The Perfect Storm

By Sebastian Junger,

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

Book description

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." In a book that has become a classic, Sebastian Junger explores the history of the fishing industry, the science of…

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Why read it?

2 authors picked The Perfect Storm as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

This is one of the nonfiction books I read as a teenager that convinced me to become a professional writer. The author, Sebastian Junger, doesn’t just describe the titular storm (which hit the U.S. East Coast in 1991) in terrifying detail—he also manages to assemble all of the weather-driven chaos into a real, gripping narrative. We don’t know a lot about what actually happened to the Andrea Gail, the fishing boat at the center of the narrative, but Junger recreates its final hours in a way that feels bracingly real—and heartbreaking.

Even if you don’t like nonfiction books, The…

There are passages in certain books that remain with you long after you’ve put them down. The Perfect Storm contains one such passage. Based on the experience of a man who drowned and was brought back to life, Junger paints the most soul-stiffening picture of what it is like to drown found in modern literature. Taking readers into the pubs of Gloucester, and the wheelhouse of the Andrea Gail, Junger tells a traditional story in a fresh and creative way, weaving novelistic devices into a well-researched narrative. 

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