The Perfect Storm by Sebastian Junger “Man Against the Sea.”

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The Perfect Storm


Sebastian Junger


“Recreating the last days of six men who disappeared at sea presented some obvious problems for me. On the one hand, I wanted to write a completely factual book that would stand on its own as a piece of journalism. On the other hand, I didn’t want the narrative to asphyxiate under a mass of technical detail and conjecture. I toyed with the idea minor parts of the story…”  Sebastian Junger, author.

I’m glad I read the forward because I would have loved to look closer into the hearts and minds of those who died in The Perfect Storm. Mr. Junger interviewed those who’d been in similar situations and survived. That satisfied my curiosity.

This is the story of a fleet of fishing boats that fought the “perfect storm” of Hurricane Gloria, a massive storm blowing in from the Mid West and another low-front heading down from Canada. A “Perfect Storm” situation. The worst since the 1800’s this was a terrible trio of weather events that collided on top of the Andrea Gail.  In the days where livelihood came from the sea, fisherman earned their living from their catch, Normally, storms were a minor issue, so fishermen still went out. They dealt with them. In this storm, they had to deal with hurricane force winds, gales and waves  constantly leaping up to 100 feet or more. To know these storms would slam into you was to be forewarned. Not in this case. They didn’t know the extent or ferocity of the weather. And so the tragedy of the Andrea Gail. 1991, RIP and many other fishing boats and crew.

Except for many weighty technical descriptions, the story was exciting and easy to follow.  As interesting as some of the fisherman’s jargon was, I admit to getting bogged down in some of the details. However, their journey at sea won’t be something I’ll get out of my head anytime soon.

This is the first book I’ve read by Sebastian Junger and won’t be my last. This rated a five-star review

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