Friday, 28 October 2016

The Perfect Storm by Sebastian Junger

The Perfect Storm: A True Story of Men Against the Sea by Sebastian Junger
First published by W W Norton in May 1997. RecordedBooks audio edition narrated by Richard M Davidson. The Andrea Gail was lost on this day 25 years ago, the 28th October 1991.

Where to buy this book:
Buy the audiobook download from Audible via
Buy the paperback from Speedyhen
Buy the paperback from The Book Depository
Buy the paperback from Waterstones

How I got this book:
Downloaded from AudioSYNC during their 2015 season

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Having previously only really been aware of The Perfect Storm from its movie poster, I was expecting to be unimpressed by a gungho men triumphing against the sea adventure. Oops! The Perfect Storm is an incredibly well researched factual work of journalistic style reporting which investigates the massive storm that hit North America in late October 1991. Junger presents not only his best educated-guess of what happened to the ill-fated crew of the American fishing boat, Andrea Gail, which was lost during the storm, but also delves into many related areas to provide an all-round education to his readers. If you memorised enough of this information, The Perfect Storm could be a Mastermind specialist subject!

I was fascinated to learn about the history of Gloucester town (Massachusetts) and her shipping fleet, what actually happens on board a swordfish fishing boat, and how such a life affects the men and women who fish. Junger also discusses meteorology and what must occur to create storms, the extensive training of rescue crews, what physically happens to a person as they drown, and how boats do (or don't) keep themselves afloat. These complementary subjects are interspersed with the story of the Andrea Gail and her sister boats during the storm that claimed her. Junger extensively interviewed crews of the other boats so his imaginings of what happened on board as the storm heightened is based solidly in fact, including many direct quotes. This style of writing worked brilliantly for me allowing me to imagine and understand. Perhaps the narrator, Richard M Davidson, wasn't the best as he did stumble and lose pace occasionally, but that didn't detract from a powerful and interesting book.

Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Sebastian Junger / Reportage / Books from America

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