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The Perfect Storm by Sebastian Junger

The Perfect Storm (original 1997; edition 1998)

by Sebastian Junger, Richard M. Davidson (Reader)

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4,363691,130 (3.89)147
Title:The Perfect Storm
Authors:Sebastian Junger
Other authors:Richard M. Davidson (Reader)
Info:Random House Audio (1998), Edition: Unabridged, Audio Cassette
Collections:Your library

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The Perfect Storm: A True Story of Men against the Sea by Sebastian Junger (1997)

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English (66)  German (1)  French (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (69)
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@ Andrea Gail — 1991 — Halloween gale sketches of ___ ___ + life of fisherman in Gloucester — Drowning Feeling — No Life of Men — in a Prison ship!

It was the storm of the century - a tempest created by so rare a combination of factors that meteorologists deemed it "the perfect storm."

When it struck in October, 1991, there was virtually no warning. "She's comin' on, boys, and she's comin' on strong," radioed Captain Billy Tyne of the Andrea Gail from off the coast of Nova Scotia. Soon afterward, the boat and its crew of six disappeared without a trace.
  christinejoseph | Apr 15, 2016 |
2.5 stars

It's an interesting book but not so gripping as [Isaac's Storm]. Still, I learned more about fluid dynamics, the physics of meteorology, and the fishing industry. I'm glad I read it, but I'm not actually recommending it to anyone. ( )
  BookConcierge | Feb 8, 2016 |
It's the last days of October 1991. Most of the Gloucester swordfishing fleet is on the fishing grounds and will be there for another week or so. The Andrea Gail, however is headed home. She's off her usual cycle and with a broken ice-machine and a hold full of fish, her men are ready to go home. With the rest of the fleet out, their boat and their fish will be alone in the harbor, promising a good payday for the 6 men aboard. At 6:00 PM on October 28th, she is hailed by the Mary T, to the southeast. This is the last anyone will hear from the six mean aboard; Captain Billy Tyne, David "Sully" Sullivan, Bobby Shatford, Michael "Bugsy" Moran, Dale "Murph" Murphy, and Alfred Pierre.

If you think you know what this book is about, you're probably wrong. Junger of course reconstructs to the best of his, or anyone else's ability, what happened to the Andrea Gail as she tried to ride out the "Storm of the Century," which at one point was so large it's eye stretched from Newfoundland in the north to Jamaica in the south. What I learned about history, meteorology, and the fishing industry, amongst more, could have filled more than this one slim volume. That Junger does all of this in such an accessible way is a testament to his skill with the written word. In addition to the disappearance of the Andrea Gail, he also includes the stories of several other daring rescues, sometimes of the rescuers themselves, that became necessary as this storm terrorized the seaboard and oceans off the northeast coast of North America. Not only did he provide a surprising amount of information in this 236 page book, but he did it in such an accessible manner that I didn't want to put the book down. I needed to know what happened to the Andrea Gail, the Japanese Eishin Maru #78, the Satori, and the Air National Guard para-rescue jumpers who had to ditch their plane when the were unable to refuel mid-air. Junger kept me hooked to the very last page in a way that even a great thriller usually fails to do.

I picked this book up when my curiosity was piqued by the 2000 film of the same name. I was told not to expect the book to be anything like the movie, and it wasn't. It couldn't be though. The novel must stick the facts while the movie had more license to create a fictional account of what happened on board the vessel before it vanished. Both the truth and the fiction, however, have their place and I highly recommend reading and watching them together. ( )
  Mootastic1 | Jan 15, 2016 |
The description of this and the previews I have seen of the movie led me to believe this was about a fishing boat - the Andrea Gail - braving, and eventually succumbing to, the Storm of the Century. It is about that, but it is about so much more. Not only do we follow what it must have been like for the crew of the Andrea Gail in their last moments, but also what it was like for others stuck on the sea during Hurricane Grace and what it was like for those rescuing them. Junger also presents a lot of scientific facts about storms, drowning, and survival. ( )
  bookwyrmm | Jan 8, 2016 |
About a gigantic storm off shore of Canada. It is non-fiction. The beginning is slow with lots of technical information about storms. The end is very interesting with information about real life rescues. Not really about Andrea Gale. ( )
  KamGeb | Apr 4, 2015 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Sebastian Jungerprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Davidson, Richard M.Narratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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It's no fish ye're buying, it's men's lives.
- Sir Walter Scott, The Antiquary, Chapter 11
This book is dedicated to my father, who first introduced me to the sea.
First words
One midwinter day off the coast of Massachusetts, the crew of a mackerel schooner spotted a bottle with a note in it.
The two vessels pass by each other without a word or a sign, unable to communicate, unable to help each other, navigating their own courses through hell.
Meteorologists see perfection in strange things, and the meshing of three completely independent weather systems to form a hundred-year event is one of them. My God, thought Case, this is the perfect storm. As a result of this horrible alignment, the bulk of the sword fleet – way out by the Flemish Cap – is spared the brunt of the storm, while everyone closer to shore gets pummeled.
People who work on boats have a hard time resisting the idea that certain ones among them are marked, and that they will be reclaimed by the sea. The spitting image of a man who drowned is a good candidate for that; so are all his shipmates. Jonah, of course, was marked, and his shipmates knew it. Murph was marked and told his mother so. Adam Randall was marked but had no idea; as far as he was concerned, he just had a couple of close-calls. After the Andrea Gail went down e told his girlfriend, Chris Hansen, that while he was walking around on board he felt a cold wind on his skin and realized that no one on the crew was coming back. He didn't say anything to them, though, because on the waterfront that isn't done – you don't just tell six men you think they're going to drown. Everyone takes their chance,s and either you drown or you don't.
Anyone who has been through a severe storm at sea has, to one degree or another, almost died, and that fact will continue to alter them long after the winds have stopped blowing and the waves have died down. Like a war or a great fire, the effects of a storm go rippling outward through webs of people for years, even generations. It breaches lives like coastlines and nothing is ever again the same.
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Book description
With its nail-biting suspense and nonstop action, The Perfect Storm has the makings of a superb thriller. But this story of a once-in-a-century meterological occurence, the lives it changes, and the lives it claimed is achingly real. Junger's account of the fate of a group of swordfishermen battling a storm off the Newfoundland coast opens a door into the world of commercial fishing, historically among the most dangerous of occupations. Junger reveals how a finite supply of fish forces boats farther out to sea, and in increasingly hazardous conditions. He explains the unique set of circumstances that led to a storm of unpredictable strength and how even the most advanced technology cannot warn of prepare us for the whims of nature. And he shows us the sea in all its power: the gray horizon at dawn; the maelstrom of wind, water, and rain that make up a nor'easter; and the precise structure of a tidal wave the size of an office building as it curves and falls, playing havoc with any ship that dares to cross its path.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 006101351X, Mass Market Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:18 -0400)

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The incredible true account of the most extraordinary storm of the 20th century, this is the story of a tempest born from so rare a combination of factors it was deemed "perfect" and of the doomed fishing boat with her crew of six that was helpless in the midst of a force beyond comprehension. October 1991. It was "the perfect storm"--a tempest that may happen only once in a century--a nor'easter created by so rare a combination of factors that it could not possibly have been worse. Creating waves ten stories high and winds of 120 miles an hour, the storm whipped the sea to inconceivable levels few people on Earth have ever witnessed. Few, except the six-man crew of the Andrea Gail, a commercial fishing boat tragically headed towards its hellish center.… (more)

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W.W. Norton

2 editions of this book were published by W.W. Norton.

Editions: 039304016X, 0393337014

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An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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