‘The Perfect Storm’ is an absolutely chilling read. (Especially in this stormy weather.) It is a non-fiction novel telling the stories of what happened to various crews and sea vessels during an unprecedented storm in 1991.
Junger mainly follows the crew of the Andrea Gail, a sword fishing boat which sunk during the storm. Where facts cannot give shape to the story -because the crew doesn’t live to describe the storm- Junger makes critical guesswork by piecing together the survival stories of many other boats which were out in the storm and some rescue missions.
It seems as though, to do the tradgedy justice, Junger wanted to go into detail about absolutely everything involved in the deaths of the crew. There is a chapter when he delves into the science of drowning. I went cold just reading it. Drowning is probably one of the worst things I can imagine.
There are also long parts of the book where he discusses, in depth, meteorology, storms, behavior of waves and weather systems. This got a little boring and I skipped a lot of these pages.
All in all, if you want a horrifyingly real portrait of the dangerous life of fishermen around the Grand Banks of Canada and northern America… this is the book to read.
You might also like:
‘War’ by Herman Junger (my husband Bjorn liked this book better than ‘Perfect Storm’
‘In Cold Blood’ by Truman Capote (also a non-fiction novel)
‘Mutiny on the Bounty’ by John Boyne
‘The Shipping News’ by E. Annie Proulx (set around same locations)