This book obviously will be compared to "The Perfect Storm". Whereas that book tell a more dramatized story, this book is more like a documentary. It efficiently steps through the events of that day, offers background info on all the main characters and tells the story of the storm. It even includes the actual audio tapes of the radio transmissions - a nice touch for an audio book.
The book provides detailed information on how the events take place and you get a good idea of what actually happened.
As for the uncritical admiration for the main characters - I just could not buy it. Throughout their lives they have dedicated themselves to helping others, which is indeed admirable. But it seemed to me they were foolish to do what they did on the day of the storm.
Unfortunately I (unwisely) bought several books by this author at one time. Considering the subject and available information I thought this would be right up my alley. Sadly, I was wrong. The reader was okay but had no northeastern accent and the story lost a bit from that. I found the writing tedious and boring. I wish I had selected more carefully.
I listened through this, but I'll not get anything else by this author. Although about 20% has bearing on the story, the rest is peripherally related to the sea, and is dry hearsay with some history thrown in.
As a resident of Scituate during the blizzard of '78, I loved Tougias' book. I knew both victims from Scituate, Mr. Hart, and little Amy. I met Amy's mother when she first moved to town. The book was accurate, and described the ocean during that storm about as well as could be. One would have to witness such sights and sounds for oneself to ever really know what it was like. Sadly, I am sorry I bought the audiobook. Narrators and actors who have to force a Bostonian accent would better serve their audience by forgoing the attempt. I tried to listen despite the annoyance of the narrators horrible and exagerated accent, but I had to shut the ipod off after hearing his mangling of the pronounciation of Scituate. As a south shore Bostonian, the massachusetts accent was like nails on a chalkboard. His pronounciation of Scituate was a downright insult. To the narrator I can only say, "for shame sir, for shame. The tale itself would have held the reader spellbound. Your use of this tale as a practice session for broadening your acting skills was a dismal failure."
If you're from the midwest, you might be able to listen to this for the story and not be annoyed. If you can read the book for yourself, I enthusiastically recommend it. Personally I believe that Mr. Barrett has ruined Mr. Tougias' meticulous research and fine story telling skills.