Monday, 1 August 2011

AUTOBIOGRAPHY REVIEW: Deadliest Waters - Sig Hansen and Mark Sundeen

Release Date: 08/07/11


Sig Hansen has been a star of the Channel 4's The Deadliest Catch from the pilot to the present. Seen in over 150 countries, the show attracts more than 49 million viewers per season, making it one of the most successful series in the history of cable TV. With its daredevil camera work, unpredictably dangerous weather, and a setting as unforgivable and unforgettable as the frigid Bering Sea, The Deadliest Catch is unlike anything else on television. But the weatherworn fishermen of the fishing vessel Northwestern have stories that don't come through on TV. For Sig Hansen and his brothers, commercial fishing is as much a part of their Norwegian heritage as their names. Descendents of the Vikings who roamed and ruled the northern seas for centuries, the Hansens' connection to the sea stretches from Alaska to Seattle and all the way to Norway. And after twenty years as a skipper on the commercial fishing vessel the Northwestern -- which was his father's before him -- Sig has lived to tell the tales. To be a successful fisherman, you need to be a mechanic, navigator, welder, painter, carpenter, and sometimes, a firefighter. To be a successful fisherman year after year, you need to be a survivor. This is the story of a family of survivors; part memoir and part adventure tale, North by Northwestern brings readers on deck, into the dockside bars and into the history of a family with a common destiny. Built around a gripping tale of a deadly shipwreck like The Perfect Storm, North by Northwestern is the multi-generational tale of the Hansen family, a clan of tough Norwegian-American fishermen who, through the popularity of The Deadliest Catch, have become modern folk-heroes.


Whilst many know Sig and the Hansen family from TV’s Deadliest Catch, the history behind the current crew of the Northwestern is not only fascinating but engrossing as a hard life with tough choices and even greater consequences leads the reader to get a greater understanding of these heroes of the Baring Sea.

The story of the family is told with passion, with gusto and of course with a caring manner that to a certain degree goes against the gruffness that many expect from these Alaskan toughened men. Yes there is swearing within but when life is as harsh as it is, what do you expect. All in, a truly fascinating read and one that leads me to a newfound respect for these men who risk it all as they journey with the harshest mistress of them all, the sea. Cracking stuff.


Angela Addams said...

I have a friend who is addicted to this show - I wonder if she knows about this book...

Pat Hollett said...

Everyone in my family loves watching 'Deadliest Catch'. Its a fantastic show with lots of drama, action and frighteningly scary water and circumstances. Sounds like a fascinating read Gareth. Didn't even know there was a book about it. :)