GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

The Perfect Storm: The Story of the Andrea Gail

June 3, 2008

'Perfect Storm' Author Tells His Own Tale

SALEM -- Like two old fishing buddies, Sebastian Junger and Linda Greenlaw sat at the bar last night and swapped stories about her black eye, the Boston Strangler, and the book that made them both famous, "The Perfect Storm."

Meanwhile, 2,200 people at the O'Keefe Sports Center at Salem State leaned forward, eavesdropping on every word.

The pair appeared at the opening of the 18th annual Salem State College Series with a presentation that seemed equal parts lecture, writing seminar and stand-up comedy act.

Greenlaw described the first time she saw Junger, who found her by chance in a boat yard after months of searching for the woman fishing captain who had ridden out the killer Halloween storm of 1991. Greenlaw suspected that Junger was seeking a job and she sized him as "a definite possibility": clean-cut and sober.

"In spite of the fact that we were in New Bedford, that was a compliment," said Greenlaw.

But Junger was actually fishing for information on the book he was writing, charting the loss of the Andrea Gail, a Gloucester fishing boat that vanished in the storm along with three crew members.

By cooperating, Greenlaw became an important part of that story. In fact, she was probably the last person to contact the Andrea Gail. Months after sharing her experiences with Junger, she read his book. "And I remember thinking 'Wow, this is a great book. It's really a shame nobody's ever going to read it.'"

In fact, people have been reading Junger's book for months, keeping it on best-seller lists and making both Junger and Greenlaw famous, transforming their lives. Eventually, the woman fishing captain wrote her own book, "The Hungry Ocean," which is also a best seller.

And recently a movie company, complete with stars George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, arrived in Gloucester to film a movie version of Junger's true life tale.

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The Perfect Storm: The Story of the Andrea Gail