Saturday, October 19, 2013

Bridget's Mini-Review of The Perfect Storm

When I picked this up maybe a month or two ago at my local Goodwill, I remembered that there had been a movie of the same name a while back and that my dad had really liked it. We tend to have similar-ish taste in movies and books, so though I hadn't seen the movie and I'm sure he hasn't read the book, I thought I would try it. For 50 cents, why not?

What I didn't realize was that when the cover said "A True Story," it really means a true story. Not based on a true story. As I was reading the introduction (something I rarely do, actually, but I'm glad I read this one) and the author started going on about how he wanted this to be a good "piece of journalism," my non-fiction-disliking brain said "uh oh."

I'm not finished with it yet, but I don't think that "uh oh" was totally justified. Maybe partially, since I was expecting something of a swashbuckling tale of "men against the sea," not speculation about what actually happened that night (since nobody can actually know what happened to the men on the Andrea Gail who, SPOILER ALERT, perished in that storm).

The Perfect Storm is actually a combination of very intensive research into sword fishing, boating/fishing culture, safety, and the like, and other fishermans' recollections of what happened during that storm. It makes for an interesting read, but it should definitely be noted that the author assumes SOME knowledge of boating, and that is not true at all for me. My eyes glaze over a bit during the parts where he's talking about all the different things that can happen to a boat during storms because, as exciting and intriguing as that is, I don't know what the large majority of the words mean, so it's a bit hard to follow.

I can't knock this book since I picked it up with mistaken expectations, but had I known that it was actually straight up non-fiction and not a "based on a true story" type of novel, I probably would have given this one a pass. Maybe that's not the same for you, though! If you like non-fiction and you're interested in sword fishing/fishing in general/meteorology/maritime stuff, check this out.


  1. Non fiction can definitely be very hit or miss...and especially miss if you are not expecting it!

  2. I watched the movie. I enjoyed it until I discovered that it is supposed to be nonfiction but everyone involved in the story died before they could tell their story. I was not a happy camper. I am glad to know that the author did do a lot of research; maybe some of his guesses are true.

  3. I watched the movie and the visual effect was awesome. Obviously, I almost cried because Mark Wahlberg died :-(

  4. I watched the movie and liked the desperate and dire atmosphere of it. Even when they're on land, their respective lives were as tumultuous as that sea.

    Great review!


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