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The Perfect Storm: A True Story of Men Against the Sea [Kindle Edition]

Sebastian Junger
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (984 customer reviews)

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Book Description

There is nothing imaginary about Junger's book; it is all terrifyingly, awesomely real.--Los Angeles Times

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." In a book that has become a classic, Sebastian Junger explores the history of the fishing industry, the science of storms, and the candid accounts of the people whose lives the storm touched. ?The Perfect Storm? is a real-life thriller that makes us feel like we've been caught, helpless, in the grip of a force of nature beyond our understanding or control.

Editorial Reviews Review

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.

Like a Greek drama, The Perfect Storm builds slowly and inexorably to its tragic climax. The book weaves the history of the fishing industry and the science of predicting storms into the quotidian lives of those aboard the Andrea Gail and of others who would soon find themselves in the fury of the storm. Junger does a remarkable job of explaining a convergence of meteorological and human events in terms that make them both comprehensible and unforgettable.

From School Library Journal

The powerfully destructive forces of nature that created the Halloween Gale of 1991 are made vivid through interviews with survivors, families, and Coast Guard rescue crews.True adventure at its best
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
127 of 135 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sleek, Technical, Cold, and a Gripping Story June 4, 2000
By John IV
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book had been languishing on my library shelf for some time and I wanted to get it read before the movie came out, invariably altering its impact. It did not disappoint. It must have been difficult writing a speculative account of the last few days of 6 men's lives, but Junger does makes an admirable attempt. Using what direct quotes he can, the story still comes off as rather detached, which I suppose can't be helped. The novel chronicles the final journey of the fishing vessel Andrea Gail, as it returns home on October 1991 hitting one of the worst storms of the century off the East Coast. The six crewmembers are adequately fleshed out in exposition early on, and their stories will intertwine with those of their searchers and fellow fisherman during their terrifying ordeal. I did find the numerous technical discussions of weather, sea-faring, rescue ops, etc. very interesting. Having just finished Isaac's Storm, another death and destruction by sea/hurricane historical novel I was particularly fascinated and frightened by Junger's clinical and emotionless description of the act of drowning. Considering how that description applied to the crew of the Andrea Gail as well as all those victims in the earlier novel, allowed for moments of morbid personal reflection. The novel really picks up, and is helped by the factual / eyewitness accounts of the other survivors of the Halloween Gale. The latter part of the novel dealing with the various rescues of other foundering ships makes for a quick and intense reading experience. It reads like an adventure story, but it is very sobering to stop and remember that these were real people with families and whose lives were cut so short. I can't imagine the upcoming movie will provide the experience and response the book did, I'm glad I got to it first. Recommended.
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70 of 76 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mesmerizing July 1, 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I usually don't read this type of book. With that said, let me also say that I picked up this book and didn't put it down until I finished the last word. This is not a fictionalized account of what the last moments on the Andrea Gail were like during that horrible 1991 storm. Don't read this expecting huge dramatic moments, overblown sensationalized heroics or a tragic love story. Granted, heroism, romance and drama are certainly involved in this tragic tale of real people facing real events. But what Junger manages to do is educate those of us who are bound to the land about the rigors, dangers and pleasures of those who work in the fishing industry. He weaves in some history of the industry, the fishing waters and of the crew of the A.G. themselves. He also provides some very detailed meteorological information along with specifics about marine behavior and tidal patterns. While reading this book, I would often close my eyes and try to imagine what it would be like to stand onboard facing a sheer wall of deadly water. Or to make the decision to risk my life to save someone else. The disapperance of the Andrea Gail is the focal point of the novel, but Junger also writes about the various rescue efforts taking place at sea during the worst storm in recorded history. Many people lost their lives, many others barely escaped death. This book brings all that to life. I give this book 5 stars because it is very rare for a true-to-life account to touch me and hold my attention for so long. Knowing the grim outcome of these events did not diminish the book's impact.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly Frightening and Thought Provoking June 2, 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I'll admit, I had doubts. I was expecting an exciting, fictionalized version of the actual facts. I was disappointed at first, because the book is written more like a history textbook in present tense. "Billy keeps talking with the other captains, studying surface temperature charts . . . " But after I forced my way past the first couple of chapters, I was hooked. I learned more than I ever wanted to know about fishermen, but that certainly made the crew of the Andrea Gail human to me, and I felt a teeny portion of what those men must have gone through in their last moments. I also have a brand new appreciation for the Coast Guard and the Air Nat'l Guard. My husband is one of those USCG men who spends months on his patrol boat in bad weather to rescue those who find themselves in trouble--whether out of stupidity or bad luck. I now understand his job a little better, and I wouldn't trade places with him for the world. Sebastian Junger does an excellent job leading us into the world of the rescuer, the fishermen, and even the National Weather Service. Some of the bits of historical description can be a bit long-winded and jarring as they shake you out of the story, but they're still interesting. An excellent book that'll make you glad that SOMEONE ELSE is catching your fish and rescuing people. Just don't expect a typical novel-ish style of writing. This is different, but once you get used to it, you might find that the book is hard to put down.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worked for me.. February 10, 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The strength for me of this book is that for once the sea isn't disguised as a person with human-like "emotions." This is not "The Cruel Sea". Junger sets his story in the impacable worlds of physics and economics. Want to know HOW the sea can rise to heights no vessel can endure? Junger will tell you. Want to know WHY men and women risk the graveyard shoals of the Grand Banks - Junger will explain the economics of fish. It gives an inexorable inevitability to the tragedy that follows.
Junger has been described as writing like "a poet who went to meteorology school." He is not a poet. His style, for the most part, is workmanlike. But he tells his tale without undue dramatics, letting the events speak for themselves - while the main character, the sea, sits massively at the outer limit of our human comprehension.
Start this book and it is like running downhill at the edge of control; you know the ending is not going to be pretty, but it isn't that easy to stop.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Very well written book with just a few minor flaws that kept it at 4...
Review of the Perfect Storm by Sebastian Junger.
This book covers the famous unnamed storm which resulted in the deaths of those on the Andrea Gail, untold billions of dollars... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mary
5.0 out of 5 stars Great character development
An exciting story of the 1991 storm. Great character development. A message to everyone that despite the best laid plans of men, nature will prevail, demanding our respect and... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Rick
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very good book, highly recommended.
Published 1 month ago by J. Fernando Rojas O.
5.0 out of 5 stars loved this book
loved this book. if u enjoyed the movie u will still like this. even if u havent seen the movie. very factual.. talks alot about weather but still great
Published 2 months ago by MissCos
1.0 out of 5 stars The most boring book I've ever read.
The most boring book I've ever read, respectively, I did not finish it, because I decided not to spent my expensive free time with this book. Read more
Published 3 months ago by jana wunschova
4.0 out of 5 stars not bad at all
not bad at all. Quite informative. Sometimes a little bit too much with the technical stuff, but this was a great book. Much better than the movie, in my opinion.
Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars As usual the book is better than the movie
As usual the book is better than the movie. I think Junger did a better job of conveying the severity of the sea-state during this event than the movie did, for instance. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Jeffrey A Ross
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
Too long and overly technical
Published 4 months ago by Peter Hollier
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent read
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Very exciting and emotional. Will be reading more of this authors work. A great read.
Published 4 months ago by tdhr001
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book that tells the story of the perfect storm
It was a great book regarding a major storm in history that caused great damage to life and property. Follows different people on land and sea and tells their story. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Robert
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More About the Author

Sebastian Junger is the internationally acclaimed author of The Perfect Storm, which spent over three years on the New York Times bestsellers list and was the basis for a major motion picture starring George Clooney. He is also the author of the New York Times bestsellers Fire and A Death in Belmont. He is a contributing editor to Vanity Fair, and has been awarded a National Magazine Award and an SAIS Novartis Prize for journalism. He lives in New York City.

Junger's time in the Korengal is also the subject of the documentary feature film Restrepo, which Junger directed with award-winning photographer Tim Hetherington. Restrepo, which won the 2010 Grand Jury Prize for documentary at Sundance, will be released theatrically as a National Geographic Entertainment presentation of an Outpost Films Production in July, and will have its worldwide television premiere on the National Geographic Channel this fall.

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