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Do you think the struggle for survival presented in this nonfictional account is more...

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fabiola1 | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 9, 2011 at 6:34 AM via web

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Do you think the struggle for survival presented in this nonfictional account is more or less gripping than a fictional tale would be?

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ladyvols1 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted October 9, 2011 at 10:18 AM (Answer #1)

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In Sebastian Junger's "The Perfect Storm," the actual non-fiction account is much more gripping than a fictional tale.  However, it is important to remember that there is still a great deal of assumption and guessing in this "non-fiction" novel.  The book is written in a  chronology that considers the the last days of the Andrea Gail.  The captain of the Andrea Gail is  Billy Tyne.  He is a well known Gloucester fisherman.  His crew is Bobby Shatford, Michael "Bugsy" Moran, Dale "Murph" Murphy, and David "Sully" Sullivan.  There was a new guy named Alfred Pierre who is considered an outsider.  Bobby Brown is the actual owner of the ship and much of the author's information comes from Christina Cotter, Bobby Shatford's girlfriend and Ethel Shatford, Bobby's mom.  Junger is very careful to put in "maybes" and other words to let the reader know that we really don't know exactly what happened to the Andrea Gail, because no one survived.  Yet, the author's descriptions of these characters, their struggles, and especially his description of the actual physical response to drowning kept me on the edge of my seat.  I laughed and cried, my emotions were completely assaulted on all levels while reading this account of the perfect storm that killed so many people.   

Junger wrote, "the sailors just "disappeared off the face of the earth and, strictly speaking, it's just a matter of faith that these men will never return."

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