• The Lost Boys of Montauk

  • The True Story of the Wind Blown, Four Men Who Vanished at Sea, and the Survivors They Left Behind
  • By: Amanda M. Fairbanks
  • Narrated by: Cynthia Farrell
  • Length: 9 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History, Americas
  • 3.8 out of 5 stars (47 ratings)
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Publisher's Summary

An immersive account of a tragedy at sea whose repercussions haunt its survivors to this day, lauded by New York Times best-selling author Ron Suskind as “an honest and touching book, and a hell of a story.”  

In March of 1984, the commercial fishing boat Wind Blown left Montauk Harbor on what should have been a routine offshore voyage. Its captain, a married father of three young boys, was the boat’s owner and leader of the four-man crew, which included two locals and the blue-blooded son of a well-to-do summer family. After a week at sea, the weather suddenly turned, and the foursome collided with a nor’easter. They soon found themselves in the fight of their lives. Tragically, it was a fight they lost. Neither the boat nor the bodies of the men were ever recovered.  

The fate of the Wind Blown - the second-worst nautical disaster suffered by a Montauk-based fishing vessel in over a hundred years - has become interwoven with the local folklore of the East End’s year-round population. Back then, on the easternmost tip of Long Island, before Wall Street and hedge fund money stormed into town, commercial fishing was the area’s economic lifeblood.  

Amanda M. Fairbanks examines the profound shift of Montauk from a working-class village - “a drinking town with a fishing problem” - to a playground for the ultra-wealthy, seeking out the reasons that an event more than three decades old remains so startlingly vivid in people’s minds. She explores the ways in which deep, lasting grief can alter people’s memories. And she shines a light on the powerful and sometimes painful dynamics between fathers and sons, as well as the secrets that can haunt families from beyond the grave.  

The story itself is a universal tale of family and brotherhood; it’s about what happens when the dreams and ambitions of affluent and working-class families collide. Captivating and powerful, The Lost Boys of Montauk explores one of the most important questions we face as humans: how do memories of the dead inform the lives of those left behind?

©2021 Amanda M. Fairbanks. All rights reserved. (P)2021 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

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What listeners say about The Lost Boys of Montauk

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Little substance.

Not much substance in the book but a great deal of fluff. Author basically focused on the history of the region and private lives of the families of those lost at sea which meant delving into drug and alcohol abuse within the families. I was uncomfortable read such private matters of private people. I don’t recommend this book.

2 people found this helpful

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Robotic Voice

The story line was good but the voice sounded like a computer generated voice making listening to a good story somewhat difficult.

1 person found this helpful

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Not worth it

I heard more about the people in Montauk., than the sinking of the boat. What the people ate, drank and what they worn. Author went back to 1700’s, didn’t care about them

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Extraordinary Nonfiction

From commercial fishing to surfing, this is an extraordinary book about a very specific place over a critical time in its development and you will learn so much, even as you hear about the crew that vanished in this storm and the survivors who had to carry on. Highly recommended.

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  • JD
  • 06-21-21

Almost lost me in the middle

Growing up in the town and knowing many of the characters it was harder to enjoy some of the embellishment and idolization of the situation. There were many young people of the time pushing boundaries and driving change.

I also found the constant references to street names and minor details distracting and reminds the reader that the description of from an outsider trying to place themselves in a place that is more complex and simple than it appears on the map.

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Great summer read with deep history and pulls on your heartstrings...

For many east end locals this book can seem contentious, sometimes touching to close to home for a not so distance past. But there is another beautiful side to this story, the story of a determined, hardworking community of fisherman. Deep with local history, this provides a glimpse into the real daily life of local Montauk fisherman and the families and loved ones who depend on them. A story that needs to be read (heard)!