The Perfect Storm
In October, 1991, the Atlantic Ocean was the site of what one person termed "the perfect storm". It has also been called the storm of the century, and holds records for its wave heights and wind speed. Junger recounts the lives of some of the people caught in the storm. Some live, others die. Some boats are rescued, some barely affected, and one, the Andrea Gail disappears totally.
He starts the story in Gloucester, Massachusetts, the fishing town where the Andrea Gail left port the last time. He has interviewed people, family members, hung out in the bars, and gone out on boats with the fishermen. He describes the life of a fisherman, the intensity, the dangers, the rewards. He lets the reader get a glimpse of this different lifestyle.
He describes the probable storm conditions of that disaster. These descriptions come from eye witness accounts, meteorological surveys, and postulation as to what was probably happening at places no one living saw. The book follows rescue teams as they go out into dangerous conditions that could claim even the most experienced rescuer's life. It is gripping.
This is not a happy book. It does not get mired down, and is clearly told. There are times when the reader rejoices at a rescue. There are times the reader wants to cry for the missing. Junger sets a good tone, keeping the book factual, dealing with personal feelings, and also how people deal with disaster. It is well worth reading.
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