In a narrative taut with the fury of the elements, Sebastian Junger takes us deep into the heart of the storm, depicting with vivid detail the courage, terror, and awe that surface in such a gale. Junger illuminates a world of swordfishermen consumed by the dangerous but lucrative trade of offshore fishing -- 'a young man's game, a single man's game' -- and gives us a glimpse of their lives in the tough fishing port of Gloucester, Massachusetts. He recreates the last moments of the "Andrea Gail" crew and recounts the daring high-seas rescues that made heroes of some and victims of others; and he weaves together 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 leaves us with the taste of salt air on our tongues and a breathless sense of what it feels like to be caught, helpless, in the grip of a force of nature beyond our understanding or control. We know, on the strength this stark and compelling journey into the dark heart of nature, what it feels like to drown.
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.