Meteorologists called it “the perfect storm,” because of the way several storm combined to create a single enormous, killer storm. With waves exceeding 100 feet this was truly the storm of the century. Junger brings the story to life with excellent detail into the science behind the storm and riveting descriptions based on first hand accounts.
The book follows the lives of the crew members aboard a swordfishing boat called the Andrea Gail. Junger lures you into their lives, giving them personality that you can relate to, before submersing you in the storm along with them. You get to know their home town, family, and friends making the storm very real and very personal.
It begins with background detail on swordfishing, but just like a storm, it builds in intensity until the final, terrifying last moments. Once I got into the book I could not put it down. At times the level of background detail and science would get a little overwhelming, but the power of the storm is so well conveyed that it easily makes up for this. Mother nature is an awesome force and the feeling of dread and isolation is really well done.
Overall, this is an excellent historical thriller on the storm of 1991, including details not only on the doomed, but also the heroic rescuers. Junger makes you feel like you are there, you can sense the giant waves and the fear they cause. If it has a fault it would be the extreme attention to detail and background information, but this is a minor issue and The Perfect Storm is well worth reading.
Side Note: There is a movie by the same title that was fair. It was an accurate portrayal of the book, but missed the intensity and character development.