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North by Northwestern: A Seafaring Family on Deadly Alaskan Waters Hardcover – March 30, 2010


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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

The fishing vessel captain prominently featured in all three seasons of Discovery Channel’s Deadliest Catch tells his family’s story and that of the Norwegian American role in Pacific Northwest fishing—and not only in the now-declining crab industry. If this family saga has a hero, it is Sig’s father, Sverre, who survived immigration from Norway, service in the cold-war army, several shipwrecks, and raising three civilized, if somewhat original, sons to become one of the deans of the crab-fishing fleet in its golden era and still die peacefully at home. Captain Sig still takes his father’s boat into the Bering Sea, one of the harshest environments fishermen have ever faced, and is proud in a gentlemanly way of his Norwegian heritage and celebrity status. Nothing more nor less than a cracking good sea story. --Roland Green

Review

“A chronicle that reads like a collection of your crazy buddy's bar stories about his crazier old man.”
Outside Magazine
 
"Captain Hansen's passionate love for his work, for the ocean, and for his fellow fishermen is undeniable and admirable."
Examiner.com
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books; 1 edition (March 30, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312591144
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312591144
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (157 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #663,566 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 36 people found the following review helpful By J. Jameson on March 31, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I received this book today and read it in one sitting, could not put it down. If you enjoy watching Deadliest Catch you will love this book. The book reads just like Sig talks, which is a plus. He takes us back to his roots and explains how he became a fisherman. I HIGHLY recommend this book. Even if you don't watch the show, you will enjoy this book!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Linda Smith on April 10, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Interesting book for fans of "Deadliest Catch". Provides good history of how the Northwestern began and how it has evolved into a state-of-the-art fishing boat. Great characters and insight into the family that has fished this boat for years. Easy to read but definitely not a literary masterpiece. Highly recommend this read to any fans of the show who want to know how it all came about.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 5, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This was an exceptional book in many ways. Obviously, Sig Hansen is an incredibly fascinating person. The co-author did an amazing job of putting his stories together in an interesting and easy to follow way. The book really provides great depth in to his personality.

Most of us find Sig to be a bit of an enigma. We have great admiration for his power, work ethic, and bravery, but struggle with his lack of compassion. I think Sig largely communicates the same in this book. It is always pleasing to me when somebody can evaluate themself with some objectivity.

There is a very interesting technical description of the crabbing process and the science of crab as a species. It is just enough information to give the reader a much better grasp of the process without boring them with the details.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By C. Bennett VINE VOICE on September 24, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I purchased the eBook version for my reader, and was pleasantly surprised when I started to read. So surprised that I stayed up late to read it all in one sitting! This book is much, much more than just an accessory to the TV show. It is more than a must-read for fans of "Deadliest Catch."

It also covers much, much more than that. There is an insider's view of the Norwegian immigration to the United States, in particular Washington state in the early 1900's. There is a detailed history of the evolution of crab fishing and the Marco crab boat's evolution to supremacy. I was fascinated by the attention to historical details, such as the use of surplus Army cots to build the first crab pots. The wisdom of a seasoned fisherman peppers the book - discussing why certain boat designs work better than others, why a tank full of solid ballast is better than tanks full of mobile crab, and why navigation at sea is not as simple as going in a straight line from Point A to Point B.

Encircling all these historical details are the stories of the Hansen family in the USA. His father's boats. Moving up, moving down and out. The evolution of a skipper/captain.

This book will satisfy the fans. It covers the ground that fans will want to know about - close calls out at sea, pranks between the crew members, embarrassing growing-up stories among the Hansen brothers, and how the Northwestern came to be on TV. It also tells the story of how the first coveted F/V Northwestern jackets came to be!

The digital version of this book had some minor issues. There are many, many words which had been spliced - there is a space in the middle of the word or a dash in the middle of the word inappropriately. The best feature of the digital version, however, was the click-able index. Next to the word in the index was a hyperlink that you could click, which would take you right to the reference.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By N. John on June 4, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I'm a native Puget Sounder with Norwegian roots who has watched "Deadliest Catch" as often as I'm able to. I got this book in hopes of learning more about the commercial fishing industry, Sig's Norwegian family and heritage, and to get a sense of him as a person. I was pleasantly surprised to become engrossed in this book and finished it in 2 days. It was well-written and I believe carried the voice of Capt.Sig throughout. I got all I was looking for and much more in terms of what I had hoped to learn. The thread of the story of Sverre Hansen aboard F/V Foremost was a nail-biter.

Captain Sig's devotion to his family of origin and his wife and children are very evident as is his pride in his Norwegian heritage. The roots go very deep here and I relished the tails of his father's growing up on Karmoy, an island off the Norwegian coast, his immigration to America and eventual move to Ballard, and the scores of other Norwegian immigrants who also fished out of Ballard.

I relished the references of so many places I knew in Ballard "then" before the Norwegian presence and flavor was replaced by the condos and trendy shops. He comes across as a man of passion and a typical Squarehead work ethic which makes him a force to be reckoned with. I've not fished commercially so I can't say if the way he drives his brothers and crew is typical or not but after the sleep deprivation alone I would probably not fare well at all and would be sent packing.

This is a fun, interesting, suspenseful and informative read and adds another dimension to "Deadliest Catch" when I watch it now.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By BeachBunny on September 30, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Unlike many other books about celebrities, this one feels genuine. I don't sense a ghost writer here. Instead, I hear the exact syntax which Sig Hansen often uses when talking on Deadliest Catch. I enjoyed hearing about the family, its fishing history and traditions, and what things were like in the old days and the old country. Pacing is good and the book doesn't dwell upon any particular subject for too long. Sig also does a good job explaining the business and procedures of fishing and the differences between species & such.

You can tell Sig dictated/wrote this book without a ghost writer, and you can almost hear him reading it in your mind, but alas they used a "professional" reader. Darn shame, but still very enjoyable.
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