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

Front Cover
W. W. Norton & Company, 1997 - Nature - 227 pages
50 Reviews
In October 1991, three weather systems collided off the coast of Nova Scotia to create a storm of singular fury, boasting waves over one hundred feet high. Among its victims was the Gloucester, Massachusetts-based swordfishing boat the Andrea Gail, which vanished with all six crew members aboard.

"Drifting down on swimmers is standard rescue procedure, but the seas are so violent that Buschor keeps getting flung out of reach. There are times when he's thirty feet higher than the men trying to rescue him. . . . [I]f the boat's not going to Buschor, Buschor's going to have to go to it. SWIM! they scream over the rail. SWIM! Buschor rips off his gloves and hood and starts swimming for his life."

It was the storm of the century, boasting waves over one hundred feet high a tempest created by so rare a combination of factors that meteorologists deemed it "the perfect storm." When it struck in October 1991, there was virtually no warning. "She's comin' on, boys, and she's comin' on strong," radioed Captain Billy Tyne of the Andrea Gail off the coast of Nova Scotia, and soon afterward the boat and its crew of six disappeared without a trace.

In a book taut with the fury of the elements, Sebastian Junger takes us deep into the heart of the storm, depicting with vivid detail the courage, terror, and awe that surface in such a gale. Junger illuminates a world of swordfishermen consumed by the dangerous but lucrative trade of offshore fishing, "a young man's game, a single man's game," and gives us a glimpse of their lives in the tough fishing port of Gloucester, Massachusetts; he recreates the last moments of the Andrea Gail crew and recounts the daring high-seas rescues that made heroes of some and victims of others; and he weaves together the history of the fishing industry, the science of storms, and the candid accounts of the people whose lives the storm touched, to produce a rich and informed narrative. The Perfect Storm is a real-life thriller that will leave readers with the taste of salt air on their tongues and a sense of terror of the deep.
  

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User Review  - DinadansFriend - LibraryThing

This is a piece of journalism, and a riveting read. The "perfect"storm of 1991 did cause a great deal of damage but Mr. Junger managed to build a very good book out of it. Yes, it is not pure non ... Read full review

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User Review  - Brian55 - LibraryThing

I really enjoyed this. I like the way Junger is able to portray factual events and an interesting storylike manner. I had seen the movie several years ago and kept waiting for the climax of the storm ... Read full review

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Contents

GODS COUNTRY
37
THE FLEMISH CAP
65
THE BARREL OF THE GUN
95
GRAVEYARD OF THE ATLANTIC
117
THE ZEROMOMENT POINT
136
INTO THE ABYSS
166
THE DREAMS OF THE DEAD
202
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
226
Copyright

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About the author (1997)

Sebastian Junger was born in 1962 in Belmont, Massachusetts. He received his BA degree from Wesleyan University in Cultural Anthropology in 1984. He is a freelance journalist who writes for numerous magazines, including Outside, American Heritage, Men's Journal, and the New York Times Magazine. As an underemployed journalist who assigned himself stories and worked as a stringer for the Associated Press in Bosnia, Sebastian Junger was fascinated by the dangers that people face regularly while doing ordinary jobs. Junger was working as a climber for a tree removal service when the storm occurred that provided the inspiration for his first book. The Perfect Storm (1997) is a carefully researched account of the wreck of the swordfishing boat Andrea Gail, The wreck took place during what one meteorologist called a "perfect storm"--a storm with the worst possible conditions. In order to relate the story of a disaster that left no survivors and had no eyewitnesses, Junger used a combination of sound research, technical detail, and personal insight to reconstruct the final hours. After the publication of this book he was nicknamed the new Hemingway. He wrote several books such as War which is about his time spent with a U.S. Army platoon in Afghanistan. At the Sundance Film Festival in 2010 his documentary Restrepo won Grand Jury Prize for a domestic documentary.

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