The Finest Hours by Michael J. Tougias & Casey Sherman
The True Story of the U.S. Coast Guard's Most Daring Sea Rescue

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 5 Critic Reviews

For the fan of marine adventure and heroic public service, the book captures the spirit of those who had to go out -- and those who did come back. This book captures the wit, grit and sacrifice of Coasties and their boats.
-Star Tribune

Synopsis

The true story of an incredible disaster and heroic rescue at sea told by two masterful storytellers.

In the winter of 1952, New England was battered by the most brutal nor'easter in years. As the weather wreaked havoc on land, the freezing Atlantic became a wind-whipped zone of peril.

In the early hours of Monday, February 18, while the storm raged, two oil tankers, the Pendleton and the Fort Mercer, found themselves in the same horrifying predicament. Built with "dirty steel," and not prepared to withstand such ferocious seas, both tankers split in two, leaving the dozens of men on board utterly at the Atlantic's mercy.

The Finest Hours is the gripping, true story of the valiant attempt to rescue the souls huddling inside the broken halves of the two ships. Coast Guard cutters raced to the aid of those on the Fort Mercer, and when it became apparent that the halves of the Pendleton were in danger of capsizing, the Guard sent out two thirty-six-foot lifeboats as well. These wooden boats, manned by only four seamen, were dwarfed by the enormous seventy-foot seas. As the tiny rescue vessels set out from the coast of Cape Cod, the men aboard were all fully aware that they were embarking on what could easily become a suicide mission.

The spellbinding tale is overflowing with breathtaking scenes that sear themselves into the mind's eye, as boats capsize, bows and sterns crash into one another, and men hurl themselves into the raging sea in their terrifying battle for survival.

Not all of the eighty-four men caught at sea in the midst of that brutal storm survived, but considering the odds, it's a miracle—and a testament to their bravery—that any came home to tell their tales at all.

Michael J. Tougias and Casey Sherman have seamlessly woven together their extensive research and firsthand interviews to create an unforgettable tale of heroism, triumph, and tragedy, one that truly tells of the Coast Guard's finest hours.
 

About Michael J. Tougias & Casey Sherman

See more books from this Author
Michael J. Tougias is the author of a number of books, including Overboard!, Finest Hours (with Casey Sherman), Fatal Forecast, and Ten Hours Until Dawn: The True Story of Heroism and Tragedy Aboard the Can Do. He is a sought-after lecturer who gives more than seventy presentations each year. He lives in Massachusetts.
 
Published May 7, 2009 by Scribner. 236 pages
Genres: History, Nature & Wildlife, Sports & Outdoors, War, Professional & Technical, Science & Math, Political & Social Sciences, Travel, Children's Books. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
icon17
Peak Rank on Feb 21 2016
icon1
Weeks as Bestseller
Add Critic Review

Critic reviews for The Finest Hours
All: 5 | Positive: 4 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Above average
on May 20 2010

The coverage of the post-rescue inquiry slows the suspense at the end, but the authors provide an adequately action-packed account of rescue at sea.

Read Full Review of The Finest Hours: The True St... | See more reviews from Kirkus

Examiner

Good
Reviewed by Karina Wetherbee on Feb 28 2016

The movie is sure to be in theaters for awhile, and reading this masterfully paced book first will only enhance the viewing experience.

Read Full Review of The Finest Hours: The True St...

Star Tribune

Good
Reviewed by ANDREW SLADE on Jun 26 2009

For the fan of marine adventure and heroic public service, the book captures the spirit of those who had to go out -- and those who did come back. This book captures the wit, grit and sacrifice of Coasties and their boats.

Read Full Review of The Finest Hours: The True St... | See more reviews from Star Tribune

Large Print Reviews

Good
Reviewed by Israel Drazin on Nov 23 2009

This is a tale of men who were tested to the limits of their endurance, who could look back on their behavior with pride. We, too, can read of their acts and be inspired.

Read Full Review of The Finest Hours: The True St...

The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia

Good
on Jan 13 2014

As the book trucked along, there were literally scenes that stole my breath away as the crews struggled against the violent weather to perform their duty. Truly a great story of bravery in the face of danger.

Read Full Review of The Finest Hours: The True St...

Reader Rating for The Finest Hours
89%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 592 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review
×