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A Captain's Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALs, and Dangerous Days at Sea

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"I share the country's admiration for the bravery of Captain Phillips and his selfless concern for his crew. His courage is a model for all Americans." --President Barack Obama It was just another day on the job for fifty-three-year-old Richard Phillips, captain of the Maersk Alabama, the United States-flagged cargo ship which was carrying, among other things, food and agri "I share the country's admiration for the bravery of Captain Phillips and his selfless concern for his crew. His courage is a model for all Americans." --President Barack Obama It was just another day on the job for fifty-three-year-old Richard Phillips, captain of the Maersk Alabama, the United States-flagged cargo ship which was carrying, among other things, food and agricultural materials for the World Food Program. That all changed when armed Somali pirates boarded the ship. The pirates didn't expect the crew to fight back, nor did they expect Captain Phillips to offer himself as hostage in exchange for the safety of his crew. Thus began the tense five-day stand-off, which ended in a daring high-seas rescue when U.S. Navy SEALs opened fire and picked off three of the captors. "It never ends like this," Captain Phillips said. And he's right. A Captain's Duty tells the life-and-death drama of the Vermont native who was held captive on a tiny lifeboat off Somalia's anarchic, gun-plagued shores. A story of adventure and courage, it provides the intimate details of this high-seas hostage-taking--the unbearable heat, the death threats, the mock executions, and the escape attempt. When the pirates boarded his ship, Captain Phillips put his experience into action, doing everything he could to safeguard his crew. And when he was held captive by the pirates, he marshaled all his resources to ensure his own survival, withstanding intense physical hardship and an escalating battle of wills with the pirates. This was it: the moment where training meets instinct and where character is everything. Richard Phillips was ready.


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"I share the country's admiration for the bravery of Captain Phillips and his selfless concern for his crew. His courage is a model for all Americans." --President Barack Obama It was just another day on the job for fifty-three-year-old Richard Phillips, captain of the Maersk Alabama, the United States-flagged cargo ship which was carrying, among other things, food and agri "I share the country's admiration for the bravery of Captain Phillips and his selfless concern for his crew. His courage is a model for all Americans." --President Barack Obama It was just another day on the job for fifty-three-year-old Richard Phillips, captain of the Maersk Alabama, the United States-flagged cargo ship which was carrying, among other things, food and agricultural materials for the World Food Program. That all changed when armed Somali pirates boarded the ship. The pirates didn't expect the crew to fight back, nor did they expect Captain Phillips to offer himself as hostage in exchange for the safety of his crew. Thus began the tense five-day stand-off, which ended in a daring high-seas rescue when U.S. Navy SEALs opened fire and picked off three of the captors. "It never ends like this," Captain Phillips said. And he's right. A Captain's Duty tells the life-and-death drama of the Vermont native who was held captive on a tiny lifeboat off Somalia's anarchic, gun-plagued shores. A story of adventure and courage, it provides the intimate details of this high-seas hostage-taking--the unbearable heat, the death threats, the mock executions, and the escape attempt. When the pirates boarded his ship, Captain Phillips put his experience into action, doing everything he could to safeguard his crew. And when he was held captive by the pirates, he marshaled all his resources to ensure his own survival, withstanding intense physical hardship and an escalating battle of wills with the pirates. This was it: the moment where training meets instinct and where character is everything. Richard Phillips was ready.

14 review for A Captain's Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALs, and Dangerous Days at Sea

  1. 5 out of 5

    Alan

    In this supposedly true story, Captain Richard Phillips tells of his ordeal with a group of Somali pirates who boarded his ship and took him hostage. I bought this book because I had seen the movie recently and really enjoyed it and was keen to get the full story. That was my mistake. As I started reading I noticed something was wrong. This guy isn't Tom Hanks, not even close! I think I need to attempt to explain why the movie was good and the book wasn't. I apologise if this annoys anyone, I kno In this supposedly true story, Captain Richard Phillips tells of his ordeal with a group of Somali pirates who boarded his ship and took him hostage. I bought this book because I had seen the movie recently and really enjoyed it and was keen to get the full story. That was my mistake. As I started reading I noticed something was wrong. This guy isn't Tom Hanks, not even close! I think I need to attempt to explain why the movie was good and the book wasn't. I apologise if this annoys anyone, I know this is a book review site, but this is a very rare instance in which the movie was better and I want to fully explain why this was the case. The movie starts by showing us Captain Phillips only a few hours before he leaves on the Maersk Alabama. We know literally nothing about him apart from the fact that he is a hard-working guy who provides for his family and he has a wife that loves him. This very brief scene at the beginning shows us that he is a good guy, tough, smart and a family man. He also talks about getting through the Maritime Academy and how life is harder for the younger generation these days because there is so much competition as opposed to when he was a boy. The book, unfortunately, starts where Captain Phillips is a lot younger. He talks about how in his twenties he would get into fights at bars with his friends because that’s just what you did in Boston, and it was fun. He gives us the story of how he met his wife, with an extremely cheesy one-liner that I found hard to believe, ('I'm Rich, as in filthy'). He then goes on to mention that the only reason he wanted to become a merchant mariner was because when he was a taxi driver he picked up a guy who had a lot of cash, and wanted to go to the party/apparent-easy-sex district of town. He asked the guy what he did and he told him 'merchant mariner.' Phillips then asked his brother about how easy the course was and his brother told him it was dead easy. Phillips signed up almost instantly and found out his brother had completely lied to him, but he stuck with it because he's a tough bastard! Dealing with the pirates was another issue. In the film, Phillips handles them with a fair deal of grace. He is a little blunt, but when they threaten to shoot the crew, he selflessly demands that they shoot him instead. He listens to their demands and takes them around the ship and tries to stall them and protect his crew. In the book, that is to say in the real account, Captain Phillips acts like a total tool. The pirates aren’t there for a good time, they are there for a quick score and they are under a lot of crazy stress. Does Phillips try and appease them quickly? No! Instead, when they are asking for simple pieces of equipment (like the radar or the telephone) he pretends not to understand them and this makes them absolutely furious. Even though they are threatening two of his crew at gunpoint, he still does it, endangering their lives to inconvenience the pirates for an extra minute. Pointless. There was a line that Phillips says in the book when the pirates first board the ship that says despite everything he had been told about dealing with pirates there was only one way he could, by being himself. As soon as I read that I thought, bad decision. You see, throughout the whole book, Captain Phillips makes himself out to be the toughest son of a bitch on earth. It makes it feel like the only reason he did what he did was because of all this macho bullshit he had to prove to himself and his dumb drinking buddies. After he is taken hostage, (this is debatable, go online and read the real life accounts from the crew aboard the Maersk Alabama), it is very hard to believe anything that the Captain writes down. No one knows what went on inside that life-boat except himself and the one remaining Somali pirate. It reads too much like an action movie, and not what someone in that situation would say at all. '"What are you going to do now, kill me?" I yelled up the Leader.' Give me a break. Captain Phillips also does the courtesy of filling us in on the, very uneventful, life of his wife at home during the ordeal. Between paragraphs of him explaining just how much he and his wife love each other, he tells of her everyday life sitting at home, dealing with the press (which she hated and wanted gone but invited inside anyway), dealt with the horrific turmoil she and her family were going through with humour (in which the whole family jokes non-stop about his situation, until his wife yells at some poor woman who tries to join in on the questionable fun), and looking at the moon every night because she knew he was looking at it too. Urgh. The movie ends with a very emotional Captain Phillips going into shock and being assessed by a naval doctor. It was very powerful and showed how vulnerable he really was. The book ends by the real Captain Phillips saying all he wanted was a beer, no, wait, scratch that, two beers, and the only emotional change he went through was waking up and crying at night. But he manages to play that off by explaining that it was just the chemicals in his body, that had been generated during the ordeal, escaping his system. As you can see the real downfall of the book was that Captain Phillips was just downright unlikeable. If he had only actually shown how emotionally draining this was or shown the tiniest bit of vulnerability or modesty, the story may have been better. This book gets a very rare, one star.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Maureen

    A very intense read. Lots of action, & some very scary moments as Captain Phillips re-lives his time as a hostage of Somalian pirates.It was a nightmare situation and there were many moments when he really thought his time had come! A well written moving account, would recommend. A very intense read. Lots of action, & some very scary moments as Captain Phillips re-lives his time as a hostage of Somalian pirates.It was a nightmare situation and there were many moments when he really thought his time had come! A well written moving account, would recommend.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Will

    I retired from a 30-year career as a shipmaster in 2001 and followed this 2009 incident closely. I'm rarely sorry about spending money on a book, but this time I am. While I wasn't in the captain's position and won't second-guess him, "A Captain's Duty: Somali Pirate, Navy SEALS and Dangerous Days at Sea" is about as eye-rolling as an autobiography in which Bernie Madoff describes himself as a financial hero.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Silvana

    My dad's a former able seaman and quartermaster and he loves sharing his sea stories with me. We probably watched Captain Philips (the movie) together twice, complete with running commentary (from his side, obviously). It is one of his favorite movies. The casting director and the screenwriter did a really fine job since this books was just uninspired, to the say the least. First of all, the encounter at the ship was too short and more pages spent on the captain's background and how the situatio My dad's a former able seaman and quartermaster and he loves sharing his sea stories with me. We probably watched Captain Philips (the movie) together twice, complete with running commentary (from his side, obviously). It is one of his favorite movies. The casting director and the screenwriter did a really fine job since this books was just uninspired, to the say the least. First of all, the encounter at the ship was too short and more pages spent on the captain's background and how the situation at his home. I mean, he could have used the stories from his other 19 crew members to give the readers a more comprehensive picture of the happenings - there were quite a lot even in a short time. Also, he did not even mention what happened to the Leader, who mysteriously disappeared. He was apparently flown to the United States to stand trial and was sentenced 33 year in prison. And I am not liking this guy at all. Some of his remarks sounded sexist to me, smug, and for sure the behavior was different with Tom Hank's far more sympathetic portrayal (not just because he's, well, Tom Hanks). The book also needs better editing as some passages are too alike - there are two paragraphs with the almost exact content only one page away from each other. I appreciate some of the background on merchant mariners and piracy in the Somalian waters, but I suppose there are other better books out there to read about those subjects. I highly recommend The Outlaw Ocean: Journeys Across the Last Untamed Frontier.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Hannah (Vamp of Savannah)

    There are no words to describe how frustratingly stupid this book-the whole situation was. From the time Phillips told one of his men that if he were scared of pirates he never should have gotten on board the boat to the part where he actually told his crew to come to the bridge (and hoped that they wouldn't)to the end where the captain credits Obama with having had a huge hand in getting him out of the pirates hands I just wanted to scream. It's like Captain Smith and the iceberg warnings all o There are no words to describe how frustratingly stupid this book-the whole situation was. From the time Phillips told one of his men that if he were scared of pirates he never should have gotten on board the boat to the part where he actually told his crew to come to the bridge (and hoped that they wouldn't)to the end where the captain credits Obama with having had a huge hand in getting him out of the pirates hands I just wanted to scream. It's like Captain Smith and the iceberg warnings all over again. These captains get warnings and then are shocked when bad things happen when the warnings are ignored. Had Captain Phillips listened to the warnings and wasted a little time/fuel keeping his ship 600 miles off the coast, he wouldn't have gone through such a horrific ordeal. The man wasn't a hero--he made the the best of a God-awful situation and came out lucky. Read the news articles. His OWN CREW told the same stories.

  6. 4 out of 5

    David

    This book was the expected coda to Captain Phillip's fifteen minutes of fame. I would like to have learned a little more about the Navy Seals role in his rescue, but Phillips was apparently instructed to minimize it. In addition, his narrative raised some unanswered questions, especially about the mysterious Leader, who disappears without further mention. An uneven chrosnicle, but quite readable. It makes one hope that sterner measure are now in place to deal with future would-be Somali pirates.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Doreen Petersen

    Pirates is the present day. Really? They're in speedboats armed with AK47's but the ships they try to hijack are far bigger than their boat. All you have to do if you see them is turn the wheel really hard and plow right over them. Needless to say I am glad Captain Phillips survived this harrowing ordeal.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Rosie

    Richard Phillips is not a writer, he’s a sailor. He makes a great deal of his devotion to his ship – whichever ship it happens to be at whichever point in his career – and to this end the part of the book before the Somali pirates board the Maersk Alabama is filled with anecdotes of his life on and off the sea. The point of these anecdotes is surely to assure the reader that the ship and the men on board are his responsibility, and give a sense of who the man is. Unfortunately they paint him out Richard Phillips is not a writer, he’s a sailor. He makes a great deal of his devotion to his ship – whichever ship it happens to be at whichever point in his career – and to this end the part of the book before the Somali pirates board the Maersk Alabama is filled with anecdotes of his life on and off the sea. The point of these anecdotes is surely to assure the reader that the ship and the men on board are his responsibility, and give a sense of who the man is. Unfortunately they paint him out to be a bit of an arrogant prat. He tells boak-provoking stories of his wife and their children, he wears his “Irish” heritage like an aggressive neon sign on his forehead, and if you peeled back the top layer of his skin, you would find the US flag woven into his flesh. And probably the words GOD BLESS AMERICA too. Tom Hanks created a much more likeable Captain Phillips than Captain Phillips did; on screen his mad decisions seemed borne more from desperation than arrogance, which didn’t seem to be the case on the page. As I said he is not a writer, and his story is not very well constructed. He throws the non-word “gotten” around so much it made my joints hurt, and on his attempted escape he “dove” under the lifeboat so many times I almost wanted him to be shot just for his abuse of language. The past tense of dive is dived. A dove is a white pigeon. But Phillips is one of those everyman-American types who ain’t nothin speshul, just doin his job and lovin his wife and kids, so he don’t know no fancy English. Yeah, well, learn to spell. I don’t know whether his editor and publisher decided to leave these irritants in for authenticity, or whether they’d removed so much they were in danger of publishing something he didn’t recognise as his own hand and left some in on purpose – either way, it was a pain. It wouldn’t have taken too much to tighten the grammar to improve readability while still leaving a sense of the character. However, all nit-picking and dislike of pompous patriotism aside, this is a remarkable story and it's incredible that Phillips is alive to tell it. It's just that it's a rare case of the movie being far superior to the book.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    After seeing the movie Captain Phillips, I got this book wanting to know more about the capture of the Maersk Alabama, the US cargo ship that was hijacked by Somali pirates in 2009, and the ordeal of Captain Phillips himself, taken hostage by the pirates and held in the ship's lifeboat for four days until he was rescued by Navy SEALs. Take my advice: never try to learn more about heroes; it's almost always disappointing. About half a chapter into this book, I was thinking, "hmmm, this guy is kind After seeing the movie Captain Phillips, I got this book wanting to know more about the capture of the Maersk Alabama, the US cargo ship that was hijacked by Somali pirates in 2009, and the ordeal of Captain Phillips himself, taken hostage by the pirates and held in the ship's lifeboat for four days until he was rescued by Navy SEALs. Take my advice: never try to learn more about heroes; it's almost always disappointing. About half a chapter into this book, I was thinking, "hmmm, this guy is kind of a douche," and I felt bad about that, obviously, because: HERO. But he's arrogant and boastful about things that are so stupid, and clearly wants to portray himself as the toughest bastard you'll ever be lucky enough to know. I'd like to say that as I read further, I started to have a better opinion of him, but I really didn't. Surprisingly, the book is not all that interesting, although maybe that's because I'd already seen the very well-done movie. The details differ slightly from those in the film, but not in a significant way (well, aside from the fact that I never wanted to punch Tom Hanks in the face). It ends with Phillips humblebragging about how he's "not a hero OH OKAY I AM BUT NOT ON PURPOSE." And at that point, I was ready to just give this book 2 stars and say, "the movie was better," but in subsequently reading a bit about what the Alabama's crew has to say about things (most of which comes from declarations in the lawsuit they've filed against Maersk), it seems that the whole thing might have been avoided but for Maersk's and Phillips's disregard of numerous warnings of pirate attacks and their decision to sail within 250 miles of the Somali coastline when Maritime authorities had directed ships to stay at least 600 miles offshore. Evidently, Phillips had some weird need to play Quien Es Mas Macho? with the pirates and Maersk wanted to save one day's fuel costs. In short, I don't recommend the book, I do recommend the movie Captain Phillips, and I also recommend Joe Versus the Volcano, which has nothing to do with the matter at hand, I just think it's an underrated film.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Owen

    A Captain’s Duty by Richard Phillips with Stephan Talty is a nonfiction book about the seizure by pirates of the U.S. cargo ship Maersk Alabama of the coast of Somalia in 2009. The book is told from the captain’s point of view. It spans a period of time from the week before the cargo ship set sail to after he gets home. Half of the book is about what really happened on the ship and the other half is about his emotional struggles being separated from his family. The book was made into a hit movie A Captain’s Duty by Richard Phillips with Stephan Talty is a nonfiction book about the seizure by pirates of the U.S. cargo ship Maersk Alabama of the coast of Somalia in 2009. The book is told from the captain’s point of view. It spans a period of time from the week before the cargo ship set sail to after he gets home. Half of the book is about what really happened on the ship and the other half is about his emotional struggles being separated from his family. The book was made into a hit movie, “Captain Phillips”, starring Tom Hanks. The book is written like a diary with chapter headings like “-3 Days", and "Day 1, 1530 Hours”. The book goes back and forth dealing with the situation on the cargo ship and the reaction back home in Vermont. I enjoyed how the author included excerpts from real news reports to start each chapter. The book is filled with action and depicts the cat and mouse game between the pirates and the crew. There are small parts throughout the book where Richard Phillips and Stephan Talty add extra dimensions to the story. These are little things like Captain Phillips talking about Shaeffer Stadium in Foxborough or a conversation with the youngest pirate about going to the movies in Somalia. These instances help make the story more relatable. This event, which took place in 2009, made headlines all around the world. Piracy in Somalia was brought to the attention of world leaders. It was one of the biggest stories of the year. It also was one of the biggest instances of piracy. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and I would recommend it to anybody, especially if they live in New England because Phillips talks about his home throughout the book.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Susan C Lance

    The first thing I did after finishing the book was to find out who wrote the screenplay. Turns out it was Billy Ray who also wrote the screenplay for Hunger Games. All I can say is that the movie follows the book so closely that at first it seemed I didn't need to bother reading the book. However, as I went along I found that the book brings out what Rich Phillips' wife Andrea was going through back home. Personally, I must have been living under a rock when all of this happened because I can on The first thing I did after finishing the book was to find out who wrote the screenplay. Turns out it was Billy Ray who also wrote the screenplay for Hunger Games. All I can say is that the movie follows the book so closely that at first it seemed I didn't need to bother reading the book. However, as I went along I found that the book brings out what Rich Phillips' wife Andrea was going through back home. Personally, I must have been living under a rock when all of this happened because I can only vaguely remember this in the news. But what the book brings out that was nowhere in the movie was Rich Phillips' humor. He actually, and quite ironically, has the same type of humor as Tom Hanks. But when Tom Hanks portrayed Captain Rich Phillips it was done very seriously. I wanted to hear a sarcastic remark and see some humor but the director decided not to put this side of Rich Phillips in the movie. The book is as intense as the movie and for a non-fiction book it was a very quick read. The book also adds to the mystery of the Somali pirates and their relationship with the U.S. In the book the "Leader" of the pirates calmly boards the naval ship, essentially abandoning his fellow pirates. Not so in the movie where he was tricked into leaving the lifeboat. I feel that there is more to the story which will eventually come out. In the meantime, an entertaining and fast-paced book to read.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Marna

    I really enjoyed this. He's a no-nonsense kind of guy, what Vermont has a lot of. An ordinary person living through an extraordinary situation often makes a good story. In this case it does. Very glad for Captain Phillips and his entire family that it worked out as well as it did.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Noneareleft

    My wife and I saw the movie "Captain Phillips" first which inspired me to look for the book on Amazon's Kindle store. It was $2.99 at the time and the movie was so good (in our opinion) that for the price I was compelled to purchase and get more of the story. I was hoping for a more accurate version of events (or at least a more complete one) knowing that a Hollywood movie starring Tom Hanks was going to either leave things out or embellish. As I've grown older I'm more forgiving of that now as a My wife and I saw the movie "Captain Phillips" first which inspired me to look for the book on Amazon's Kindle store. It was $2.99 at the time and the movie was so good (in our opinion) that for the price I was compelled to purchase and get more of the story. I was hoping for a more accurate version of events (or at least a more complete one) knowing that a Hollywood movie starring Tom Hanks was going to either leave things out or embellish. As I've grown older I'm more forgiving of that now as a movie isn't a book and each media has a different voice. However, rather than a more accurate version of events, the book gave voice to Rich Phillips, and not so much to the story that took place. The movie seemed like a third person narrative and just a plain good story. The book is, by nature, told from the first person with all the thoughts and emotions that are lacking in another narrative, but this is an event best left without those thoughts and emotions. I read the other reviews and those reviewers noted that Captain Phillips comes across in his book as arrogant and conceited and I find myself in full agreement. I found his way of talking about his marriage and his family to be off-putting. Most people I have encountered have had an unbridled youth and look back on those years as brash and with some sense of regret. Rich Phillips youth was no less brash or unbridled, but seems to have no sense of regret about any of it at all. It seems as if every thing he ever did or said was right or justified and he seems to have always been surrounded by inferiors. He speaks of the necessity for discipline and the ability to size others up so that a captain knows what a man on his ship is capable of, but is unapologetic about his lack of discipline and brags about his insubordination with other superiors, either in his past or the present. On page thirty-seven he tells the reader, "That was my motto: I'm gonna stick", when in the paragraphs leading up to this motto, he announces that he didn't fit his high school football coach's "system" and so he quit the team, all without the slightest hint of hypocrisy in his tone. Phillips tells a story of another captain (for he has no qualms about belittling his so called peers) who "…was such a company man that he was terrified, not of sinking, but of pissing off some bureaucrat back at headquarters. He was willing to endanger the lives of twenty men so that he could make his schedule". Yet this is the very same accusation that his crew made of him, and for which they are suing the Maersk company and holding Phillips responsible for the whole ordeal. Phillips makes no such mention of the lawsuit (I would imagine he is legally unable to do so due to the pending litigation) but nonetheless it seems no moral morass for him to levy such burdens on others and yet dust them off himself. Though the authorship is accredited also to a Stephan Talty, the narrative jumps a little here and there and acts as more of a highlight reel to Phillips past more than the actual event itself. Time and again I also felt that I would never say the things to the pirates that Phillips did, but then, I was never a merchant marine. All things being equal, I can't imagine the situation and I would never want to experience that hell. So, an amazing event that unfolded before the media that ended in a win for America and Phillips and his family, but a book that seems to miss the forest for the trees that are Phillips ego.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Bonnie Morse

    People who loved the feelgood story of a courageous sea captain fighting against pirates and heroically sacrificing himself for the greater good will probably want to skip this review. People with a low tolerance for high-handed arrogance would do well to skip this book. First off, I read it because I saw the movie and wanted to know how it compared to the true story. The first problem, however, is that Captain Philips is no Tom Hanks. Tom Hanks has a sense of humility that keeps him grounded, an People who loved the feelgood story of a courageous sea captain fighting against pirates and heroically sacrificing himself for the greater good will probably want to skip this review. People with a low tolerance for high-handed arrogance would do well to skip this book. First off, I read it because I saw the movie and wanted to know how it compared to the true story. The first problem, however, is that Captain Philips is no Tom Hanks. Tom Hanks has a sense of humility that keeps him grounded, and a sense of shame that should have kept him out of this mess. The second problem is that this isn't really a true-true story. But I'll get to that in a minute. First, Richard Philips comes across here as a self-righteous, inconsistent, one man PR firm, and he's his only client. The book opens with the tensest moment in the lifeboat, pirates panicking, a gun to his head, but he's inconsistent even here, unable to keep straight from one sentence to the next how he was sitting or standing or kneeling or whether his hands were tied in front of him or stretched up over his head. Even while describing a single incident spanning a matter of minutes, his position changed so much I wondered if he wasn't so much tied as on a leash. A long leash. Later, when he tells the entire story again, this problem will be much worse. He repeats a lot of things, but the confused bits don't get any clearer from it. Then it goes back to his childhood and how tough he was, not like those "milquetoasts" and "bookish nerds" who just "hid their rooms until it was time to leave for college" due to not being able to walk down the street in his neighborhood. Not that good old Rich wasn't smart enough for college, because he totally went, he just quit after a year because it wasn't--physically challenging enough? Or something. So he drove a cab until he decided to join the merchant marines, and don't be fooled, they're the only true heroes in the armed services. Most ships sunk, most deaths, moved all the weapons, don't get any recognition, no one cares about the guys who do all the work. He's always the guy who does all the work in his stories because all of his stories are about how awesome he is for doing all the work. The marine academy was super tough when he went, but don't bother going now because it's probably all politically correct with no one even being allowed to raise their voices, which is probably why all the other sailors on his ship sucked so bad. Except for the ones who were so old they should be retired. All his former captains sucked, too (except one, who was, you guessed it, really really tough), so he learned from them how to be a better captain than anyone ever had been before, making him the captain everyone loves and respects and begs to work with. There's a huge amount of padding here while two authors try to spread about 30 pages of material over 289 pages. He tells enough about his wife and their families for us to learn that their unique sense of humor is juvenile and horrible, and enough of his dating life to know that he's a complete stud who "got around plenty", but is at heart a romantic with lines from love letters that made me wonder at his IQ. And his wife's, for not only marrying him but also saving the letters as proof that she'd been warned. I can't fathom what would make either of them release their personal dreck in print, to the public. When it comes to the actual pirate situation, Cap is all over it. He's been running drills, ordering up extra security, and bitching non-stop about his "great bunch of guys" crew's inability to get a single thing right, ever. Much as he complains that Navy standards are too high for a merchant ship, tries to hold half the crew and all of the ship to Navy standards, and dismisses certain unnamed men as being unable to reach any standard at all and therefor not worth training. Then he can't figure out why the ship is taken in about 5 minutes. This is the lack of consistency I'm talking about, which is also funny because in the course of repeating every compliment he's ever been paid, he includes one applauding his consistency. He has more personal philosophies, mottoes, moral codes, and words to live by than anyone I've ever encountered, and seemingly doesn't notice when they flat-out contradict each other. I know two people worked on the manuscript, but didn't he read it? Oh, and according to his wife, he survived because she prayed for him. Even though she's a "bad Catholic" and "a bit of a heathen". See, she woke up Easter morning with a GOOD FEELING, and she heard her husband's voice calling her! So she started thinking about their "family motto"--one of possibly several hundred--"God is good, all the time. All the time, god is good", and got her friends saying it and they sang it in a church, so god rescued him. Because of course he did. Naturally no one asked her if she'd have been singing "god is good, all the time" if she'd woken up with a bad feeling. And why should we? She had lots of bad feelings over those four days and not a word of praise or "thy will be done" passed her lips then. But at least giving sky daddy some credit provided a break from Philips grabbing it all and grinding it in our faces. Oh, and after bashing the Navy in really weird ways for literally the entire book, he ends by slobbering credit all over them in a whiplash-inducing reversal as soon as he's in physical contact with one of their ships. And then ever after. Though he gets the name of one of the ships wrong. And the name and nationality of one of his crewmembers, And just a whole pile of other little facts that apparently didn't matter because they were about other people. Meanwhile, back in reality, this happened: http://nypost.com/2013/10/13/crew-mem... Since I've read the book and seen the movie, let me walk you through the high points. Anonymous sailor says Phillips had a bad reputation for at least 12 years prior, known as a sullen and self-righteous captain. “No one wants to sail with him.” Flies in the face of the movie version of Captain Courageous, and Philips' statements in the book about being strict and casual and calm and tough and reasonable and in charge and just the best mix of all possible personality traits. However. While Philips doesn't write himself as sullen, and maintains that all of his (decent) crew members love him, his own words and descriptions of his actions show him to be self-righteous and bizarrely immature. Like, 14 year old immature. Worst moment for me? After agonizing throughout the entire trip about a joke his now college-age son once made as a child about not having a father because his dad was gone all the time and didn't love him, what does he do upon seeing his son again and vowing to himself that he'll never again feel the way he did when he heard those words? Does he tell his son he loves him, always has and always will? Does he retire from sea? No, he tells his son how much the joke hurt and orders him not to ever say it again. It never even crosses his mind that his son is probably being haunted by those words, too, and that they might be hurting him, too. Instead, he basically tells his son that those cruel words from childhood were on his mind the whole time. Like, last thoughts material. And they might've been, he certainly harped on them enough. “The crew had begged Captain Phillips not to go so close to the Somali coast,” said Deborah Waters, the attorney who brought the claim. “He told them he wouldn’t let pirates scare him or force him to sail away from the coast.” Now a well known fact, Philips never mentions being told to stay off the coast. Instead he stresses how, with motherships, pirates can be literally anywhere anyway, so one may as well sail through their front yards as make any effort to avoid them. Phillips had taken command of the Maersk in late March 2009. Left for him, says the crew member, was a detailed anti-piracy plan now used by all ships per the International Maritime Organization. Should pirates get too close, the crew should cut the lights and power and lock themselves below deck. “He didn’t want anything to do with it, because it wasn’t his plan,” says the crew member. “He was real arrogant.” Phillips says he knows nothing about such a plan. Also not mentioned in the book, but plausible by Philips' own account. He refused to discuss possible piracy for as long as possible and berated a crewmember for asking what they should do if pirates board the ship. Philips writes that he didn't want to talk about it because it scared the men, that there would be nothing they could do anyway, and in a last self-serving dig says the sailor should have asked in private before they left port. Presumably because fewer men would have heard and been scared, but he also makes it clear that a man who even considers the possibility of being boarded by pirates isn't fit to sail in pirate water. (Having previously made clear that there was no time to discuss anything with anyone between arriving at the ship and leaving port.) He sounds like a man mystified at carrying a spare tire because everyone knows if you get a flat there's just nothing you can do. Crewmembers suggest things, like safe rooms, and Philips writes that he agreed and was pleased to see them finally thinking for themselves. Later he will repeat many of these things as his idea, as if he hadn't already written the other part. Phillips has admitted that, on board, he got seven e-mails about increased piracy off Somalia — each exhorting ships to move farther offshore by at least 600 miles. Again, no mention of warnings in the book. The Maersk was 235 miles off the coast, says the crew member, though Phillips has since rounded that number up to 300. {Confirmed now to be 240 miles.--ed]“I couldn’t tell you exactly the miles,” Phillips tells The Post. “I don’t know.”After bragging through several pages about being the best guy with the charts and compasses on another ship and always, always getting the numbers right.Phillips ignored every missive and later admitted he didn’t share these warnings — though they were not sent exclusively to him.Certainly doesn't explain to the reader why he didn't tell the crew he was deliberately sailing them less than half the recommended distance off the coast. In fact, says this crew member, the Maersk veered off course by 180 degrees south — this was during the first attack, on April 8. Phillips denies this, and says the boat only picked up speed.He may deny it now, but it's in the book. He wrote about doing it.“We said, ‘You want us to knock it off and go to our pirate stations?’ ” the crew member recalls. “And he goes, ‘Oh, no, no, no — you’ve got to do the lifeboats drill.’ This is how screwed up he is. These are drills we need to do once a year. Two boats with pirates and he doesn’t give a s- -t. That’s the kind of guy he is.”At first, Phillips maintains this is a lie.Again, that's how Philips wrote it. They were doing a fire drill when they saw the pirate boats and he ordered them to finish it. Took over an hour, by his own account.The Maersk eventually made a narrow escape, and Phillips ordered it back to its original route.Original route, as opposed to the deviation he says in his book that he ordered, but now for whatever reason denies.“Phillips didn’t say what he wanted to do,” says the crew member. “His plan [was], when the pirates come aboard, we throw our hands in the air and say, ‘Oh, the pirates are here!’ The chief engineer said, ‘We’re going downstairs and locking ourselves in.’ One of the mates said, ‘Let’s go down. We’re on our own.’ ”They hid in the engine room, in 130 degree heat, for 12 hours. Phillips and three other crew members were held at gunpoint, yet Phillips tells The Post things weren’t that dire. “The ship,” he says, “was never actually taken.”According to his book, Philips ordered the crew to hide in their safe rooms, secretly radioed coded messages to them by talking into a radio right in front of the pirates, and mercilessly bashes in print a sailor who didn't understand the newly invented (on the spot, by Philips, because why prepare and have one in place?) code and actually obeyed his captain.He says several times throughout that the ship was "taken", "seized", "in the hands of pirates"--the word "hijacked" got thrown around a lot. It was dire enough when he was writing, apparently.Chief Engineer Mike Perry, who has a small presence in the film, was perhaps the most heroic. He led most of the crew downstairs and locked them in; he disabled all systems; he attacked the chief pirate, seizing him and using him as a bargaining chip for Phillips.This guy gets no credit. He's just tough and doing what the captain would have done, if he wasn't SO busy doing everything else all by himself. Though, unlike all but a couple of other men, he at least gets his name mentioned.For some of the crew, it was too much. In their version, Phillips was the victim of a botched exchange. In 2009, he told ABC News he was taken after promising to show the pirates how to operate their escape boat. His book was packaged as the story of a man who gave himself up for his crew, which Phillips later said was a false narrative spread by the media. Today he tells The Post, “I was already a hostage,” but remains vague on the exchange.The book tries to have this both ways. Everyone was a hostage on the Alabama, only Philips was a hostage, he wasn't a hostage until he left the ship, he wasn't a hero, all he cared about was his crew and he was willing to die for them--and everything he now calls "the media's false narrative" is based on his own words. He's vague on a lot of stuff, but not how brave and humble and better than you he is.Not all of the crew cooperated with the movie, and those who did were paid as little as $5,000 for their life rights by Sony and made to sign nondisclosure agreements — meaning they can never speak publicly about what really happened on that ship.And now Sony's bought the truth from the other witnesses so Philips, with his inability to think for a minute about anything but himself, or be at all consistent while doing that, gets to tell the official story. But even now the truth is leaking out. Save yourself this horrible book and just read about what happened online. flag 1 like · Like  · see review View 2 comments Feb 24, 2019 Rachel Parham rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition Shelves: reviewed, maritime-history, read-in-2019 I vaguely remember the story of Captain Phillips and the Maersk Alabama as it unfolded in 2009. I kinda remember the 2013 film starring Tom Hanks, but prior to reading this page-turning, nail-biting, edge-of-your-seat memoir, I really had no idea what happened over those 5 intense days when the American cargo ship, the Maersk Alabama, was hijacked by Somali pirates.Although I picked up on traces of Phillips' slight braggadocio in the beginning of the book (there is definitely a sense of the Merc I vaguely remember the story of Captain Phillips and the Maersk Alabama as it unfolded in 2009. I kinda remember the 2013 film starring Tom Hanks, but prior to reading this page-turning, nail-biting, edge-of-your-seat memoir, I really had no idea what happened over those 5 intense days when the American cargo ship, the Maersk Alabama, was hijacked by Somali pirates.Although I picked up on traces of Phillips' slight braggadocio in the beginning of the book (there is definitely a sense of the Merchant Marine being the hardest working bunch out there on the ocean, and not enough recognition of it), this book is, at its core, a story of survival, perseverance, and determination to overcome the impossible odds and make it back home.In April 2009, the Maersk Alabama was on a routine trip, sailing several hundred miles off the coast of east Africa, in the Gulf of Aden, when she was hijacked by a group of Somali pirates intent on holding the prized American crew for ransom. Thwarted by Phillips' quick thinking, and his crew's remarkable ability to play hide-and-seek, the pirates soon realized their best chance was to escape in the Alabama's lifeboat, and take the cargo ship's iron-willed captain with them. Over the next 5 days, as the pirates tried to make their way to the Somali coast, Phillips fought with everything he had to stay alive while the crew he left behind fought with everything they had to get him back safely. Although you know how the story ultimately ends - Phillips is co-authoring the book after all - the quick and clear writing keeps you in suspense every page of the way, desperate to find out what happens next. And with remarkable poignancy, Phillips intersperses his experiences on the Maersk Alabama and its lifeboat with those of his wife and two children back home in Vermont, waiting for word on his fate and fighting off the international media camped out on their front lawn. It is an incredible story, one made all the more remarkable because it is true. flag 1 like · Like  · see review Feb 11, 2020 Mike McDonald rated it liked it Quick and easy read, though for such a life altering event, the author didn't seem to be impacted very much, other than learning to trust himself and encouraging others to trust themselves. If "what I can do for myself" is all life has to offer, I find that a pretty depressing conclusion. flag 1 like · Like  · see review Sep 16, 2015 Jake Kieffer rated it really liked it “A Captain’s Duty” by Richard Phillips with Stephan Talty is a very dramatic non fiction novel on how days at sea with pirates turns into hell. Captain Richard Phillips of the Maersk Alabama is on his cargo ship doing his job he has done for years now. But one day off the coast of Somalia multiple Somali pirates with powerful AK 47’s ambushed the boat and took everyone on the boat held hostage. Phillips and his crew have to withstand multiple life threatening incidents with dramatic and scorchin “A Captain’s Duty” by Richard Phillips with Stephan Talty is a very dramatic non fiction novel on how days at sea with pirates turns into hell. Captain Richard Phillips of the Maersk Alabama is on his cargo ship doing his job he has done for years now. But one day off the coast of Somalia multiple Somali pirates with powerful AK 47’s ambushed the boat and took everyone on the boat held hostage. Phillips and his crew have to withstand multiple life threatening incidents with dramatic and scorching days at sea. Phillips does a great job telling his amazing story through insane moments and how life at home was for his family. From my point, I remember faint newsreels showing this dangerous event unfolding which made me want to pick up this book once I saw it. Phillips’s first person style of writing makes this book feel like you were right there with him at the scene in the middle of the ocean. I was able to feel the emotions going through Captain Phillip’s head through this experience because of how great of a job him and Talty did to put out this nonfiction story. Although this story was a fantastic adventure, I felt like it started off a little slow and the buildup to the suspense did not click for me. Even though the start was not as good as I hoped for, the main conflict blew me away. This book would be a good read for people who have experienced dramatic and scary situations or people who love suspense and a very nerve racking plot. flag 1 like · Like  · see review Oct 28, 2013 Cathy added it Shelves: kindle, nonfiction I saw Captain Phillips, and ran home and downloaded this because I was curious about how similar the film was to the real events. I guess it's not surprising that Tom Hanks came across more admirable than a real person, but the actual Phillips does portray himself as scrappier and cockier and less statesmanlike than the Most Likable Guy in Hollywood's version of him. Fascinating to read, although very short and I kind of wanted more backstory about how ships and crews function in the modern Merc I saw Captain Phillips, and ran home and downloaded this because I was curious about how similar the film was to the real events. I guess it's not surprising that Tom Hanks came across more admirable than a real person, but the actual Phillips does portray himself as scrappier and cockier and less statesmanlike than the Most Likable Guy in Hollywood's version of him. Fascinating to read, although very short and I kind of wanted more backstory about how ships and crews function in the modern Merchant Marines, and of course much more about Somali piracy and why the pirates did some of the things they did. But that's not what this book was intended to be -- it's Phillips telling his own story, as he understood it, not an expanded New Yorker article full of research. And on that level, if is gripping.Having seen/read both versions now, the change that bothered me the most was the omission of Phillips' faith. I'm pretty much an atheist but he isn't, and the book makes it clear how much his Catholicism helped him cope during the days in the lifeboat. It seems only right to acknowledge that.Apparently there's a whole other level of controversy about how accurate his account of what happened on the Maersk is, which I don't have any way to evaluate. flag 1 like · Like  · see review Oct 14, 2013 Julie Dennis rated it it was amazing Great book for the weekend...some interesting information about merchant ships and how the men on the ships have to form instant trusting and interdependent relationships among each other to survive.I've never considered the risk that they face to do their job every day and how in times of war, the navy and merchant ships work dependently and independently of each other. The navy depends on them for ammunition while the merchant ships require protection in order to complete the deliveries. All o Great book for the weekend...some interesting information about merchant ships and how the men on the ships have to form instant trusting and interdependent relationships among each other to survive.I've never considered the risk that they face to do their job every day and how in times of war, the navy and merchant ships work dependently and independently of each other. The navy depends on them for ammunition while the merchant ships require protection in order to complete the deliveries. All of the captains of merchant ships know there are good routes and bad routes and they all have to make a living...so they take them as they come, route by route. However, captain Phillips never imagined how much the pirates would know about his ship on this route...and how to quickly they could take over command. Luckily, the outcome depended on who could outwit the other...whose mind was strongest. Also looks into the mindset of the Somali pirates and gives the reader a glimpse into their desperate situation and what they are willing to do in order or not only survive. These pirates despise Americans, yet want everything Americans have. flag 1 like · Like  · see review Apr 30, 2016 Natalie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition Shelves: survival, real-life, memoir, nautical Phillips' memoir primarily covers the time when he was being held hostage in his container ship's lifeboat by Somali pirates.But an unexpected pleasure is that Phillips also relates stories of his past and family life that help explain how he found himself in such a situation, how & maybe why he behaved as he did when pirates boarded his ship, and what was happening back home during his ordeal. toward the end, he explains the significance of a Kenyan priest's saying from a homily the family hear Phillips' memoir primarily covers the time when he was being held hostage in his container ship's lifeboat by Somali pirates.But an unexpected pleasure is that Phillips also relates stories of his past and family life that help explain how he found himself in such a situation, how & maybe why he behaved as he did when pirates boarded his ship, and what was happening back home during his ordeal. toward the end, he explains the significance of a Kenyan priest's saying from a homily the family heard & repeated often back in the usa: "God is great" & it's refrain: "always" ! this simple call and refrain lifts both phillips & his wife, and reading about that amidst the otherwise rather grueling and brutal circumstances of his captivity was like finding the pearl in the oyster bed for me ! flag 1 like · Like  · see review Apr 26, 2010 Bonnie rated it really liked it In some ways this put me in mind of another recently read book-Highest Duty by Capt. Sullenberger. Both of these books give extensive details of dramatic incidents that played out live on TV. Both about modern American heroes, and both about men whose past training and experiences truly prepared them for their defining moments. This story is told in the words of Captain Richard Phillips-from a dramatic beginning the narrative cuts back and forth between his earlier life and the infamous hijackin In some ways this put me in mind of another recently read book-Highest Duty by Capt. Sullenberger. Both of these books give extensive details of dramatic incidents that played out live on TV. Both about modern American heroes, and both about men whose past training and experiences truly prepared them for their defining moments. This story is told in the words of Captain Richard Phillips-from a dramatic beginning the narrative cuts back and forth between his earlier life and the infamous hijacking of the Captains ship and his being taken hostage by the Somali pirates. I found this book to be a page turner, packed with info about the merchant marine and the problem of modern day piracy. Even though I knew the ultimate outcome already, reading this was still suspenseful! flag 1 like · Like  · see review Jan 15, 2014 Chris rated it really liked it I read half the book and then watched the movie and then read the rest of the book. First off, I loved the movie. It was excellent. I also liked the book as a whole. There were a few things that bugged me about the book if I want to get picky. I was on page 110 before the pirates attacked! I get that you want to give some history and background of Captain Phillips but 100 pages was too much. Also, during the ordeal they kept going back and forth between the Captain and his wife. I'm not sure too I read half the book and then watched the movie and then read the rest of the book. First off, I loved the movie. It was excellent. I also liked the book as a whole. There were a few things that bugged me about the book if I want to get picky. I was on page 110 before the pirates attacked! I get that you want to give some history and background of Captain Phillips but 100 pages was too much. Also, during the ordeal they kept going back and forth between the Captain and his wife. I'm not sure too many readers were interested in how many reporters were at their house while all this was going on. It was a good read though. I would have given it five stars if it hadn't said the f word 15-20 times. I hate that. flag 1 like · Like  · see review Oct 28, 2013 Dustin rated it did not like it I am extremely disappointed with this book. Phillips comes across as this arrogant a-hole who expects us all to be like "wow- no one has ever survivied something so crazy." Wrong. I suggest he reads Unbroken and perhaps gain a bit of humility and perspective. I do not mean to be insensitive to what he went through, but this book makes me dislike him more than appreciate his ordeal. I will still go see the movie, but I struggled to finish the book and not throw it down in disgust because of the p I am extremely disappointed with this book. Phillips comes across as this arrogant a-hole who expects us all to be like "wow- no one has ever survivied something so crazy." Wrong. I suggest he reads Unbroken and perhaps gain a bit of humility and perspective. I do not mean to be insensitive to what he went through, but this book makes me dislike him more than appreciate his ordeal. I will still go see the movie, but I struggled to finish the book and not throw it down in disgust because of the pompous author. I'm sorry, but anyone who refers to this man as a "hero" has a pretty jacked up definition of the word. flag 1 like · Like  · see review Dec 31, 2015 Zee*Libraries:TheFreeGymforYourBrain* rated it it was ok Shelves: nonfiction, bios-n-autobios This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I had the privilege of hearing Capt. Phillips speak in May at a conference. I was struck by his humility, his eagerness to share credit for success with so many others, and his seemingly emotional distance from the severe trauma he had experienced. Later, I decided to read the book to learn more. The book itself was simplistic, told poorly, and probably too much in the voice of Phillips. It would have been better to have someone else tell his story with him as consultant only. My gut says this g I had the privilege of hearing Capt. Phillips speak in May at a conference. I was struck by his humility, his eagerness to share credit for success with so many others, and his seemingly emotional distance from the severe trauma he had experienced. Later, I decided to read the book to learn more. The book itself was simplistic, told poorly, and probably too much in the voice of Phillips. It would have been better to have someone else tell his story with him as consultant only. My gut says this guy is still not facing all his demons, but that's not my call. Meanwhile, he still has an amazing story to tell. It's just an awkward, arduous read. flag 1 like · Like  · see review Aug 11, 2011 Jeff rated it really liked it Certainly a different book than the type I normally read. Found it interesting although it slowed down in the 2nd half of the book in my opinion. Glad that Phillips didn't spend too much time on his background and personal training. Actually expected a little more from him about how he prepared his crew for the attack by pirates and how they all behaved during the takeover. And I also thought he'd have some sort of "recommendations" chapter for boats sailing through these waters in the future. O Certainly a different book than the type I normally read. Found it interesting although it slowed down in the 2nd half of the book in my opinion. Glad that Phillips didn't spend too much time on his background and personal training. Actually expected a little more from him about how he prepared his crew for the attack by pirates and how they all behaved during the takeover. And I also thought he'd have some sort of "recommendations" chapter for boats sailing through these waters in the future. Overall, about what you'd expect, maybe not as deep as other hostage books. flag 1 like · Like  · see review Jan 04, 2014 Camden rated it really liked it I really liked this book. After loving the movie I wanted to know more about the story. I knew NOTHING about the merchant marines and in fact had heard the term before but couldn't have told you who they were. Duh. Anyway, there was a lot of interesting stuff about the whole merchant shipping industry and backstory on Captain Phillips. Of course, the movie didn't portray exactly what happened during the pirate attack but it was pretty close--better than MOST book adaptations. I thought it was a I really liked this book. After loving the movie I wanted to know more about the story. I knew NOTHING about the merchant marines and in fact had heard the term before but couldn't have told you who they were. Duh. Anyway, there was a lot of interesting stuff about the whole merchant shipping industry and backstory on Captain Phillips. Of course, the movie didn't portray exactly what happened during the pirate attack but it was pretty close--better than MOST book adaptations. I thought it was a page turner and I recommend it. flag 1 like · Like  · see review Jul 19, 2014 Dave Thompson rated it liked it This predictable book follows the basic format of these types of bio stories. There's nothing earth-shattering that you didn't already know, outside of Phillips' claim of being a saucy bad boy growing up in hard-scrabble Massachusetts. But if you need a break from books on more intellectually taxing subjects, this will remind you why you challenge yourself with your choices in books. But it won't be a totally wasted 4 hours of your life. The way Phillips (and importantly, his tough and imaginati This predictable book follows the basic format of these types of bio stories. There's nothing earth-shattering that you didn't already know, outside of Phillips' claim of being a saucy bad boy growing up in hard-scrabble Massachusetts. But if you need a break from books on more intellectually taxing subjects, this will remind you why you challenge yourself with your choices in books. But it won't be a totally wasted 4 hours of your life. The way Phillips (and importantly, his tough and imaginative crew) outsmart desperate and hungry pirates is mildly amusing. flag 1 like · Like  · see review Apr 22, 2010 Matt rated it really liked it Shelves: leadership, naval-history, destroyer-history, maritime-history, seamanship, maritime-disaster, war-on-terrorism I was riveted to Captain Phillips story as it was unfolding and his book was just as riveting. I pickd up the book and was halfway through the book and the night before I put it down to go to sleep. His courage, stamina, and leadership are amazing and Captain Phillips shows how those characteristics with a will to win can do. Captain Phillips and his family have my respect,and admiration. This book is recommended for anyone interested in leadership and anyone who has a love of the sea. flag 1 like · Like  · see review View 1 comment Aug 18, 2010 Beth Mason rated it really liked it I love how he weaves other sea stories into the main story. I love hearing sailors talk about the wild things they've seen and done on the water. Of course everyone is going to see a traumatic event differently and of course there will be finger pointing and law suits. This book does come off in parts as him defending himself and his decisions. But overall the book is a fun and harrowing read. I feel for his wife! flag 1 like · Like  · see review Feb 12, 2011 Linda rated it really liked it This is an amazing story of endurance, keeping your wits about you under pressure and saving lives in the line of duty. I LOVED this story. I have utmost respect for this captain and what he went through to save the lives of his crew and come home to his family. He prepared his ship well and his crew stepped up and did their best. I'm glad it turned out well. The language is appropriate for a sailor in a crisis. :) flag 1 like · Like  · see review « previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 … next »

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