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Run the Storm  By  cover art

Run the Storm

By: George Michelsen Foy
Narrated by: L. J. Ganser
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Publisher's summary

In the best-selling tradition of A Perfect Storm and The Finest Hours, a harrowing account of the incredible true story of the recent shocking disappearance of El Faro, a gigantic American cargo ship that sank suddenly in the Bermuda Triangle in 2015 - taking with it 33 lives.

On October 1, 2015, the SS El Faro, a cargo ship tall as a hundred-story building that made a regular run between Jacksonville, Florida, and Puerto Rico, delivering everything from razor blades to new Chevrolet cars, disappeared in Hurricane Joaquin, a category 4 storm. The ship, her hundreds of shipping containers, and her entire crew sank to the bottom of the ocean, three miles down. The sinking was the greatest seagoing US merchant marine shipping disaster since World War II and evoked the haunting resonances of Gordon Lightfoot’s famous song “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald”.

The massive ship had a seasoned crew, state-of-the-art navigation equipment, advance warning of the storm, and knowledge of its supposed track. It seemed incomprehensible that such a ship could sink so suddenly, unable to send even a Mayday call before disappearing. How, in this day and age, could something like this happen? 

The answer is that a ship as large as the El Faro doesn’t sink for just one reason; it sinks because many factors intersect - everything from hurricane-tracking algorithms to the decay of rubber gaskets on hatches to the arcane science of loading shipping containers to the complex relationship between a ship’s captain and his corporate overlords, who are anxious that cargo be delivered on time. All of these factors and more came into play in the sinking of the El Faro.

Relying on Coast Guard inquest hearings as well as numerous interviews, Foy has crafted a brilliant account that brings to life the last voyage of El Faro, from her loading to her shocking demise, a story lasting only a few days but that relentlessly becomes more suspenseful as the deep-rooted flaws leading to the ship’s sinking inexorably link together and worsen. As we anxiously watch the captain and his crew, the hurricane tightens like a noose around the ship, and we see, minute to minute, all that is happening - the dangerous tilting to the port side, the frantic calls to the engine room, the ship-to-shore cries, the loss of propulsion, the courage of the men and women as they fight for survival, and the berserk ocean’s savage consumption of the massive hull. And through it all, the pain and ultimate resilience of the families of El Faro’s crew...

Meticulous and absolutely thrilling, Run the Storm is a masterwork of stunning power.

©2018 George Michelsen Foy (P)2018 Simon & Schuster Audio

What listeners say about Run the Storm

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Struggled to survive this book

Although I normally become engrossed in any true tales of disasters at sea, this was my first exception. The facts of the story were not to blame however the writing went from dry and quite boring to analogies that literally made me groan. As my mind is picturing towering waves and foam i am suddenly distracted by the comparison of the fat that marbles a steak !. Add to this the "maybe he did this" or no actually maybe he did that ...but actually he probably did this other thing. I realize that with no survivors some presumptions must be made however this author's approach and style , for me, became a downright struggle to survive this book and make it to The End !

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6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

What a Ride!

It seems impossible that George Michelsen Foy could ignite such an engaging keen and urgent interest in me about the technical minutia of a simple screw or the width of a boiler pipe on a freighter but I was glued to every word for the entire journey. The narration by L.J.Ganser was masterful in all the right places. Listening to this brilliantly told story was like watching a slow moving tragedy unfold, we know it’s going to end, we know how it ends and we are reminded of this in the most quietly pulsing way with impeccably well placed parts of the story just often enough to keep reality afloat. In spite of knowing this certain end, I felt that as long as I was listening to this story, the freighter and the crew were still alive.

Foy describes, nautical and navigational facts, technical data, the core crew and the vast sea with equal care and attentiveness. There is no technical detail or human nuance too small to describe. Everything and everyone on this doomed journey was vital. I will never be able to look at a fighter with the same banal interest ever again. Now I almost feel like I’ve been on those freighters, loaded them, been in the engine room, watched the gages and hung out with it’s crew as they ride through the unpredictable ocean. I still have a dread of these over-size monster boats carrying the life’s blood of commerce on and inside as they score the high seas, but now I have an interest and a respect for them and their brave crew.
I will definitely be listening to this story again and then possibly again.

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3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fascinating

Two days after finishing it, I started to listen again. Wanting to know more and go even deeper. How could a modern, well equipped merchant ship vanish? How could this catastrophe have happened? All this small mistakes piling up.
Fascinating story, bringing the crew alive, well performed. I started to research this story on the internet, and may listen to and read this book again.

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3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A More Accurate Tale of the Sinking of the SS El Faro compared to ‘Into The Raging Sea’ by Slade

If you’re a sailor be it US Navy, Merchant Marine or even Blackbeard ‘Run The Storm’ by Foy was written for sailors and those that respect their craft.

‘Into the Raging Sea’ by Slade which certainly has it’s ups and could have been a truly great book but the author does what any Non-Fiction Author should ever do; Involve Politics. Not The Political Hierarchy at Tote but Politics post 2017 when President Trump was sworn in and apparently Rachel Slade Caught TDS. 2/3 of her book seems to trash a President and Conservatism in general. Odd especially when considering President Obama was ‘El Faro’ sank in 2015; A time when Trump Wasn’t even considered a candidate.

That and the supposed sexual harassment of Capt. Davidson toward Danielle Randolph. Which exists only in the mind of Slade. No proof, no nothing. Just further fodder to cast off on a Captain and his remaining family.

‘Run the Storm’ is a masterpiece.

‘The Raging Sea likely could have been if the author left her political feelings out of it.



R.I.P. SS EL FARO


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2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great narrator

Sometimes bad reader ruins a good book but this guy does great. The author does a great job of bringing the events to life.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

very exciting

This story is amazing, spell binding and full of drama! You wish the best for all aboard as they struggle to keep afloat. Wonderful!!!

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2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

BEST ACCOUNT OF MODERN DAY SHIP DISASTER EVER READ

FLAWLESS IN EVERY REGARD.
FACTUALLY LADEN; AS SUSPENSEFUL AS A THRILLER.
MAJOR KUDOS TO THE AUTHOR AND ALL CONCERNED.

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Minor inaccuracies and overall jumbled metaphors

A large swath of the book is swamped by metaphors and personification of inanimate objects to the point where the narrative is lost.

Also, the author spends most of the time describing sections of the ship for which there is no factual record, and the activities of crew members which can neither be verified nor had substantial consequence upon the sinking of El Faro. Blame for the incident is directed away from the owners of the company and the decisions of the Captain, and towards the Coast Guard and the National Hurricane Center. The fact that the company was providing weather updates that extremely inaccurate compared to the NHC is obscured.

Also, the author twice blames the sinking of El Faro on the “disrespect “ of the American public, stating that these imagined sentiments caused the crew to improperly secure the ship in the face of the storm.

A better selection is Into the Raging Sea.

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1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great book

I very much enjoyed this book. The writer gave a very accurate look into life in the merchant marines, the working of a ship, and I believe an accurate account of the events leading to the loss of the El Faro. I definitely recommend. I found myself sitting in the car in the parking lot because I didn’t want to stop listening.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A Truly Sad Story

Emotionally gripping and frustrating, but brilliantly told story of the sinking of the El Faro.

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  • MK Bracegirdle
  • 02-24-21

Mixed context

I found it very frustrating that the style of writing changed from past text to present text part way through the book. I think that a reader should be warned if the style of writing will change part way through as I personally would not have purchased if I had known.

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