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

4.7 out of 5 stars 177 customer reviews

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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 (177 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #495,580 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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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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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I would have liked a little less family history and more personal incidents with Sid and his sons, etc. There were funny stories that I enjoyed, and overall it was a very interesting book that I finished in two days. It did get a bit slow at times, but didn't last for long. I also read the Phil Harris book that was written by his sons, and it was easier reading for me and more interesting and entertaining too. But I would recommend North by Northwestern to anyone who is interested in Sig and/or Deadliest Catch.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As someone from Scandinavian descent but not a fisherman I appreciated the detail of the immigrants that came from that part of the world and how they are part of American history and how we relate to the fisheries in the Northwest

I like the detail and the stories that Captain Hanson included in this book I think anyone that watches deadliest catch or is interested in the history of the industry or likes to hear the stories of how immigrants came here and worked hard and did well that they will like this book I give it four stars
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