I thoroughly reiterate what other reviewers have said, but the book doesn't get the full 5 from me. Both my girlfriend and I read this book, and I got more out of it than her, we think because men have more of a taste for the complex and intricate detail in the book about fishing and meteorology. It really is very dense in places, and you need a good deal of intellectual curiosity to get through some sections. The book is also a very difficult one to write, because noone really knows what happened to the Andrea Gail during her last hours. But given that, Junger does a superb detective job, and paints a imaginary portrait of truly unsettling realism and plausibility.
Finally, I was utterly blown away (sic) by some of the fishing stories included in the book - rarely in a piece of writing have I been brought closer to the concept of mortality than during the tale of a man in the 19th century who survived a shipwreck, to describe the sensation of drowning and losing consciousness. Junger perfectly intertwines this with a graphic description of the biological processes as we now understand them. This and many other parts of the book are brutal, harrowing, haunting and very memorable.