The Perfect Storm is a book I have wanted to read for years, but never really sat down to do so. When I was home for Christmas, I saw that my mom had it on the bookshelf, so I picked it up. I remember watching the movie and getting sick to my stomach in the middle of the storm, so that could be why I put off reading the book for so long. Anyway, here are my thoughts.
The book is powerful in many ways. Writing about an event so catastrophic and about a group of men who died at sea has to be difficult. The author admits several times that no one can know for sure how the Andrea Gail spent her last hours at sea or what happened to the crew that went down with her. Instead of glamorizing the storm, Junger interviewed people who survived, asked the right questions, and was obvious when he was doing nothing more that speculating as to what could have happened.
The fishing community of the American northeast is a hard group of people. They live by the sea and they know they could die by the sea. The risks the longboat fishermen take every time they go out to sea is huge, and everyone knows that the final journey of any vessel could be just around the corner.
The perfect storm was a weather-anomoly of the highest form. Several different storms packing huge punches all come together to create a massive storm that literally changed the lives of thousands of people. Hearing the true stories of rescue swimmers, boat captians, and those waiting on land for their loved ones to return was very insightful. I am one of those people who generally likes to read to be entertained, so I tend to avoid most non-fiction. However, this book is told with such passion and attention to detail, I would recommend it to anyone. It is sad and heroic at the same time. It is the story of not just the Andrea Gail but of the people of Gloucester and the lives they live.