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Perfect Storm [Hardcover]

Sebastian Junger
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (846 customer reviews)
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Perfect Storm Movie Tie In Perfect Storm Movie Tie In 4.0 out of 5 stars (846)
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Book Description

April 25 1997
The phenomenal bestseller, in its original hardcover edition, soon to be a major motion picture starring George Clooney. It was the storm of the century, boasting waves over one hundred feet high--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 comm' on, boys, and she's comm' on strong, radioed Captain Billy Tyne of the Andrea Gail off the coast of Nova Scotia, and soon afterward the boat and its crew of six disappeared without a trace.

In a narrative taut with the fury of the elements, Sebastian Junger takes us deep into the heart of the storm, depicting with vivid detail the courage, terror, and awe that surface in such a gale. Junger illuminates a world of swordfishermen consumed by the dangerous but lucrative trade of offshore fishing--"a young man's game, a single man's game"--and gives us a glimpse of their lives in the tough fishing port of Gloucester, Massachusetts; he recreates the last moments of the Andrea Gail crew and recounts the daring high-seas rescues that made heroes of some and victims of others; and he weaves together the history of the fishing industry, the science of storms, and the candid accounts of the people whose lives the storm touched.

The Perfect Storm is a real-life thriller that leaves us with the taste of salt air on our tongues and a breathless sense of what it feels like to be caught, helpless, in the grip of a force of nature beyond our understanding or control. We know on the strength of this stark and compelling journey into the dark heart of nature, what it feels like to drown.


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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.

From School Library Journal

The powerfully destructive forces of nature that created the Halloween Gale of 1991 are made vivid through interviews with survivors, families, and Coast Guard rescue crews.True adventure at its best
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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First Sentence
ONE midwinter day off the coast of Massachusetts, the crew of a mackerel schooner spotted a bottle with a note in it. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Storm of the Century June 16 2004
Format:Hardcover
Those who make a living catching fish from the ocean are always placing themselves at great risk. They often spend several weeks out in the ocean on a relatively small vessel (usually less than 100 feet in length), hoping that they will land that once- in- a- lifetime catch of fish that will improve their financial well- being.
When things go as planned, the life of a fisherman can be adventurous and rewarding. But when the search for sea- dwelling creatures is interrupted by a violent storm, a fun situation can turn critical and even fatal. Such is the case of the men and women who became stranded at sea in the "storm of the century", back in October of 1991. Also referred to as the "perfect storm", this violent act of nature left many people dead without a trace. Author Sebastian Junger wrote this book about the people who were aboard these boats, with quotes from some of the survivors and speculation about what could have happened to those who never returned.
The "Perfect Storm" occurred in the North Atlantic Ocean, just east of the New England states, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia. This area is not normally known for producing violent storms, due to its northern latitude. This sudden turn in the weather took everyone by surprise, including those who were out at sea. They had no forewarning about the intensity of this storm, which seemed to brew up out of nowhere. Most of the captains and crew members have dealt with storms before so they knew what procedures to follow. But nothing could properly prepare them for the massive force with which they were suddenly faced.
Junger spends most of this book talking about the people who manned these boats, the events leading up to when they set sail, and the storm itself.
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By F. Tang
Format:Paperback
I knew nothing about gigantic storms on the open ocean, nor the lives (hard at play, harder at work) of commercial fisherman.

I still know, essentially, nothing, but thanks to this tautly written book (think modern day Hemmingway prose) my respect for both subjects has risen considerably.

Mr. Junger touches on the lives of all who were impacted and exposits a great deal of related, possibly tangential but no less interesting, information. He gives you a real appreciation for Mother Nature's fury and mankind's determination.

The initial read was engrossing - subsequent reads are still a joy to behold.
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4.0 out of 5 stars John A. McPhee of the sea. Sept. 2 2006
By bernie TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Just as John A. McPhee outlines the history of oranges in the book "Oranges", Sebastian Junger outlines "Men Against the Sea."

In the very beginning of the book Sebastian Junger tells you that this is not a novel or a fictionalization of the events of the last moments of the Andrea Gail. He believes if you read any fiction that you would doubt the parts that are real facts. To this end He has includes many pieces of information about men against the sea; He describes the sea, equipment needed to deal with the sea and the lifestyle of the men who deal with the sea.

Now some people may find his writing style has a feeling of tedium, tedium, and t-e-d-i-u-m. I find it just being through enough to not leave out any piece of information to tie this all together. How ever you may have to make an effort to continue through it.

Also Like John McPhee, Sebastian Junger actually was writing about different dangerous jobs and magazine articles when he sold this book before it was put together. He struggled to balance this between a sort of documentary and thrill of the story. I think he did a good job.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A well written book about a killer storm April 8 2005
Format:Hardcover
This book is part weather report, part fisherman's tale, and part climatological lesson. On their own, chances are the book would have been a flop. But throw them together, and add a spice of human interest, and you have the makings of a great book.
Sebastian Junger does a nice job of writing about a storm that took place off the coast of New England, and the effects it had on the community. And although one might thing a story about a storm might be kind of dull, the storm is really the main character of the book. Every detail on what goes into turning your average run-of-the-mill storm into a 'perfect' storm is well researched and well written. And perhaps most importantly, it is written in such a manner so that the average read isn't lost in a lot of scientific talk.
No matter what your background is, if weather is something that interests you, and on some levels weather and its causes and effects interests everyone, this book is worthwhile reading.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Perfect Journalism Sept. 22 2004
Format:Hardcover
Regardless of personal choice, this book is an outstanding piece of journalism.
The loss of the men in which you began to love as brothers, sons or friends; The tragedy of the fisherman; The bravery of the rescue services and the relentlessness of the most powerful force on Earth are all drawn together in a devistating and incredible tale.
Forget the film - it's more than just disappointing in comparrison. The Perfect Storm is a modern classic and i'd recommend it without hesitation.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Vivid and moving April 11 2004
Format:Paperback
Very detailed and moving account of the sinking of a ship off the coast of Massachusetts. Paints a very clear picture of the power and unpredictability of the sea and the weather, and what options humans have when they become caught in it. Occasionally overdid the technical information, but overall, a very vivid and good book.
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Most recent customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars EVER BEEN THERE?
9 OF 10 ADVENTURE STORIES (INC. WAR STORIES)i find lacking & Mr. Junger & His perfect storm qualifies. Read more
Published on July 9 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars Not like the film, thankfully
Please disregard all those "reviews" by teenagers and grade schoolers that describe the book by recounting the movie. They are two separate things. Read more
Published on March 23 2004 by Huwaryu
5.0 out of 5 stars A long, but gripping tale
The Perfect Storm is a fascinating true tale of one tragic journey of the commercial fishing boat, the Andrea Gail, which sunk during the "storm of the century. Read more
Published on March 22 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Good and interesting reading.
I saw the movie first and enjoyed. Wish I would of read the book first. The book has some history on navegation and explanation of weather conditions. Read more
Published on March 17 2004 by Al Rodrigo
3.0 out of 5 stars Ms.O book review Colin McKeefery
The Perfect Storm is a great book that tells a story about a fishing boat and the storm of the century.It takes place on Halloween which is kinda spooky. Read more
Published on Feb. 25 2004 by "wwwyoung21n"
3.0 out of 5 stars Ms.O book review Colin McKeefery
THE PERECT STORM is a great book that tells a story about a fishing boat and the storm of the century.It takes place on halloween which is kinda spooky. Read more
Published on Feb. 25 2004 by "wwwyoung21n"
3.0 out of 5 stars Ms.O book review Charlie...
The Perfect Storm was a good book. Sebastian Junger is an amazing author. He took a story that could have been "okay" and made it great. Read more
Published on Feb. 17 2004
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