The Perfect Storm: A True Story of Men Against the Sea

Sebastian Junger (1997)

I began recommending this book to others even before I’d finished reading it. The story of the unprecedented freak storm that hit the Northeast in 1991 was thoroughly researched and is written from the point of view of the crew of a fishing boat lost and presumed drowned at sea.

Granted, there’s a little too much detail about life at sea in the first half of the book–there’s only so much I find interesting about the logistics and protocol of sword fishing–but when the storm hits and the rescue efforts get underway, this piece of non-fiction becomes riveting, especially the segments focusing on the crews of a sailboat stranded at sea and a downed rescue helicopter. Powerful descriptions of the intense seas and 100-foot waves conjure up vivid, terrifying images.

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