' but it was still rough, with huge seas and a constant exhausting beating against the wind. It prevented us going into Fernando do Noronha, our next stop, we couldn set a course for the archipelago at all. So I could not just see but feel what a difficult position they were in. I know qu I didn't see the film so I came fresh to the book. It had a lot of impact on me because I have been in a small boat, a 34' catamaran in a 4 day storm out in the Atlantic before Brazil. It wasn't a 'perfect storm' but it was still rough, with huge seas and a constant exhausting beating against the wind. It prevented us going into Fernando do Noronha, our next stop, we couldn set a course for the archipelago at all. So I could not just see but feel what a difficult position they were in. I know quite a bit about sword-fishing. I've read Linda Greenlaw's books. An aside - there are very few countries and vessels in the world where a woman would have the opportunity to swordfish let alone be a captain. It is an extremely physical job, setting hooks and squid bait, on spooled longlines hat run for miles and rip your fingers. The hooks are so big they could rip right through a man's palm if the spool should run on. Then there is the killing of the swordfish when hauled in, gutting and icing them. As well as directing the crew, a hard-drinking group of macho men, maintaining the boat, it's structure, mechanics and electronics. The electronics, depth sounders, radar and the like are not just for navigation but crucial in working out where the fish are. This was Linda's strength, this finding the schools of swordfish. Not only was Greenlaw one of an infintessimally small number of women swordfishing, but she was the most successful captain of all time. Where the normal catch is 1 ton a day, for seven days straight she hauled in 5 tons each day. The money from the catch on a boat is 50% to the owner, then the expenses are taken off and a set formula applied to the rest where the captain takes the most and the newest deckhand the least. That month the deckhand took home $10,000. How do I know about swordfishing? My ex-husband was Chief Fisheries Officer and used to supervise the boats that came to fish in our waters. Because the permits they bought were limited in what they could do and the by catch could not be sold, a local would always be on the boat with them, sometimes my ex. It was all quite fascinating. Swordfish have a long, barbed extension to their jaw that is both a weapon of attack and used to slash prey fish to weaken them. When they are hauled on board alive, they are very brave and will attack to the last. They can kill a man, or almost as bad, a wound from the sword will almost always become infected and the boat might be very far in distance and time from home. There are always by-catch pulled up with the swordfish. There are the tuna. If you've only seen one dead held aloft by a fisherman it's as if you'd only ever seen a rose browned with frost and never in it's full bloom. Sailing across the ocean, three Atlantic blue fin tuna, each about 15' swam in front of the boat maintaining an exact distance for more than hour. They were gorgeous, a rainbow of shimmering colours like sunlight on oil, like just beneath the surface. But the tuna aren't a problem, they are gutted and thrown on to the ice along with the swordfish - generally a perk of the fishermen, the boat owner doesn't get a share of by-catch. The problem is the live sharks pulled up. They are vicious and their carcass is dangerous. It alone will rip the skin from a man. It's not smooth, it's not even sandpaper-like, it's actually covered in tiny teeth, denticles. Sharks have to be shot as they being pulled up. The fishermen sometimes take the teeth as mementos and to sell. The flesh has to be thrown overboard immediately before it spoils and stinks of ammonia, piss. If shark is bled within minutes of being caught, and then iced, it is delicious. It's a firm, white fish with a mild flavour. Very nice deep fried in the Trinidadian style of bake and shark with chives, thyme, garlic and hot peppers. The book was a blow-by-blow account of the storm and how it affected the crew, their family on shore, and the boat, Andrea Gale, Linda Greenlaw's sister ship. Linda's boat was the Hannah Boden, both owned by Alden Leeman. The boat foundered amidst terrible seas and all crew were lost and never found. It was a harrowing story, and because I knew the subject so well, I lived through it and felt it and it upset me a great deal. The author, Sebastian Junger, has that power to bring you into the story and involve you. I did enjoy it, but perhaps not in quite the way one usually uses the word "enjoy".

  2. 5 out of 5

    Matthew

    This is a powerful and heart-wrenching true story. Many people are familiar with the movie – I saw it at the theater when it first came out in 2000. But, it wasn’t until now that I finally read it. It is the story of many different people and how they were affected by the Perfect Storm (also known as The No-Name Storm and the Halloween Gale) in the North Atlantic during Halloween week in 1991. The primary story follows the crew of the Andrea Gail: The early part of the book is reminiscent of Moby This is a powerful and heart-wrenching true story. Many people are familiar with the movie – I saw it at the theater when it first came out in 2000. But, it wasn’t until now that I finally read it. It is the story of many different people and how they were affected by the Perfect Storm (also known as The No-Name Storm and the Halloween Gale) in the North Atlantic during Halloween week in 1991. The primary story follows the crew of the Andrea Gail: The early part of the book is reminiscent of Moby Dick as you learn the ins and outs of sword fishing. During this point it runs a fine line between being fascinating or dragging. Luckily, it is nowhere near as long as Moby Dick so it serves as a nice introduction to the atmosphere of the story. Then the storm hits: During the storm part of the book there are several tales of heroic rescues and tragic losses. While the focus at first is on the Andrea Gail, there are many other interesting stories from the North Atlantic. If you like non-fiction, harrowing tales of nature’s wrath, and stories about people pushed to the very limits of endurance, then I highly recommend this book. Just be sure to bring along your Dramamine!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Matt

    "There was no God to turn to for mercy. There was no government to provide order. Civilization was ancient history... Inside the ship, as the heel increased, even the most primitive social organization, the human chain, crumbled apart. Love only slowed people down. A pitiless clock was running. The ocean was completely in control..." -- William Langewiesche, A Sea Story On October 28, 1991, the fishing vessel Andrea Gail and her crew of six men disappeared off the Grand Banks in a tremendous stor "There was no God to turn to for mercy. There was no government to provide order. Civilization was ancient history... Inside the ship, as the heel increased, even the most primitive social organization, the human chain, crumbled apart. Love only slowed people down. A pitiless clock was running. The ocean was completely in control..." -- William Langewiesche, A Sea Story On October 28, 1991, the fishing vessel Andrea Gail and her crew of six men disappeared off the Grand Banks in a tremendous storm created by...etc., etc. By now, everyone knows the story of this ill-fated little boat, her tiny crew, and the massive storm that swallowed them whole. The book was a bestseller the instant it came out. A blockbuster movie followed. The phrase "a perfect storm" is the most-overused shorthand phrase in our culture (for awhile I thought it might be overtaken by "Wall Street verses Main Street," but alas, the election is over, and storms without imperfection are back in vogue). Once upon a time, though, before George Clooney grew a great beard and drove his boat up a mountain-sized CGI wave, A Perfect Storm was simply a sharp bit of journalism. Sebastian Junger found a newspaper clipping about the Andrea Gail's fate, went to Gloucester with pen and pad, and delved into the lives of her crew, entering a normally taciturn and reticent community to show us their lives before their deaths. (It's worth remembering that Junger's book came out long before the History Channel abdicated it's purported mission to bring us Ice Road Truckers and Axe Men and before the Discovery Channel presented Swamp Loggers and Heli-Loggers and yes, Deadliest Catch. Nowadays, celebration of blue-collar life is a cultural norm; it wasn't always that way). Almost from the first sentences, Junger - who has now morphed into a semi-self-righteous, self-styled Homer of Afghanistan - shows he has an excellent grasp of place: [T:]he smell of the ocean is so strong...it can almost be licked off the air. Trucks rumble along Rogers Street and men in t-shirts stained with fishblood shout to each other from the decks of boats. Beneath them the ocean swells up against the black pilings and sucks back down to the barnacles. Beer cans and old pieces of styrofoam rise and fall and pools of spilled diesel fuel undulate like huge irridescent jelly fish. The Discovery Channel's Deadliest Catch - of which I am a huge fan - has turned a spotlight on the lives of fishermen. We see these grizzled tough guys in all their rotgut swilling, chain-smoking, foul-mouthed glory. At the time this was written, though, Junger's work was revelatory. He presented them as iconoclasts; men who lived entirely in moments. They could go out on a boat for a couple of weeks, make a big score, blow thousands of dollars in a couple days, and go right back out on the ocean to do it again. Junger finds a way to celebrate these lives without neglecting the broken marriages, child support orders, and limited windows within which these men could succeed. After introducing us to the doomed - Billy Tyne, Michael Moran, Dale Murphy, Alfred Pierre, Bobby Shatford, and David Sullivan - Junger sets out to sea. This is where things could have gotten very tricky. See, very little is known about what happened to the Andrea Gail. There were no survivors. No mayday calls. The EPIRBs never activated. All we have is an empty ocean and miles to fill with supposition. There are only two ways to write this story. First, Junger could have turned it into a fascinating long-form article in the New Yorker, Harpers, or The Atlantic. Or two, he could write a book in which the central event can only be hypothesized. Junger chose the latter, and having read many disaster books since, I can see he chose a route fraught with peril (relative to the craft of writing, of course). With so little upon which to hang the central narrative, Junger has no choice but to pad the book with digressions and to shift the story away from the Andrea Gail and to other, luckier boats caught in the storm. Done poorly, this tact would have left me resentful that I'd been sold a bill of goods. Somehow, though, he pulls it off. This is kind of a surprise. Something about Sebastian Junger just calls out to be disliked. Maybe it's his chiseled jaw, perfectly symmetrical face, and artfully cultivated five o'clock shadow. Maybe it's the scent of young-French-nobleman that he gives off; a willingness to thrust himself into new worlds with both curiosity and entitlement (this is, unfortunately, a strong undercurrent in his flat collection of stories entitled Fire, a book notable today for a cameo made by former Northern Alliance leader Ahmad Massoud, whose assassination by al Qaida was prepatory to the 9/11 attacks). Junger is both everyman and know-it-all. He can swill Wild Turkey while still cogitating on fluid dynamics, long-line fishing, and the science of drowning. I imagine him a little bit like Cliff Clavin, sitting at the end of the bar, half in the bag, telling all the neighborhood drunks that their deeply held views about Afghanistan are ill-conceived. Except unlike Cliff, Junger is probably right, which makes him a little less likeable. His saving grace is his ability to write. Like the best journalists, Junger writes clearly, includes telling details, and manages to convey difficult concepts - like the physics of waves - in a way that makes you feel better because you can understand them. He also knows all the emotional beats, and hits every one. Junger knows just where to place a single, short sentence such as "no one got off alive" in order to induce chills. For instance, I've never forgotten the section of The Perfect Storm that tells you how someone drowns: The diving reflex...is compounded by the general effect of cold temperature on tissue - it preserves it. All chemical reactions, and metabolic processes, become honey-slow, and the brain can get by on less than half the oxygen it normally requires. There are cases of people spending forty or fifty minutes under lake ice and surviving. The colder the water, the stronger the diving reflex, and the longer the survival time. The crew of the Andrea Gail do not find themselves in particularly cold water, though; it may add five or ten minutes to their lives. And there is no one around to save them anyway. The electrical activity in their brain gets weaker and weaker until, after fifteen or twenty minutes, it ceases altogether Theories about what happened to the Andrea Gail, no matter how well-reasoned and detailed, could not have supported The Perfect Storm in book-length. There needed to be a B-story. Here, Junger chooses to highlight the heroics and plight of the Coast Guard's parajumpers, an elite squad of the best swimmers on Earth (and also the subject of the Kevin Costner vehicle, The Guardian, which despite Ashton Kutcher's presence, is not nearly as bad as you think). These parts of the book are tense, white-knuckled, and agonizing, since unlike the foreordained fate of the Andrea Gail's crew, you have no idea who is going to live and who is going to die. The Perfect Storm is one of my favorite books. It is, as the subheading announces, a story of men against the sea. In other words, it's a sea yarn (perhaps my favorite yarn genre), and Junger is a great raconteur. He pulls together a number of different threads - science, literature, the Bible, various sea stories - in order to tell a single story; it is a bit of audaciousness that pays off. I imagine Junger wearing a flannel shirt and sitting at the end of a dark Gloucester bar with smoke-stained walls and a swordfish hung over the fireplace. He strokes his perfect stubble while sipping Scotch neat. Outside, an autumn gale is raging, pelting the windows with rain. In the distance, a foghorn sounds mournfully. Junger begins to speak in his gruff-yet-Wesleyan-educated voice. The story is about men who go out in boats, and about the seemingly-infinite sea, which - like the Universe - never ceases to awe, no matter how small the rest of the world gets; the story tells of the power of waves and the dark spray-swept terror and the loneliness of death and the men out on the ocean who vanish, and whose lives are memories and whose deaths are mysteries.

  4. 3 out of 5

    Dannii Elle

    "How do men act on a sinking ship? Do they hold each other? Do they pass around the whisky? Do they cry?" This is the heartbreaking true account of the last moments of those aboard the fateful last voyage of the Andrea Gail, the swordfish boat caught in the heart of the ocean during one of the worst storms to hit the North American eastern seaboard, in October 1991. This book was more of a factual account, attempting to recreate the last days and the possible thoughts and actions of those who sadl "How do men act on a sinking ship? Do they hold each other? Do they pass around the whisky? Do they cry?" This is the heartbreaking true account of the last moments of those aboard the fateful last voyage of the Andrea Gail, the swordfish boat caught in the heart of the ocean during one of the worst storms to hit the North American eastern seaboard, in October 1991. This book was more of a factual account, attempting to recreate the last days and the possible thoughts and actions of those who sadly lost their lives, rather than an attempt to fictionalize their story. Junger never lets his reader forget that this is a true-life description; achieving this with passages from meteorologists, other fishermen and the loved ones left to mourn those lost at sea. Whilst being dense in the science of storms and the process of life on board a fishing schooner, it is also thick with tragedy and truly does justice to the lost men who can now never be forgotten.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jr Bacdayan

    "All collapsed, and the great shroud of the sea rolled on as it had five thousand years ago." - Moby Dick. I have a special bond with this story. My first encounter with "The Perfect Storm" was through watching the movie. I still remember that movie clearly on my mind even though I haven't watched it for a few years now. It's even easily in my top-ten favorite movies of all time list. I simply loved it. As a child I had always been terrified of the ocean and all its dangers. Strangely though, I "All collapsed, and the great shroud of the sea rolled on as it had five thousand years ago." - Moby Dick. I have a special bond with this story. My first encounter with "The Perfect Storm" was through watching the movie. I still remember that movie clearly on my mind even though I haven't watched it for a few years now. It's even easily in my top-ten favorite movies of all time list. I simply loved it. As a child I had always been terrified of the ocean and all its dangers. Strangely though, I was in-love with the concept of fishing even though I didn't like fish too much. I remember watching the movie as a kid and considering the possibility of becoming a fisherman. Yup, I had those daydreams. I would wait a decade before I would find out about the book. A few weeks ago, I was scouring Rob Ermita's Book Sale, as I always do when I feel the need to read a real book. After reading a few books from my Kindle, I'd often feel hollow, and I'd end up looking for solid, empirical, tree-destroying, ink-drinking books. I was shaken when I first saw the book. That one of my favorite stories of all time was a book and I had no idea about it. How it was able to elude me all these years remains such a great mystery to me. Before we continue on, I feel the need to remind you that this book is not a work of fiction, this is a true story. "Meteorologists see perfection in strange things," Junger writes, "and the meshing of three completely independent weather systems to form a hundred-year event is one of them. My God, thought Case, this is the perfect storm." This powerful book is a chilling, daunting, experience at one of the greatest forces of nature the world has ever seen and the lives of people it had on its mercy. "To be out at sea in the path of such an event would be a catastrophic experience. And so it evidently proved for the six men aboard the Andrea Gail, a 72-foot swordfish boat that disappeared off the coast of Nova Scotia on Oct. 28, leaving behind only fuel drums, a propane tank and sundry radio equipment that were found weeks later. To dramatize the incredible fury of a severe storm at sea, Junger reconstructs the fatal voyage of the Andrea Gail. How does he manage to do this with no survivors to interview and with no details available about the ship's final hours of existence? A good deal is known up to a certain point: the layout of the Andrea Gail; the routine of a previous outing; how the crew members spent their time before leaving Gloucester, Mass., their home port; the pressure they were under to fill their hold with swordfish; the high risk of injury or death in the business; the bad feelings about the coming trip that drove two crew members to walk away before it began. Junger nicely paces his narrative by interrupting it with histories of Gloucester, of the New England fishing industry and its gradual decline, and of the development of long-line fishing -- dragging a 40-mile-long monofilament with up to 1,000 baited hooks. He creates a distinct atmosphere when he writes: "At dinner the crew talk about what men everywhere talk about -- women, lack of women, kids, sports, horse racing, money, lack of money, work. They talk a lot about work; they talk about it the way men in prison talk about time. Work is what's keeping them from going home, and they all want to go home." You can sense the coming storm when he writes: "The sunset is a bloody rust-red on a sharp autumn horizon, and the night comes in fast with a northwest wind and a sky riveted with stars. There's no sound but the smack of water on steel and the heavy gargle of the diesel engine." For information beyond what is known of the Andrea Gail's destruction, Junger turns to "people who had been through similar situations and survived." From such interviews he learns what an 80-mile-an-hour wind sounds like and what it feels like to be tossed by waves 100 feet high. Perhaps most compelling of all, he explains in concrete detail why hurricanes blow, how waves rise, what happens to boats in a storm and the way human beings drown. Thus he is able to reconstruct what he calls "the zero-moment point." When drowning, he writes in this frightening chapter, "the body could be likened to a crew that resorts to increasingly desperate measures to keep their vessel afloat." He concludes, "Eventually the last wire has shorted out, the last bit of decking has settled under the water." The crew members of the Andrea Gail "are dead." After this calamity, the narrative of "The Perfect Storm" abruptly shifts its focus to describe a couple of heart-stopping rescue attempts, one of them successful, the other a costly fiasco by pararescue teams from the New York State Air National Guard. What is particularly impressive here is the dedication of professional storm watchers to save any human life at sea, no matter what foolishness or bad luck led to the trouble. Despite the upbeat ending of "The Perfect Storm," what lingers is a sense of the cruel indifference of nature. One chapter's epigraph quotes "Moby-Dick": "All collapsed, and the great shroud of the sea rolled on as it had five thousand years ago." Even more chilling is the lack of closure that the families of the victims experienced. Junger writes: "If the men on the 'Andrea Gail' had simply died, and their bodies were lying in state somewhere, their loved ones could make their goodbyes and get on with their lives. But they didn't die, they disappeared off the face of the earth and, strictly speaking, it's just a matter of faith that these men will never return. Such faith takes work, it takes effort. The people of Gloucester must willfully extract these men from their lives and banish them to another world. To have to strive for a belief in death and oblivion: a perfect conclusion to "The Perfect Storm." -NY Times Book Review This book is a testament to the nature's power, and it is fitting. Awe is all I can use to describe what this fine piece of Journalism offers. "She's a beautiful lady, one guy said jerking his thumb oceanward out the bar door, but she'll kill ya without a second thought."

  6. 3 out of 5

    Ana

    I like Junger's writing style a lot. He's very poignant and manages to write in a both matter-of-factly and emotionally sensitive way at the same time. This is the story he could piece together about one particular boat lost at sea, as well as what might have happened to its crew, during one of the worst storms ever recorded. He does this by combining very technical know-how about fishing and boats with an understanding of the psychology behind men's choices to go out at sea and how they deal wi I like Junger's writing style a lot. He's very poignant and manages to write in a both matter-of-factly and emotionally sensitive way at the same time. This is the story he could piece together about one particular boat lost at sea, as well as what might have happened to its crew, during one of the worst storms ever recorded. He does this by combining very technical know-how about fishing and boats with an understanding of the psychology behind men's choices to go out at sea and how they deal with survival and death. It is an immensely interesting book for someone like me, who's curious about everything under the sun, but I'm guessing it's also valuable to someone who actually is a fisherman, because it's very adamant in offering correct information. I totally recommend this.

  7. 3 out of 5

    Meghan

    It took me a little while to get into this book, but I'm really glad I did. The last third was so powerful that I'm getting goosebumps writing this review. A Perfect Storm was packed full of information on the fishing industry, weather formation, and culture of fishing villages. I was more interested in the tales of rescue, survival and loss, which the book also delivers on. The format of this book didn't match my initial expectations; it is not a single linear story, even though it seemed that w It took me a little while to get into this book, but I'm really glad I did. The last third was so powerful that I'm getting goosebumps writing this review. A Perfect Storm was packed full of information on the fishing industry, weather formation, and culture of fishing villages. I was more interested in the tales of rescue, survival and loss, which the book also delivers on. The format of this book didn't match my initial expectations; it is not a single linear story, even though it seemed that way at the beginning. There are some technical and lengthy passages in the middle that made me wonder if I had the patience to read a historian's thesis on the fishing industry. (Ummm, no. The answer is no.) But none of that matters because I made it to the 60% mark, at which I could not put the book down. What was happening was not a terror beyond words. It was a grim sense of reality, a scrambling to figure out what to do next, a determination to stay alive and keep other people alive, and an awareness of the dark noisy slamming of the boat. But it wasn’t a terror beyond words. I just had an overwhelming sense of knowing we weren’t going to make it. Without revealing too much, I'll just say that some of the passages in the last part of the book will stay with me forever. I'm also in awe/shock at the dangers that people face working in the industry. If you know any fishermen or women, give them a big hug. Right now.

  8. 3 out of 5

    Alicia

    " A mature hurricane is by far the most powerful event on earth; the combined nuclear arsenals of the United States & the Soviet Union don't contain enough energy to keep a hurricane going for one day." Page 102 I have had The Perfect Storm on my bookcase for quite sometime. Near the end of " Columbine", the author, Dave Cullen, mentioned that Mr. Junger's description of the crew of the Andrea Gail & their last hours, was what he strove for when he wrote his book. He said that the way Mr. " A mature hurricane is by far the most powerful event on earth; the combined nuclear arsenals of the United States & the Soviet Union don't contain enough energy to keep a hurricane going for one day." Page 102 I have had The Perfect Storm on my bookcase for quite sometime. Near the end of " Columbine", the author, Dave Cullen, mentioned that Mr. Junger's description of the crew of the Andrea Gail & their last hours, was what he strove for when he wrote his book. He said that the way Mr. Junger described their drowning prompted him to do justice to each victim at Columbine when he wrote his book & so that one sentence made me pick up my copy of The Perfect Storm. I am glad that I did. What a read. I could not stop. His descriptions of these men & their lives lived on these huge boats was a different world to me. I could not imagine this. He went deep into describing how much goes into these shipping~ fishing~ sailing vessels. I have always felt that there is no force greater than a storming sea. This book solidifies my view that nothing can contain Mother Nature out upon the ocean. I enjoyed this read as much as I knew the outcome, I kept reading. It was also a lesson in nautical history. A lesson in how our armed forces work hand in hand with these seafaring Americans. They roll out at a moments notice & risk their own lives and sometimes lose their lives in their attempts. I found myself wondering how in the world did 18th & 19th century sailors get along? Amazing. And to read that men still want nothing more than to spend months upon months on our dangerous oceans, willfully hoping that if a MAYDAY is sounded, someone will come to their rescue. They live on this hope. They have to. Reading of the many different rescues, was an eye opener. I, who faithfully watched each shuttle launch & still do~ had no idea that an Air Guard C130 flies down to Florida to watch the launch, and I did not know that an Air Force rescue crew heads out to Africa to cover the rest of the launch's flight into space... just in case.. AMAZING !! I found this book just an excellent read. I always love reading Sebastian Junger's articles in my monthly magazines; he never fails & here he goes deep~if you excuse the pun. You can imagine the lives he enters. It is a different world ~ a transitory existence that seems to work for these seaside villages. Men who want no possessions and nothing to hold them down. They live for the open seas. Men like that still exist. I kept thinking of Herman Melville's~~~~ " Pierre; or~ The Ambiguities " “for in tremendous extremities human souls are like drowning men well enough ~ they know they are in peril~ well enough ~ they know the causes of that peril~ ~~nevertheless~~ the Sea is the Sea & these drowning men do drown.” ~~~~~~~~~~~

  9. 3 out of 5

    Stephanie Dique

    Such a fascinating and gut wrenching account of a storm that affected so many lives. An odd half documentary/half story-telling feel to it and as it doesn’t try to fictionalize anything allows the reader to come to her own conclusion about the final moments of the Andrea Gail. It starts out strong, gets a bit too technical in the middle, but finishes as a page turner with true accounts from others who survived the storm. All in all, a really great book.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    I thought this would be a pretty interesting book - I had vaguely heard the story when the movie came out, although I haven't seen the movie. The Perfect Storm is a great name for the book, as the book revolved around the storm that took out the Andrea Gail. It gave a lot of good information about fishing, but overall I wasn't impressed by the book, especially when it concerns the Andrea Gail. The synopsis on the back of the book annoyed me, because I thought the book was going to be entirely abo I thought this would be a pretty interesting book - I had vaguely heard the story when the movie came out, although I haven't seen the movie. The Perfect Storm is a great name for the book, as the book revolved around the storm that took out the Andrea Gail. It gave a lot of good information about fishing, but overall I wasn't impressed by the book, especially when it concerns the Andrea Gail. The synopsis on the back of the book annoyed me, because I thought the book was going to be entirely about the Andrea Gail, but it instead seemed to be about the storm itself, past storms, and other accidents that happened during the storm. No one knows what happened on the boat - it was never found. The author did make it clear that what he was writing was just a guess based on other boaters and their experiences, but it was pretty annoying to constantly read "Presumably" and "Probably."

  11. 4 out of 5

    David Przybylinski

    One of my all time favorite reads. I love the ocean and stories about it. This one holds a bit of imagination into what may have happened out there at sea in a crazy storm. I really like this book and have read it multiple times.

  12. 3 out of 5

    Vicki Willis

    "More people are killed on fishing boats, per capita, than in any other job in the United States." What a tragic, but true story. The author did a good job capturing the feel of the fishing culture. It was technical, but interesting how the science of the weather and the science of the fishing industry came together to make this perfect (the book even defined perfect as something NOT good) storm. I was enthralled the entire time, even though I knew how the story ended. A great book for me.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Bobbi

    Since the Mayflower, my relatives were fisherman around Gloucester, making this book a fascinating read for me. I remember my great grandfather talking about cod fishing on the Grand Banks and the storms that sank friends' boats. Not long after I read the book, I was staying in a bed and breakfast in the small town of Scituate down the Massachusettes coast, and the movie was playing in a tiny theater across the street, so I went. When I came out, it was pitch black and a huge thunderstorm had co Since the Mayflower, my relatives were fisherman around Gloucester, making this book a fascinating read for me. I remember my great grandfather talking about cod fishing on the Grand Banks and the storms that sank friends' boats. Not long after I read the book, I was staying in a bed and breakfast in the small town of Scituate down the Massachusettes coast, and the movie was playing in a tiny theater across the street, so I went. When I came out, it was pitch black and a huge thunderstorm had come ashore. How eerie! If you liked the book and visit Gloucester, it's much like it's been for decades; still a small fishing town, albeit a poorer one since most of the cod have been fished out. Gloucester was where the first schooners were made; I've got a picture of my great grandfather's two masted schooner. They raced them, especially against the schooners of Halifax. They usually won until 1921 when the Bluenose was built in Nova Scotia which reigned undefeated for 16 years. Fascinating stuff!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    This was pretty good and read really quickly, especially toward the end. The quite drawn-out description of what it's like to drown was terrifying, as well as the description of what the ocean is like in a storm like that. I'm scared of the ocean so I found it oddly fascinating in a horrific way. I also thought that the very real importance of dreams and premonitions was described in the book--crewmen would get a "bad feeling" about going out with a boat and family members would dream about love This was pretty good and read really quickly, especially toward the end. The quite drawn-out description of what it's like to drown was terrifying, as well as the description of what the ocean is like in a storm like that. I'm scared of the ocean so I found it oddly fascinating in a horrific way. I also thought that the very real importance of dreams and premonitions was described in the book--crewmen would get a "bad feeling" about going out with a boat and family members would dream about loved ones who were in peril or lost. Overall, there's something weird about reading something so gripping about something so tragic that's a real story--it feels exploitative to be that interested in how it all happened. But the author does a nice job of respecting the family members and the memory of the people who died.

  15. 3 out of 5

    Eva

    I had heard that this book was good but I thought it was sort of boring. I don't know anything about boating and I think you have to have some boating knowledge before reading this book. There are pages and pages of descriptions about what a swordfishing boat looks like, using words I had never even heard of! It would have been helpful if there was a diagram of the boat, just as there was a map of the Atlantic at the beginning of the book that was a great reference. What I did like about the boo I had heard that this book was good but I thought it was sort of boring. I don't know anything about boating and I think you have to have some boating knowledge before reading this book. There are pages and pages of descriptions about what a swordfishing boat looks like, using words I had never even heard of! It would have been helpful if there was a diagram of the boat, just as there was a map of the Atlantic at the beginning of the book that was a great reference. What I did like about the book though was that it was journalistic non-fiction, as much as could be considering the author was guessing (based on others' accounts) what was happening as the boat was going down. It also made me realize how scary being on the open sea must be in a storm.

  16. 3 out of 5

    Evan

    I had mixed feelings about this book, but I would recommend it to just about anyone. The history and dangers of commercial fishing off the treacherous waters of New England/the north Atlantic are well expounded; full of fascinating facts and anecdotes. But Junger was faced with a fundamental problem with this book that I'm not sure he was able to overcome satisfactorily: and that's that he spends a good deal of time getting us intimate with a large cast of characters--the fishermen and loved one I had mixed feelings about this book, but I would recommend it to just about anyone. The history and dangers of commercial fishing off the treacherous waters of New England/the north Atlantic are well expounded; full of fascinating facts and anecdotes. But Junger was faced with a fundamental problem with this book that I'm not sure he was able to overcome satisfactorily: and that's that he spends a good deal of time getting us intimate with a large cast of characters--the fishermen and loved ones affiliated with the ill-fated boat, Andrea Gail--and because nothing is really known about went on aboard a vessel that went down with barely a trace, without a word and no eyewitnesses to what happened, there's a big hole of speculation in the middle that Junger does, admittedly, a yeoman's job of trying to fill by extrapolation from the documented experiences of the surviving crewman of other boats that have gone down in sea storms. Ironically and oddly, he tells very detailed stories of survival and rescues during the same storm of characters who we don't get to know with the same level of intimacy as afforded those folks of the Andrea Gail. So we get to know a lot about people who had an adventure we know little or nothing of, but get great detail of the adventures of people who we get to know little about. There seems to be a certain imbalance in that. Even so, this was a very good book; a solid read; and I love anything that smacks of truelife sea adventure and survival.

  17. 4 out of 5

    AH

    This is a review of the audio book which I downloaded for free from the Sync Audio summer reading program last summer. (If you haven't had a chance to use this program, go to http://audiobooksync.com/ and register). Remember that movie with George Clooney and Mark Walhberg? This is the book that inspired that movie. While the book doesn't really have any sexy movie stars, it does pay homage to the fishermen and rescue workers alike. The Perfect Storm is the story of the Andrea Gale, a fishing bo This is a review of the audio book which I downloaded for free from the Sync Audio summer reading program last summer. (If you haven't had a chance to use this program, go to http://audiobooksync.com/ and register). Remember that movie with George Clooney and Mark Walhberg? This is the book that inspired that movie. While the book doesn't really have any sexy movie stars, it does pay homage to the fishermen and rescue workers alike. The Perfect Storm is the story of the Andrea Gale, a fishing boat that set out in October 1991 and never returned. At first I found the audio a little tedious. There's a lot of information on the fishery, about the boats, and the fishermen. Fishing is a difficult job - a lot of time away from home, isolated, and subject to nature's whims. I did enjoy the rescue aspect and at this point I appreciated all the details. My hat goes off to all the people who are trained in Maritime search and rescue. Highly recommended.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Katrina

    After turning the last page of this book I had to take a deep breath and stretch my tense muscles. Moments ago I was in the cold ocean with a handful of men. I was with a little boy missing his father. I was dreaming about a lover lost at sea. This book takes the reader with it. It's a book you experience rather than read.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    I was motivated to read this book after I fell in love with authors like Krakauer and Pierce who wrote books on real, chaotic events that have inspired many. For example, Krakauer writes about mountain climbing experiences and experiences in the snow while Pierce wrote about a plane crash in the Andes where the survivors struggled to make it back home. After being fascinated by the way these authors wrote about tragic events that always left me in suspense I thought The Perfect Storm would be th I was motivated to read this book after I fell in love with authors like Krakauer and Pierce who wrote books on real, chaotic events that have inspired many. For example, Krakauer writes about mountain climbing experiences and experiences in the snow while Pierce wrote about a plane crash in the Andes where the survivors struggled to make it back home. After being fascinated by the way these authors wrote about tragic events that always left me in suspense I thought The Perfect Storm would be the perfect read. While most of the time the story did keep me interested, there were many dry parts in the book, due to too much description and characterization. I felt that Junger includes a lot of "fluff" in this story that made the book less fascinating and less suspenseful. This book was still pretty good because it did help me understand what happened during the storm and how the ship was destroyed, but I think my expecations for this book were too high. I was expecting this book to be just as well written as Krakauer's books, however, after reading this book I've come to realize that not only was the genre Krakauer wrote in appealing, but also his style. After reading Junger I realized I don't just like any book about a natural event, the story needs to be well written, and Junger's style was not the best for me.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Steven

    This book whose title added another phrase to our lexicon is classic non-fiction: a collection of unrelated true stories, interwoven with essays examining everything from ocean rescues, to deadly occupations, to the line-fishing industry, to weather patterns of the Atlantic Ocean. Where the movie cuts most of this and focuses on the ill-fated vessel at the center of the storm, the book does what books do so well---it explores the issues and colors in the background, never forgetting to keep buil This book whose title added another phrase to our lexicon is classic non-fiction: a collection of unrelated true stories, interwoven with essays examining everything from ocean rescues, to deadly occupations, to the line-fishing industry, to weather patterns of the Atlantic Ocean. Where the movie cuts most of this and focuses on the ill-fated vessel at the center of the storm, the book does what books do so well---it explores the issues and colors in the background, never forgetting to keep building the tension of the main plot. While the books are so different as to make the comparison ridiculous, The Perfect Storm uses a structure not unlike that of the Grapes of Wrath: a powerful, heroic, but ultimately tragic tale, woven against the rich backdrop of the non-fiction world of the time. For Steinbeck's characters it was the Dust Bowl and the national migration that followed. For Junger's fishermen, it's the economic pressures of the fishing season and southern hurricanes and northern cold fronts that all come together to create the Perfect Storm.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Keith Bowden

    I absolutely hated this book. It's just over 200 pages but it took me more than three weeks to force myself to complete it; I hated the author's style so much that whenever I could bring myself to read a few pages, I started looking for something to distract me. Beyond stylistic preferences, I had problems with its structure. First off, it was entirely written in the present tense, making it sound like a sports play-by-play commentary. This is a very clumsy approach; the only thing worse is writi I absolutely hated this book. It's just over 200 pages but it took me more than three weeks to force myself to complete it; I hated the author's style so much that whenever I could bring myself to read a few pages, I started looking for something to distract me. Beyond stylistic preferences, I had problems with its structure. First off, it was entirely written in the present tense, making it sound like a sports play-by-play commentary. This is a very clumsy approach; the only thing worse is writing from a second person viewpoint, something that almost never works even in short form writing. It's awkward. Ungainly. Annoying. The author was also fond of extreme hyperbole, and contradicts himself frequently, such as (as a loose paraphrase) "When this type of condition meets that kind of front, then such and such happens. But that never happens." (If that was supposed to be black humor, it failed on both counts.) The worst occurance of this was when he contradicted his actual narrative, as on pp. 180-181 (original 1997 hardcover edition, less than halfway through the "Into the Abyss" chapter). Junger spent two paragraphs explaining that weather condition updates were channeled across three points (ships, Suffolk AFB and McGuire AFB), but only if specifically asked for. McGuire only communicated with Suffolk if Suffolk asked for updates. Likewise, Suffolk only gave craft updates if they asked and Suffolk only asked McGuire if a pilot asked them for updates. Then he repeated it: "Suffolk never calls McGuire for an update, though, because the tanker pilot never asks for one; and McGuire never volunteers the information because they don't know there is an Air Guard helicopter out there in the first place." [Emphasis mine.] Repeating this scenario yet again, the very next line is "...the tanker pilot calls Suffolk for a weather update..." So which was it? The pilot called and Suffolk failed to ask McGuire for an update, or the pilot failed to ask Suffolk? Finally, by the end of the book Junger turned the whole thing into a ghost story, complete with clairvoyance and spectral visitations by the dead crews. He didn't report that some family members believed they saw ghosts, he gave this mumbo-jumbo credence by reporting the alleged incidents as factual events. I have all due sympathy for the people who lost friends and family in that storm, and for the dead themselves, but it's pretty irresponsible to take what is ostensibly purported to be a historical account, sticking only to established, documented facts and then inserting woo crap like that. Fine, Mr. Junger has won awards for his writing. Based on this I don't understand that, but I accept that. In spite of my problems with his prose, I certainly concede the overall importance of telling this story, that's why I persevered to the end. I just wish it had been told better, and I don't think I'll tackle any of his other books or articles.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Leslie

    Richard Davidson did a good job narrating this nonfiction book. However, I found that I had difficulty keeping track of what was being told in audiobook (because my auditory memory is not as good as my visual one). I rewound and relistened to several parts because of that & eventually got a print edition from the library to skim while listening -- that combination worked well for me. Because of this difficulty I would say the audiobook was 3.5 stars but an extra star was added due to the ad Richard Davidson did a good job narrating this nonfiction book. However, I found that I had difficulty keeping track of what was being told in audiobook (because my auditory memory is not as good as my visual one). I rewound and relistened to several parts because of that & eventually got a print edition from the library to skim while listening -- that combination worked well for me. Because of this difficulty I would say the audiobook was 3.5 stars but an extra ½ star was added due to the added value of the author interview included at the end of the book (which was fascinating). I had already seen the 2000 film based on this book. At first I felt that Junger jumped around too much with the information and anecdotes he was relating and preferred the film's more linear story. However, by the end I realized that the book was a more layered, multifaceted experience and Junger's style (which worked much better for me in print than in audio) fit the amalgamation of science, local color and anecdotes. After I finished the book, I rewatched the movie with George Clooney. Having just read the book, the movie ended up making me mad -- it was a much fictionalized version which took events that happened in history or to other fishermen and assigned them to the crew of the Andrea Gail such as the attempted rescue by helicopter (which was for another boat entirely!). It also made some significant alterations to the mood of the story by emphasizing captain Billy Tynes' supposed 'run of bad luck' (never once mentioned in the book) and strongly implying that Tynes was responsible for the loss of the ship and portraying the crew as being at odds (also never mentioned in the book). The events were also compressed in time -- I can see that these changes made for a more emotional & dramatic movie but having now read the book, it bothered me that the story told isn't the right one!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Lauschus

    Not a huge fan of how he organized this book because describing these different things like the fishing industry, hurricanes, drowning, etc. really took away from the main characters. As a reader I became very confused when he would start to describe a crisis on the sea but then suddenly switch to describing someones background/personality. It made no sense and I didn't like that about it. I also don't think he should've included the story about the Andrea Gail bc to me it really took away from Not a huge fan of how he organized this book because describing these different things like the fishing industry, hurricanes, drowning, etc. really took away from the main characters. As a reader I became very confused when he would start to describe a crisis on the sea but then suddenly switch to describing someones background/personality. It made no sense and I didn't like that about it. I also don't think he should've included the story about the Andrea Gail bc to me it really took away from his ethos instead of strengthening it. Junger didn't have enough evidence about what really happened on that ship to make all these claims about fishing. Overall the book wasn't awful; it was pretty easy to get through besides the poor organization and that's why I'm only giving it three stars.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    I think anyone who has ever made a Coast Guard joke should read this book. Just saying. Part nature book, part adventure, part tragedy, part fish - the book is a pretty good much. It is somewhat slow to start, but when it does take off, it takes off.

  25. 3 out of 5

    Kolumbina

    An interesting book. I watched the movie "The Perfect Storm" in 2000 when it was made, with Mark Whalberg, an excellent movie. The book is a completely different thing, a really well researched and a well delivered document about that "perfect storm" and many other storms. A lot of meteorological facts through the history of fishing, about many boats through the history and today at the time (1991) when Andrea Gail with the 6 fishermen disappeared. Sebastisn Junger in his book also provides a lot An interesting book. I watched the movie "The Perfect Storm" in 2000 when it was made, with Mark Whalberg, an excellent movie. The book is a completely different thing, a really well researched and a well delivered document about that "perfect storm" and many other storms. A lot of meteorological facts through the history of fishing, about many boats through the history and today at the time (1991) when Andrea Gail with the 6 fishermen disappeared. Sebastisn Junger in his book also provides a lot of medical facts about hypothermia, damage to the body with the lack of oxygen, drowning .... Not only that but also a lot of interesting facts about the lives of fishermen in the area of Glocester, what sort of fish they catch, the requirements of the markets, a lot of history, the importance of the pubs in fishermen's lives... More than anything I liked the story about the boat "Satori" and the 2 women on the board. One of them, Karen Stimson, was a very strong and a very special person. The story with the rescue helicopter is unforgettable.

  26. 4 out of 5

    G. Lawrence

    This got a four, as whilst I admit myself captivated by the beginning, which shows in incredible detail the dangerous lives of these fishermen and women, but the time I got to the actual storm, I found myself somewhat bogged down in detail. It's a great book, don't get me wrong, but in the midst of the storm I'm not sure I need an examination of wind speed. Just the description would have done! Don't let this put you off. Never did I learn so much about fishing and boats, and since they are not This got a four, as whilst I admit myself captivated by the beginning, which shows in incredible detail the dangerous lives of these fishermen and women, but the time I got to the actual storm, I found myself somewhat bogged down in detail. It's a great book, don't get me wrong, but in the midst of the storm I'm not sure I need an examination of wind speed. Just the description would have done! Don't let this put you off. Never did I learn so much about fishing and boats, and since they are not subjects I am generally interested in, the fact I became fascinated is testament to the author's skill.

  27. 3 out of 5

    Larry Bassett

    After I read War , I wanted to read something else by this author Sebastian Junger. I am surprised that he wasn’t out on the boat during the storm! He likes to be where the action is. Crazy man. Good writer. Since a well known movie was made from this book in 2000, many readers will know roughly what happens before they start the book. That creates an interesting dynamic for the reader. (view spoiler)[ Farewells become especially poignant when you know that it the final farewell with death just After I read War , I wanted to read something else by this author Sebastian Junger. I am surprised that he wasn’t out on the boat during the storm! He likes to be where the action is. Crazy man. Good writer. Since a well known movie was made from this book in 2000, many readers will know roughly what happens before they start the book. That creates an interesting dynamic for the reader. (view spoiler)[ Farewells become especially poignant when you know that it the final farewell with death just out of sight over the horizon. We await the storm knowing it is coming. (hide spoiler)] Life on shore between month long fishing trips: spending over a thousand dollars in earnings in a week. Bars as home for many of the unmarried crew with drinking and sex as major goals. Life in the commercial swordfish fishing business on a seventy foot boat means maintaining the boat and all the equipment on board constantly. Technical information sometimes beyond what some readers will want to absorb. Weather science and wave mechanics. What forces keep a boat afloat in rough seas and what can take a boat down? Weaknesses of our boat, the Andrea Gail. Weaknesses in the support system. They’re in a big steel boat with 40,000 pounds of fish in the hold, plus ice. It takes a lot to sink a boat like that. Around nine o’clock, a half-moon emerges off their port quarter. The air is calm, the sky is full of stars. Two thousand miles away, weather systems are starting to collide. Now, nearly halfway into the book the Andrea Gail is unknowingly on a collision course with The Perfect Storm. They know there is a storm ahead but they are headed for home with a full load and diminishing ice supplies. The six man crew batten down the hatches and prepare to ride it out. (view spoiler)[Shortly after that what we know from direct experience and contact terminates. The details of the final moments of the Andrea Gail are unknown. Junger’s research finds other similar events where people survived and he tells those stories based on first person accounts with intensity and feeling. He suggests what probably happened to our boat and its six man crew. You cannot ride out a storm where the waves are taller than the boat is long. You die. Junger in great detail outlines what happens to a person and his body in the process of drowning. He takes us on several tours of nearly catastrophic events told by the people who, against the odds, survived those events. He tells of successful and unsuccessful search and rescue operations. (hide spoiler)] This is a book of stories that are spinoffs or tangents from the story of the Andrea Gail. It is a collection of stories about the Atlantic, the fishing industry, storms and the men and women who make their living from the ocean. I give The Perfect Storm four stars for the many interesting and factual details it provides about the danger and consequences of life on the sea. There is a good deal of technical information but it presented in a manner that makes most of it understandable. You will meet interesting people doing interesting things. You will be exposed to some attitudes about death that you might never have thought about before.

  28. 5 out of 5

    05kayleeh

    If you are someone who loves to read fact after fact, tons of boat history, and a book that has at least five different perspectives that the story is told in, in the first 20 pages, then this is the book for you. "The Perfect Storm" Starts with Bobby and his girlfriend, Christian, sleeping. They wake up, and they round up their gang. Then they all head to a bar. Bobby and his friends drink and drink, and drink some more. Afterward, everyone in the group, not including Christian, go to the sword If you are someone who loves to read fact after fact, tons of boat history, and a book that has at least five different perspectives that the story is told in, in the first 20 pages, then this is the book for you. "The Perfect Storm" Starts with Bobby and his girlfriend, Christian, sleeping. They wake up, and they round up their gang. Then they all head to a bar. Bobby and his friends drink and drink, and drink some more. Afterward, everyone in the group, not including Christian, go to the sword fishing boat that they are to work on. While Bobby is away, which is a whole months time, Christian is worried sick. She knows that people out on sword fishing boats have a fairly large chance of not coming back. And when he does the drink, and drink, and guess what they drink even more. The next time he goes out the book explains all the parts of the boat. Who works what, their names. How long it takes to reach each destination the boat must reach. Where they are going. And everything thing else that you could imagine. After that the story is really hard to keep up with because out of the 225 pages 200 of them are boat history. The story jumps around from different people and to different boats. I couldn't understand the story, but at least I knew what everything looked like and where they were, well most of the time. In all I would only give this story one star because it is all fact and information, not actually in story form.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Katherine

    Junger’s book, The Perfect Storm, documents the storm and the disappearance of a sword fishing boat, The Andrea Gail, which took place off of the Massachusetts coast in the early 1990s. The Andrea Gail set out several days prior to the storm beginning and was having very bad luck finding swordfish. The captain of the boat, Billy Tyne, refused to return home empty handed and so he decided to sail farther out to sea in order to find the swordfish. After completing a successful swordfish run, Tyne Junger’s book, The Perfect Storm, documents the storm and the disappearance of a sword fishing boat, The Andrea Gail, which took place off of the Massachusetts coast in the early 1990s. The Andrea Gail set out several days prior to the storm beginning and was having very bad luck finding swordfish. The captain of the boat, Billy Tyne, refused to return home empty handed and so he decided to sail farther out to sea in order to find the swordfish. After completing a successful swordfish run, Tyne and his crew prepared to return back to Gloucester, Massachusetts. However, Tyne learned that the storm was now between him and his destination. Unwilling to lose his shipment of fish, Tyne and his crew decided to face the storm and sail through it. In the end, this decision cost the entire crew their lives. This book is a wonderful piece of creative nonfiction. Junger closely explores the world of swordfishing and codfishing – the two primary industries that keep many of the blue-collar New England coastal towns financially solvent. He also masterfully weaves in two completely separate stories into The Perfect Storm: one focuses on the 3-person crew on a personal sailboat during the storm and the other focuses on the military rescue team specially trained to rescue people during hurricanes and other strong storms. Junger’s story is carefully researched and extremely well written.

  30. 3 out of 5

    Darren

    I saw the trailer to the film adaptation of this and immediately had to find the book. I bought it one day before a train journey and started it as soon as I sat down. All I can say is that I rode the length of the line back and forth for most of the day until I had finished the book. It was one of the most dramatic, interesting and powerful books I had ever read. I still reread "storm" every couple of years as its power rarely diminishes. This is a wonderful book expertly executed. The balance b I saw the trailer to the film adaptation of this and immediately had to find the book. I bought it one day before a train journey and started it as soon as I sat down. All I can say is that I rode the length of the line back and forth for most of the day until I had finished the book. It was one of the most dramatic, interesting and powerful books I had ever read. I still reread "storm" every couple of years as its power rarely diminishes. This is a wonderful book expertly executed. The balance between the drama of the people caught up in the storm, the history of fishermen and the general lives of the fishermen makes for stunning reading. I was surprised at one aspect of the book, the story of the Andrea Gail (the boat featured in the film) was a major part of it but not the major part and the book was the better for it. The Perfect Storm deals with everyone involved in the storm equally, and while we know that the crewmen of the Andrea Gail will most likely have the worst time of it this does not lessen the situation of the other people caught up in the event, not even the rescuers. In short, Junger has put together a masterful documentation of one of the worst storms on record and the stories of the people who did and did not survive it. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.

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