Jacket of The Perfect Storm

The Perfect Storm
Sebastian Junger

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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."

So begins the jacket blurb for this best seller that covers this October, 1991 storm from the perspective of the longline boats that were caught in it and reconstructs the last days of the Andrea Gail, a Gloucester boat that tragically went down with all hands in the storm.

This book belongs on the "must read" list of anybody with an interest in commercial fishing, in meteorology, or in sea stories in general. In great detail - but without being ponderous - Mr. Junger provides a background on the swordfish fishery, remarkable insights into the lives of modern commercial fishermen and women, where storms come from and their often tragic human consequences. After reading it, it's doubtful that anybody will take a fish dinner for granted again.

The Perfect Storm will also reward readers that are connected to commercial fishing in the Northeast with its inclusion of many people that are still in the business.   

W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., New York, NY, 1997