- Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: Hachette Books; Reprint edition (January 18, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1401310443
- ISBN-13: 978-1401310448
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.9 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 506 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #78,625 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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A Captain's Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALs, and Dangerous Days at Sea Paperback – January 18, 2011
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About the Author
Captain Richard Phillips grew up in Underhill VT, with seven brothers and sisters. He married Andrea Coggio in 1988--she is an emergency room nurse--and together they have two children. Phillips is a 1979 graduate of the Massachusetts Maritime Academy and became captain of the MV Maersk Alabama in 2009.
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I had bought this book before the talk but didn't get a chance to read it all the way through. But the next day I sat down and read the entire book and I'm so glad that I had it right there. I was able to use the book to relive parts of the talk and to better understand some of the fine points of his very brave adventure. When you see a movie of an event like this, you have to wonder how much is Hollywood and how much is reality, but after having seen him talk and having read this book, that movie is extremely close to portraying exactly what happened. In the Q&A after the talk, in fact, someone asked him that very question: How much of the movie was invented for drama? His reply was that while certain bits of the timelines were altered in small ways and certain events that happened weren't actually shown (in the movie and news stories there were only three shots fired, for example, but in reality many were fired), most of the movie was a very accurate reflection of actual events.
If that's the truth, and I believe it is, this is one very brave guy. In the face of near certain death, he put his ship's cargo and his crew ahead of his own life--and he figured out a way to outwit the pirates very early on. It was a gamble, but it saved everyone's lives.
I highly recommend both this book and the film. Books like this always have a ghost author involved because, let's face it, he's a sea captain not a writer, but it is his voice that comes through. And I really hope that the writing bug will get ahold of the Captain, because I'd love to hear more about the sea and about his life as a Merchant Marine.
If you get the chance to see Captain Phillips speak, do whatever you have to do to get there. In the meantime, what a great summer read this is--I can't wait to read it a second time. My only regret is that I didn't get an opportunity to ask him to sign my book! Next time.
Not enough praise can be given to the Navy Seals who operate behind the scenes but whose operations are seen through Captain Phillip's eyes, in the few, but important glimpses he gets of them. A wonderful true story told with compassion by the man who lived it.
The book itself is easy reading, it is such an interesting career choice and you learn so much about being a Maritime sailor. Add to that the touching relationship with his wife and children and of course the amazing rescue and wonderful job by the Navy Seals makes this a great read. I couldn't put it down, even though I knew the result! I love the part where he says we are all much stronger than we know. Very uplifting.
You did great, Captain Phillips, I'm proud you're one of us and that people like you still exist. Loved the "Irish" tribe thing, too!! Those Irish roots go deep and definitely give us strength when times are tough. Thank you for a wonderful read.