October 1991. It was "the perfect storm" - a tempest that may happen only once in a century - a nor'easter created by so rare a combination of weather conditions that it could not possibly have been worse. Creating waves one hundred feet high and winds of 120 miles an hour, the storm whipped the sea to inconceivable levels. Tragically, the six-man crew of the swordfish boat ANDREA GAIL headed directly towards the storm's inescapable center. Things got ugly quickly, unexpectedly. Working from published material, radio dialogues, eyewitness accounts, and the experiences of people who have survived similar storms, Junger attempts to re-create the last, fatal, moments of the ANDREA GAIL as well as the heart-stopping rescues of other victims of the storm.
"...a wild ride that brilliantly captures the awesome power of the raging sea and the often futile attempts of humans to withstand it." (Los Angeles Times Book Review)
Meteorologists 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.