The Perfect Storm: A True Story of Men Against the Sea

The Perfect Storm: A True Story of Men Against the Sea

by Sebastian Junger

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"There is nothing imaginary about Junger's book; it is all terrifyingly, awesomely real." —Los Angeles Times

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." In a book that has become a classic, Sebastian Junger explores 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 makes us feel like we've been caught, helpless, in the grip of a force of nature beyond our understanding or control.

Winner of the American Library Association's 1998 Alex Award.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393076615
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 05/17/1997
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 87,661
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

Sebastian Junger is the bestselling author of The Perfect Storm and A Death in Belmont. He is a contributing editor to Vanity Fair, and has been awarded a National Magazine Award and an SAIS Novartis Prize for journalism. He lives in New York.


New York, New York

Date of Birth:

January 17, 1962

Place of Birth:

Boston, Massachusetts


B.A. in Anthropology, Wesleyan University, 1984

What People are Saying About This

Dava Sobel

A terrifying, edifying read. . . . Readers . . . are first seduced into caring for the book’s doomed characters, then compelled to watch them carried into the jaws of a meteorological hell. Junger’s compassionate, intelligent voice instructs us effortlessly on the sea life of the sword-fisherman, the physics of a sinking steel ship, and the details of death by drowning.

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The Perfect Storm: A True Story of Men Against the Sea 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 172 reviews.
Bill_in_LA More than 1 year ago
I read this book shortly after it first came out on hard cover, I then reread it several years later. Junger did an excellent job in getting most of the details right. He told it like it was. I served aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Tamaroa (the cutter that rescued most of the Air National Guard helecopter crew) starting shortly after this event took place, I knew many of the key players ivolved in all that took place. I have met many others that were involved as well. (The Tam's decommissioning ceremony was a very emotional event in 1994). If you're looking for an acturate portrailal of what could and sometimes does happen on the open sea, this is a good book for you. It's also good for those who have ever wondered about what the U.S Coast Guard and the Air National Guard deal with on a daily basis. over all an excellent book
Guest More than 1 year ago
Nonstop action from page to page. The comepletly factual book actualy makes the Andrea Gail and the six men aboard come to life along with a monsterous sea with the power of God.
Aimee_Leon More than 1 year ago
The Perfect Storm was a gripping and tragic true story of the struggle between man and strong elements. This non fic novel is about the swordfish ship 'The Andrea Gail' and its crew on the rugged seas. The rare conditions that led to three seperate storms to merdge into one dagerously violent storm is known as the perfect storm. This storm produced waves as high and ten stories high and 120 mile-an-hour winds. Talk about crazy weather. The Andrea Gail is caught right in the worst part of this storm and the crew struggles to survive, the crew's friends and family worry anxiously to hear news of their loved ones. A touching love story and an excellent adventure. The writing was outstanding and very descriptive. Sebastian Junger got all of the setting detailed well and got great point of view of all family members & friends of the victims. The Perfect Storm, was a great and suspenseful non fiction novel. It was the perfect read.
Bookworm1951 More than 1 year ago
This was a well written book. Not just about the Andrea Gail but how this epic storm affected the entire fishing industry, their towns, families, friends, those on the rescue teams, etc. Lots of history regarding the fishing industry. The author explained in great detail how things are handled on the varous fishing boats as well as great meteorological detail about the storm and it's development. I felt that some of this great repetitive detail eventually made parts of the story a little boring - therefore the 4 star rating rather than 5 stars. Overall, a great book that makes you realize it's not just about the Andrea Gail as depicted in the movie. Would recommend this book to any history buff.
svsu More than 1 year ago
The perfect storm book tells what its like to be a sword fisherman on the east coast. I can tell you it is a grueling job with weeks out at sea and little sleep. This book really tells you everything. Watch the movie then read the book. I purchased The Perfect Storm in ebook format.
Anonymous 8 months ago
Greatest story of the monster storm at sea and the people affected.
Anonymous 10 months ago
kenno82 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In my opinion, The Perfect Storm is a benchmark for outstanding non-fiction writing. The way Junger has pieced together this horror story from scientific evidence, local history, and third party accounts of the storm is amazing. I read this while on holiday, looking out from a holiday apartment watching charter boats leave a harbour. Every paragraph I read was one too close to finishing. I'll read this book many times again.
ViGl0721 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I chose to read this book because it has action in it. it had some challenging parts and words, but other than that i highly recommend this to readers who like action packed books.
Schmerguls on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
3035 The Perfect Storm: A True Story of Men Against the Sea, by Sebastian Junger (read 16 Nov 1997) This is a stunning and perfect book. It tells a true story of a storm in late October 1991 in which a swordfish fishing vessel, the Andrea Gail, and its crew six perished. The book is flawless and even I, who have no real at sea experience, was absorbed in the account of the storm and its fury. I was totally bowled over by this excellent, excellent book. The storm was in the vicinity of Sable Island--a place which I have long had an interest in. This book is a gripping gripping read. I presume it is the best book I'll read this year. {But it wasn't--on Dec 21 I read Back to the Front, and it won out, probably mistakenly, over this book to be the best book read in 1997.]
debnance on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A best seller that truly deserved to be a best seller! Excellent story! (Much, much better than the movie)
countrylife on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In my own world, this book was unread, the movie based on it was unseen. But not so in my mother's world - and then she must get to Gloucester. We arranged flights, met at the airport, rented a car and drove to Gloucester, Massachusetts. We spent a lot of time at the Fishermen's Memorial, which made vivid the epigraph in this book: It's no fish ye're buying, it's men's lives. - Sir Walter Scott, The Antiquary, Chapter 11. We drank cokes at the Crow's Nest, walked around the piers and the museum, and contemplated such a life as lived by Fishermen. It was a very moving experience; I determined to read the book.The Perfect Storm covers the hundred-year storm of October 1991 and centers its story on the sword boat fleet that was caught in it. Sword boats are called long-liners because their main line is up to 40 miles long. The author's descriptions of life on a sword boat will cause you to suddenly appreciate whatever job you have. Mr. Junger has created a harrowing sense of place on the seas during a monster storm, and in his setting of Gloucester. A real-life nightmare well-written. 3.8 stars
linedog1848 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In the last couple years I've read two other maritime disaster books: In the Heart of the Sea by Nethaniel Philbrick and In Harm's Way by Doug Stanton, and although this book was a fast read and engaging, I didn't find myself as involved with the characters as in the other books.Perhaps it was simply aptly titled. It was, to me, indeed a book primarily about a storm, more than it was a book about the people in it. Though they figured prominently in the telling of the story, the other two were stories of survival and death. . .this book read like it was just a story of a sinking.
Jenners26 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book documents the fates of several people who had the misfortune to be at sea during the "perfect storm" -- a storm that became unexpectedly big and powerful due to the alignment of several weather systems. The primary story is the fate of the Andrea Gail, a fishing vessel that gets lost in the storm. Other stories of those who encountered the storm -- including a thrilling Coast Guard rescue -- are also chronicled. Junger does a good job of telling a true story in a novelistic way, and his description of what probably happened to the crew of the Andrea Gail is haunting. Like Alive described above, this book was made into a movie (this one starring George Clooney -- swoon)!
HvyMetalMG on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really did not enjoy this book too much. I thought it went way too in-depth about fishing and sea life. I understand they have to paint a picture of what these men faced at sea, but I erally did not care.
winecat on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was an amazing book. The writing fairly leapt off the page.
cvlibrarian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Historical fiction is always an interesting read and this story is exceptional. Junger has the reader relive the experiences of the men on the Andrea Gale as they fight against their demise in one of the most powerful storms in our history. It also delves into the history of fishing dating back to the 1800¿s and gives the reader a sense of what the life of a fisherman is like today. An excerpt of this novel is included in our ninth grade textbook for English and is part of Coachella Valley High School¿s core literature requirement.
rsolimeno on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I read this book way back in the summer of 1999, and just after finishing the book took a family vacation to Cape Cod, and later drove up to visit Gloucester, MA. Junger's description of the town was so well done it almost felt like I had actually been there before.Admittedly, the really riveting story is the storm and the ship at sea. But even the details of the coast guard rescuers, their training, and raw bravery are so well told that this book can consume you. It did me, and it still is one of the most enjoyable books I've ever read.
Griff on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A well told, true tale of the dangers of the sea, focusing on the tragedy of the Andrea Gail and her crew. A book for all, those nautically inclined or not. The story is engaging - you will keep turning the pages.
miketroll on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Sebastian Junger's utterly compelling account of a hurricane at sea. "The Perfect Storm" is a meteorologist's term for the theoretically worst storm possible. In 1991 theory became reality off the New England coast. Such is the power of the writing, the movie spin-off with the same title stirs the imagination weakly in comparison. This is a book to keep you awake at night.
usnmm2 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is another case where the movie has almost nothing in common with the book. The book is very readable even when explaining changes in fishing laws, and how changes in boat design can change its bouyency to the training of the Air force rescue jumpers.
Library_Mole on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
When the narrative stays at sea, the story is captivating; when it hits land, though, it really bogs down.
bibliovore on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A fascinating and well-written piece of nonfiction. Junger does an excellent job of filling in the unknowns with the recollections of others in similar circumstances and interviews with experts, avoiding the docu-drama pitfall. Much superior to the movie, which mashed up characters and events beyond recognition.
ngennaro on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I never saw the movie but the book was a good read. Read this and then watch Discovery's Dangerous Jobs showing the crab fishermen and you will have a whole new respect for the type of work these men do out on the sea. One hopes that the new regulations will prevent people from taking chances and shortcuts just to survive. These men live a hard life and put it on the line every day that they go out.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book The Perfect Storm was a very good book. It had very descriptive and captivating tales of not only the Andrea Gail in, but many other ships and coast guard men. It was interesting to read and I learned a lot from it. I would recommend this for older reads, probably high school or older. It was a good book.