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.
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