The Lost Boys of Montauk Summary and Reviews

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

The Lost Boys of Montauk by Amanda M. Fairbanks X
The Lost Boys of Montauk by Amanda M. Fairbanks
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Book Summary

An immersive account of a tragedy at sea whose repercussions haunt its survivors to this day, lauded by New York Times bestselling 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?

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"The author's genuine desire to provide an accurate account of the history of the Wind Blown and the lives of its crew members is evident in her extensive research and attention to detail, making this a no-brainer for fans of The Perfect Storm and similar books. A riveting man-vs.-nature story and compelling tribute to those who perished." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Fairbanks deftly handles the story, with an eye for detail and page-turning prose. An evocative, well-researched, and compelling account, this highly recommended book will stay with readers past the last page." - Library Journal (starred review)

"[A] deeply reported and moving account of how a tragedy has affected a Long Island fishing community...Fairbanks skillfully folds the socioeconomic issues into her narrative, and brings her subjects, especially Stedman's widow, Mary, to vivid life. The result is a memorable portrait of loss." - Publishers Weekly

"Readers fascinated by stories of shipwreck such as Sebastian Junger's The Perfect Storm may be similarly intrigued by this sad tale." - Booklist

"[A] must-read." - Town & Country

"A relentlessly reported page-turner about the collision of man and nature on the ocean and the collateral damage back on land." - Tom Clavin, New York Times bestselling author of Dodge City and Tombstone

"This extensive and stunningly reported true story of a tragic shipwreck off Montauk is tinged with that rebel late-hippie-era vibe of the late seventies and early eighties. It's about family secrets, romances cut short, the fishing life, and the evolving history of the East End of Long Island, now known as 'The Hamptons.' It's an honest and touching book, and a hell of a story." - Ron Suskind, bestselling author of Life, Animated

"The Lost Boys of Montauk is riveting. Combining gorgeous prose and exhaustive research, Fairbanks paints a fascinating portrait of a shipwreck and its aftermath. It's a complex tale of class divides in the Hamptons, of grief, passion, memory, and youth. Over the course of the book, we come to know and care deeply for the young men who were lost at sea and for those who live on to tell their story. A must-read." - J. Courtney Sullivan, bestselling author of Friends and Strangers

This information about The Lost Boys of Montauk shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Amanda M. Fairbanks

Amanda M. Fairbanks is a journalist who has worked in the editorial department of the New York Times, as a reporter for HuffPost, and at the East Hampton Star, where she wrote investigative stories, features, and profiles. Her writing has also appeared in the Boston Globe, Newsweek, The Atlantic, and the San Francisco Chronicle. A graduate of Smith College and a former Teach for America corps member, she has two master's degrees from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism, and currently lives with her family in Sag Harbor.

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