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

The Perfect Storm: A True Story of Men Against the Sea
The Perfect Storm A True Story of Men Against the Sea
Author: Sebastian Junger
ISBN-13: 9780393040166
ISBN-10: 039304016X
Publication Date: 5/1997
Pages: 227
Rating:
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 85

3.9 stars, based on 85 ratings
Publisher: W.W. Norton
Book Type: Hardcover
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

101 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed The Perfect Storm: A True Story of Men Against the Sea on + 149 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Riveting, frightening...it will linger in your mind for a very long time. Junger is a terrific writer, and is able to make even scientific explanations (about super-storms, drowning, weather situations) exciting. Whether you have seen the movie or not, this is a highly recommended read.
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Helpful Score: 3
This well written book is not only a harrowing true story of men against the sea, but also taught me many interesting things about the dangers of commercial fishing which I found fascinating. I was not only gripped by the main events of the storm itself, but I was also interested in the human side of the relationships between wives, parents, girlfriends and the fisherman who would go to sea, maybe never to return. I was amazed at the risks that the rescue teams took, the National Guardsmen Swimmers, and Pararescue Jumpers are truely heros. As you read you understand the construction of the boat, the elements of the storm, decisions made, and how all of these may have contributed to the final outcome. The book goes much farther than the movie, and is a learning experience, as well as a story that will keep you on the edge of your seat. The movie, which showed unknown events as fact, and left out much of fascinating information found in the book, does not do justice to The Perfect Storm.
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Helpful Score: 2
I began this book late one night after finishing the last book and immediately was swept in. This is not my typical reading faire but I do love any stories of the sea so it still follows suit. The storytelling isn't anything unique, the plot isn't one that hasn't been explored before, but whatever this writer did - it sucked me straight in, tearing apart the book in a little over a day. The story is about 6 fisherman abord the Andrea Gail during the Halloween Gail of 1991. No one survived and no distress calls were ever heard from the ship, making it very hard to come up with the last minutes aboard the ship but the writer does a fairly good job at that and you can almost put yourself on the deck with those men, feeling the rise and fall of the swells and the sheer terror they must have felt seeing 100 + foot waves about to break on the bow. The only criticism is that I feel that the author could have wrote a bit more chronologically (he does bounce a bit) and done more of a back story on the fisherman than just on Bobby. I think it would have filled out the story just enough but the book was quite well without it.
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Helpful Score: 2
This was an incredible book. Not only was it a story of the Andrea Gail which was totally lost at sea. But it was also the story of other life threatening experiences during this horrendous Halloween Storm. Like the 5 men of the American National Guard that had to be rescued from the water during the storm. And the 3 people on board the sailboat that was headed to Bermuda. Junger gave a detailed and very eery description of what its like to drown. He also gave the reader a good idea of what the life of a fishing town was like. A very close knit, keep to themselves kind of group. I think he was lucky to get anyone to talk. In a way, I was kind of glad I saw the movie first. I at least had a vision of what it was really like. Even if some of it was speculation. Glad I read this.
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Helpful Score: 2
This was a quick read for me, i enjoyed very much.If you are a fan of the Discovery channel series " The Deadliest Catch" you will enjoy this book!!!
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Helpful Score: 2
A true story of men against the sea. Semi-fictitious novelization of a shipwreck.
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Helpful Score: 2
I'd seen the movie in 2001 or 2002 and so I knew how the story would end but I was curious to know how the author, Sebastian Junger, would present the story of the Andrea Gail when there'd been no survivors. One of the things I really liked was that Junger didn't try to make a fictional accounting of what might have happened. He said straight out he didn't know. Instead, he interviewed people who'd survived the storm, rescuers and people in need of rescue. I learned more than I ever wanted to know about the two ways a person can drown. Reading the accounts of survivors and what happened when the boats were rolled by ginormous rogue waves was hair raising! To balance it out, I enjoyed reading about the area's fishing history and how the industry evolved. The background information was informative, not boring. Most of all, I felt for the loved ones left behind
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Helpful Score: 2
Great read.
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Helpful Score: 2
A documentary about the storm. No real characterization and a lot of inane details. The movie was better :-) - and I almost never say that.
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Helpful Score: 2
so much better than the movie...if you liked the movie this is a must read!
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Helpful Score: 2
My husband liked it, but I had a hard time getting into it.
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Helpful Score: 2
It has so much more detail than the movie. I recomend this book to everyone!
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Helpful Score: 1
"The Perfect Storm" was well written! Junger gave me an understanding of the dangers the inhabitants of Gloucester live and breathe each day. I read the book before I saw the movie and was pleasantly surprised that the movie actually did a very good job in holding true to the book.
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Helpful Score: 1
Much better than the movie. Compelling and heartbreaking true story.
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Helpful Score: 1
It might sound cliche, but if you liked the movie, read the book.

Junger pens the complete story, and actually shows the compelling reasons why the crew took the boat out under the conditions as they were. He paints a complete picture of the fisherman's subculture and what went so horribly wrong.
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Helpful Score: 1
What I loved most about this book was the way the facts were handled...this is not a bare-bones journalistic effort. Each fact is presented in such a way that I never lost sight of the fact that these people were real, the people they left behind were real, and the life they lived was not an anomaly, but the truth of every single day on that harsh coast and unforgiving sea. The fact that nobody knows exactly what happened to the ship and those aboard could drive their loved ones crazy if they let themselves think about it too long.

Facts and searing emotion, all packed together in the pages, fighting for space - I've read this book three times, and each time it made me cry.
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Helpful Score: 1
Very well read version of the book. Much better than the film. Really gets to the heart of how such a tragedy could have occured and how fishermen and their families feel about going to sea and the risks they take.
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Better than the movie in my opinion!
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Excellent intense.
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A very engaging, informative (and quick) read.
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Well written, very suspensful, better than the movie
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Excellent read...detailed but not boring in any way. (((Hugs!)))
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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. CrIneating 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, exept the six-man crew of the Andrea Gail, a commercial fishing boat tragically headed towards its hellish center.
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Detailed book about the sinking of the Andrea Gail.
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"A superb book" - Washington Post Book World
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If you liked the movie, you have to read this book. It's so much better and more detailed. Great story of triumph over nature.
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This takes place in 1991. A nor'easter created waves 10 stories high. winds of 120 miles an hour. Six men aabord the Andrea Gail, a fishing boat experienced the storm of a lifetime. An on the edge of your seat book.
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FROM THE PUBLISHER
It was the storm of the centurya 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 from off the coast of Nova Scotia. Soon afterward, the boat and its crew of six disappeared without a trace.

The Perfect Storm is a real-life thriller, a stark and compelling journey into the dark heart of nature that leaves listeners with a breathless sense of what it feels like to be caught, helpless, in the grip of a force beyond understanding or control.
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Much better than the movie.
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True story of the Andreaa Gail, Acommercial fishing boat lost at sea in October 1991 during "the perfect storm." Basis for the movie starring George Clooney.
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Movie and book were exciting.
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Excellent condition. Excellent book.
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Lots of descriptive and technical passages on sailing can get overwhelming after a while. Otherwise, a good book.
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I missed George Clooney, but I know much more about death by drowning than I did from watching the movie (or was I just too pre-occupied looking at George??).
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This book grabs you at the start and keeps hold. Unlike many of these disaster stories I've listened to recently, this one is interesting. It is sad. But like the movie, it is fiction based on fact. Nobody really knows what happened once they lost radio contact.
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Great read! More detail than the movie.
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Gripping read.
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This is a riveting read about the downing of the Andrea Gail. Junger explains the dangers of fishing given extreme and not so extreme weather conditions. Gives the reader a greater appreciation for seaman who choose this way of life. Added appreciation for the Coast Guard and other agencies that provide rescue efforts for any size vessel traveling the open seas.
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Don't pass this book up because you've seen the movie, the depth in understandably so much greater in the book. It delves into weather phenomena without being boring. I especially liked the telling of the search and rescue effort in the book.
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This book is up there with 'In Harm's Way' and 'Into Thin Air.' Riveting, an intriguing picture of the life of a fisherman, and the stunning, horrific choices on one fine day that lead to disaster. You won't be able to put it down. One of my all time favorites.
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October 1991. It was "the perfect storm"- a tempest that may happen only once in a centery- a not' easter created by so rare a combination of factors that it could not have been possibly worse. Creating waves 10 stories high and winds of 120 miles an hour, the storm whipped the sea to inconcievable levels few people on Earth have ever sitnessed.
few, except the six man crew of the
Andrea Gail, a commercial fishing boat tragically headed towards it's hellish center.
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If you have seen the movie and want to be entertained then this is probably not the book for you. This goes into aspects of the weather, background of the area, and other facts that aren't covered by the movie. Guess you could call it character development for the ocean, weather, and wind that came into making the perfect storm.
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over 10 months on the NYT best seller list. A great read, especially if you plan to visit Massachusetts sights! Karina
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Loved this book. Excellent recollection of events as Sebastian could research them.
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October 1991. It was "the perfect storm" - a tempest that may happen only once in a century - a nor'easter created by so rate 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 inconcievable levels few people on Earth have evr 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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I saw the movie before I read the book and because I thought the movie was so awful I almost didn't read it.
The book is FABULOUS!! It grabs you early on and doesn't let go until the last page. Even though I already knew how it was going to end I just couldn't put the book down.
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Excellent story based on a real life event. Keeps you on the edge of your seat.
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a true story of men against the sea. a white -nuckle adventure.
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Includes some photos from the movie version.
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I'm not really into reading sad books where I already know the ending - but this one is worth the read. It's the story the movie was adapted from, but the book is better.
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A very interesting book. Hard to put down.
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A very engrossing true story - you'll find this book difficult to put down!
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An excellent and enthralling read, it drops right into the daily lives and daily dangers of these fishermen. At times funny, sad and even frightening, an incredible journey.
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Don't rely on the movie to tell the story.
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a truely gripping story, I couldn't put it down..
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Very interesting, technical, emotional, intense, and scary book. It's not my usual type of book, but I very much enjoyed it.
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I liked this much better than I expected to: usually I read books about women\'s lives, but this was such a vivid description of perils that face fishermen that I was totally caught up in it. As good as the film, or better.
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from Amazon...
Meteorologists called the storm that hit North America's eastern seaboard in October 1991 a "perfect storm" because of the rare combination of factors that created it. For everyone else, it was perfect hell. In The Perfect Storm, author Sebastian Junger conjures for the reader the meteorological conditions that created the "storm of the century" and the impact the storm had on many of the people caught in it. Chief among these are the six crew members of the swordfish boat the Andrea Gail, all of whom were lost 500 miles from home beneath roiling seas and high waves. Working from published material, radio dialogues, eyewitness accounts, and the experiences of people who have survived similar events, Junger attempts to re-create the last moments of the Andrea Gail as well as the perilous high-seas rescues of other victims of the storm.
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Well written and very informative. I learned a lot about swordfish fishing, the men who work on the boats and the families and friends they leave on shore. This is a tragic but very true story of a massive storm system at sea and the many people it affected.
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Excellent account of a true-life situation. Gripping--kept me turning the pages. It was about "the perfect storm" in the north Atlantic in 1991, and the ships that were affected, and how some ships made it through the storm and how one ship tragically didn't make it.
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The true story of the harrowing adventure of the fishing vessel The Andrea Gail and her crew. This is an exciting book that pulls you right into the heart of the characters and the storm!
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i enjoyed this book better than the movie.
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What a story!
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Waaaaaaaaaaaay better than the movie. The book allows you to get to know more characters, not all of whom die. Really interesting read.
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I liked the book better than the movie.
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This is a harrowing account of man versus nature at it's most terrifying. A riveting book.
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It made a great move... it's even a better book!
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A great story about north Atlantic fisherman against the sea.
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An interesting read.
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The true-life story that inspired the George Clooney film.
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very good book
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Stay up all night with this one!
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I read this book a number of years ago when it was first published. It was very good. I couldn't put it down, which doesn't happen very often.
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The true story of a fishing boat lost at sea during a once-in-a-lifetime storm and the basis of the movie of the same name. This book was quite intense and great for readers who enjoy true-life stories.
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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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Exciting to read.
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I loved this book. Captivating. (It was so good that I have avoided seeing the movie. I have heard that it was disappointing to those who had read the book.)
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The book that the movie was based on. October 1991 and the tragic story of the Andrea Gail.
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its like the movie only better
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Guaranteed to blow readers away...A+ - Entertainment Weekly

Quite an interesting book about the commercial fishing industry and the Andrea Gail.
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good read
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a real classic...man against sea
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I saw the movie therefore couldn't read the book, just me.
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Much better than the movie.
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A true story of men agains the sea!
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Waves 10 stories high, winds of 120 miles an hour are what the 6-man crew of the Andrea Gail experienced in October of 1991. Phew. . . .
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From the back of the book:
October 1991. It was "the perfect storm" - a tempest that may happen only once in acentury - 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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Gripping true story and basis for the recent movie-- After reading this book, I definitely have a new appreciation for the swordfish steaks that I pick up at the grocery store-- we rarely consider the hard work or the danger involved.
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It was the storm of the century--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 from off the coast of Nova Scotia. Soon afterward, the boat and its crew of six disappeared without a trace.

The Perfect Storm is a real-life thriller, a stark and compelling journey into the dark heart of nature that leaves listeners with a breathless sense of what it feels like to be caught, helpless, in the grip of a force beyond understanding or control.

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I loved the movie, but couldn't motivate myself to read the book. I got about two chapters in and decided to abandon it.
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great book!
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If I never hear "Perfect Storm" as a simile/metaphor, it will be too soon.
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"Mesmerizing...Packs an emotional wallop." - Boston Globe
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Better than the movie!
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Over ten months on the New York Times Bestselling list.
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 inconcevable 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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From Kirkus Reviews
The experience of being caught at sea in the maw of a \"perfect\'\' storm (that is, one formed of an almost unique combination of factors), a monstrous tempest that couldn\'t get any worse, is spellbindingly captured by Junger, a journalist. It\'s late October 1991, and the Andrea Gail, a fishing boat out of Gloucester, Mass., is making its way home from the Grand Banks with a crew of six, 40,000 pounds of swordfish, and a short market promising big returns. Coming to meet the boat is a hurricane off Bermuda, a cold front coming down from the Canadian Shield, and a storm brewing over the Great Lakes. Things get ugly quickly, unexpectedly. The Andrea Gail is never seen again, lost to 100-foot waves and winds topping 120 miles per hour. Junger builds his story around the vessel; he starts with biographies of the deckhands and the captain, and gives as complete an account of the boat\'s time at sea as he can dredge up, so readers feel an immediate stake in its fate. Since it is unknown exactly how the Andrea Gail sank, and because Junger wanted to know what it was like for the men during their last hours, he details the horrific tribulations of a sailboat caught in the storm, the rescue of the three aboard it by the Coast Guard, and the ditching of an Air National Guard helicopter after it ran out of fuel during another rescue operation. Junger\'s fine dramatic style is complemented by a wealth of details that flesh out the story: wave physics and water thermoclines; what it means if you see whitewater outside your porthole; where the terms mayday, ill-wind, and down East came from. Reading this gripping book is likely to make the would-be sailor feel both awed and a little frightened by nature\'s remorseless power.
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This book as usual was better than the movie.
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I could not get into the book. I loved the movie.
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October, 1991. It was "the perfect storm" - a tempest that may hapen only once 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 the storm's hellish center.
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Paperback.
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I have not read this book.