A True Story of Men Against the Sea
Written by: Sebastian Junger
Narrated by: April Matthis
Rating: 2 – If you’re a fan of the ocean, ships, fishing, survival, and nature’s wrath
Fierce Seas Not Appreciated by Laymen and Inviting to Seamen
In the grand scheme of things, this book is important for informing the general public about the sacrifices made to bring seafood to their dinner table. My comment – like the book itself – isn’t overly dramatic, it is what it is: inexorable death.
Regularly near the top of “Most Dangerous Jobs” lists, deep sea fishing is an unforgiving career with high reward for the most senior and mediocre to moderate compensation for those just starting out on the boats. Junger presents this account throughout the book following multiple crews as they navigate the perils of their profession.
A nice addition was the description of the Coast Guard rescue swimmers and Air Force Pararescuemen (PJs) and their helicopter crew counterparts. This book talks about the rescue efforts underway for this storm and their devastation when faced with their own potential demise.
I originally saw the movie upon its first release and was impressed, if not overwhelmed, from the graphical display. Like most screen adapted adventures, the movie provides that perspective of extremity that is difficult to imagine without prior exposure to the possible extent of nature’s power.
Having previously read Junger’s, Tribe, I’m a big fan of his insightfulness and writing style. This book is far more dense than Tribe and the details of crew, equipment, and vessels engaged in this work are saturated throughout.
Other works for consideration:
1. Sea Stories, by William H. McRaven
2. Turn the Ship Around, by L. David Marquet
3. Tribe, by Sebastian Junger