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Time Bandit: Two Brothers, the Bering Sea, and One of the World's Deadliest Jobs Hardcover – April 8, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Gripping . . . enjoyable reading.”—Roanoke Times

“You know that cool reality-TV show Deadliest Catch? . . . The boat captains featured on the series . . . continue to scare us in this behind-the-scenes book.”—Sacramento Bee

“This boys’ own adventure is delivered with the irresistible bluster of a fisherman raving to a rescuer about how he has just cheated death . . . again!”—Sydney Morning Herald

“Their first-person accounts matter-of-factly explain what it’s like to constantly face death on the Bering Sea and what it does to your life back on land.”—Rochester Democrat and Chronicle


From the Trade Paperback edition.

About the Author

On board Time Bandit, their family owned and operated vessel, brothers Johnathan and Andy Hillstrand share the skippering duties. Johnathan, a resident of Homer, Alaska, takes the helm during the king crab season. When not on deck, chances are he can be found on the back of his Harley Fat Boy. During opilio season it is Andy who sits in the wheelhouse. In the off-season, however, he can be found training horses on his ranch in Indiana.

Malcolm MacPherson is a former correspondent for Newsweek and the author of more a dozen books including most recently the satirical war novel Hocus Potus and the nonfiction account of battle in Afghanistan, Roberts Ridge. He lives near the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia with his wife and children.

www.timebandit.tv/
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; First Edition edition (April 8, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345503724
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345503725
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.9 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (165 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #115,148 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is a true "HARROWING" spine-tingling story about Johnathan and Andy Hillstrand, two brothers who make their living as Alaskan Bering Sea crab fisherman. This captivating book is not only a scintillating biography but also an absolutely hypnotic first hand education into the entire Alaskan crabbing industry. "TIME BANDIT" is the name of their 298-ton, 113-foot boat that has a "hold" capacity of 120,000 pounds for king crab and 175,000 pounds for opilio. By the time a potential reader finishes this book I predict you will have come to the same conclusion I have: that life on the deck of a Bering Sea crabbing boat being bounced around like a ping pong ball in a wind tunnel, with "Williwaw-Winds" that can reach 130 mph at their peak, with waves over 40 feet high, with temperatures in Alaska hitting as low as 80 below zero, is truly the "last-frontier" as far as employment! And due to the aforementioned work environment, potential employees are not exactly Ivy League button-down types. Johnathan says: "The crews who work best on deck are animals who should be dropped off at the sea buoys on the way to port; we could pick them up on the way out. They are only trouble on land and end up in fights and in jail. I want the animals. But I do not want to take care of them."

The fear of death in this industry isn't really a fear, but an assumed statistic that has to be thought of as always happening to someone else. Because of this visceral "grim-reaper" of the sea that is always implicit but never acknowledged, there is an unwritten code between fishermen to respond even if not asked when a life or boat is in peril. "The killer is the sea.
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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Deborah Wunsch on April 12, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I got this book and finished it in less than 2 days. This is the story about the Hillstrand brothers, their childhoods, and their occupations as captains of the Time Bandit Alaska crab fishing boat. I laughed, I cried, and was also on the edge of my seat as I read it. I also felt as though they were sitting right with me and they were telling me their incredible story as I read it. I highly recommend this book for those who are fans of the show Deadliest Catch or for those who are looking for a good book to read.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By ATTICUS on April 8, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Look no further if you want to know more about what makes Bering Sea fishermen brave and dariing and even great. Andy and Johnathan had unusual, to say the least, upbringings; they have lived on the edge since they were toddlers. This is an inside view of their lives (and their families' lives) that the cable TV program, great as it is, can't show. This is a must read for fans of the show and for arm-chair adventurers everywhere.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Karen J. Carpenter on May 18, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I was really looking forward to the "inside scoop" from the Time Bandit and basically learned very little with the exception of how many women Jonathan has slept with (not graphic, just mentioned in passing numerous times)...it seems like 2 or 3 times in each chapter I had to read that he slept with another woman...it was to the point he sounded like a high schooler bragging about his "conquests".
It was refreshing to gain background family knowledge from childhood and to discover how he & Andy took over their dad's boat which he basically commissioned to be built for them, but could have done with less reminising about the women.
Keep in mind I am a woman, so if this book is for a man, maybe he won't be so offended.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By lovestoread on June 3, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I loved this book. I wasn't sure what to expect when I purchased it but it was well worth the read. I laughed, cried, laughed some more, and just couldn't put the book down. I really enjoyed it.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Robert C. Bennett on April 14, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I was really excited to receive this book and I immediately got to work on it. I finished it in under 2 days and was only disappointed that the book had to end.

On a subject that has been done (recently) by many authors I found a fresh outlook on the subject. It was a story that was written out of love and passion. The armature writer skills were seen in the book, but the plot and story was so driving that I did not even care, in fact it was refreshing to have a story told in such a raw and honest form. The story of their lives is an engaging and touching tale that is tied together in the story of Jonathan's ordeal.

I would recommend this book to anyone, especially someone who wants a good, passionate story that is raw and free of the bloating of modern literature.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By L. F. Smith VINE VOICE on August 15, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Die-hard fans of Discovery Channel's The Deadliest Catch will enjoy this book. It's a sort of dual biography of Andy and Johnathan Hillstrand, and it fills in many of the details the show has never discussed. Their complex relationship with their father, how they came to own the Time Bandit, the nature of their business partnership, etc., are all detailed. The book has an interesting structure, with chapters alternating between Johnathan and Andy, as Jonathan drifts alone on a disabled small fishing boat.

That structure is clearly the work of their co-author, Malcolm MacPherson. In fact, it would be much more accurate to say the book is "by Malcolm MacPherson, based on interviews with Andy and Johnathan Hillstrand" than to say, as it does on the cover, that it's "by Andy and Johnathan Hillstrand, with Malcolm MacPherson."

This is made clear right from the first page. Anyone who's watched the TV show knows that the Hillstrands have distinct manners of speaking, and they are not formal, nearly academic manners. MacPherson writes the brothers' chapters in a single, formal voice-- which is clearly his-- with occasional bits of each brother's actual words thrown in. At times, the effect is almost comical.

I would have preferred that the book be written in the brothers' distinctive and authentic voices. However, having said that, the book is an entertaining page-turner as it is. In addition, it contains a large amount of information about crab biology and behavior, the economics and politics of the fishing industry, and the difficulties of remaining in a business that is rapidly industrializing.

I enjoyed the book a great deal. It's a quick read that will please any fan of the Hillstrands and the TV show.
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