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Time Bandit: Two Brothers, the Bering Sea, and One of the World's Deadliest Jobs

3.75  ·  Rating Details ·  757 Ratings  ·  127 Reviews
Every Alaskan king crab season, brothers Andy and Johnathan Hillstrand risk their lives and seek their fortunes upon the treacherous waters of the Bering Sea. Sons of a hard-bitten, highly successful fisherman, and born with brine in their blood, the Hillstrand boys couldn’t imagine a life without a swaying deck underfoot and a harvest of mighty king crabs waiting to be pu ...more
Paperback, 227 pages
Published March 31st 2009 by Ballantine Books (first published 2008)
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Aug 07, 2010 Buggy rated it really liked it
Opening Line: "I am a fisherman, an Alaskan fisherman, and a Bering Sea crab fisherman with thirty-seven years on commercial boats."

As a long time fan of TV’s The Deadliest Catch and an avid biography reader it was a given that I’d read Time Bandit, I just didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I did or be given such candour into Johnathan and Andy Hillstrand’s lives. Now thanks to the boys I also know just about everything I’d ever want to about; Alaskan weather, rogue waves, hypothermia, what ha
Apr 12, 2008 Kim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Why would I ever pick up this book? Because on April 16th these two brothers are coming to my Barnes & Noble as our first author event. And reading through this book, and watching the Hillstrands on Deadliest Catch one thing is certain - they might be two of the craziest people I will ever meet....and I don't even eat crab.
Tammy Dotts
The Hillstrand brothers, for those not familiar with Discovery Channel’s Deadliest Catch, own and operate a crab fishing boat out of Alaska. The TV show follows them and other crab crews over the season. Time Bandit is the brothers’ story of how they became fisherman, how it affects their lives off the boat and the large amounts of alcohol, nicotine and sugar that are consumed during the crab season.

The book opens outside the crab season with Johnathan fishing for salmon alone. His boat runs int
Doug Cornelius
I just finished reading Time Bandit. I wish I had spent my time better. The book was written by Andy and Johnathan Hillstrand, with William MacPherson. The brothers Hillstrand are among the boat captains that star in the Discovery Channel's Deadliest Catch. They are Alaskan king crab fisherman.

When I first got the book title, my first thought was about the movie Time Bandits. That movie is one of my favorites. The name of the book is the name of the authors' boat: Time Bandit. The authors' fathe
Chris Gardner
This is story of two Alaska fishermen who co-own the fishing vessel, Time Bandit. They and the ship are regulars on Discovery Channel's Deadliest Catch.[return][return]The book begins with Jonathan's story. His childhood, his relationships with his father, his community (Homer, AK), his family, his brother Andy, and the sea. Always the sea. With Jonathan, it is always the sea. Jonathan is a fisherman, first and foremost. [return][return]Jonathan comes across as a sensitive guy who would give a f ...more
May 20, 2009 Brian rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Okay... I love the show "Deadliest Catch." When I found out about this book, I wanted to read it right away. I gotta say, this was one of the most exciting and poorly-written books I've ever read. Yep. I was excited to read it. And I laughed out loud several time while reading in reaction to the fact that this was actually a book that tried to have a through-line. That may sound confusing. But it's 100% true. This book was basically just Jonathan talking about the fights he's been in, the trucks ...more
John Bacin
A nice point-of-view to read about written by a couple of fun guys, but it was a bit all over the place in the writing, to the point where it was occasionally distracting. More like a collection of memories losely tied to a man's minor boat trouble.
Patrick Martin
Mar 11, 2017 Patrick Martin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
As a fan of the Deadliest Catch reality show when it first started I had high hopes for this book. What I got was a book that seemed very juvenile, not just in it's presentation but regarding the characters. These are men that run multi-million dollar fishing empires and they can obvious be hard drinking, fun time men. The book left me viewing them more as White Trash.

There were some enlightening points but I was not a fan of the book and would never recommend to a friend, unless they were a 20
This book made me laugh out loud, mostly at the antics of the Hillstrand brothers during their childhood, growing up in Alaska and on the Bering Sea. There are 5 brothers, and I can't believe any of them made it past the age of about 10. One super-glued his eye shut, a couple of them have shot each other, one was in a tree so the others chopped it down, etc. I guess this sort of devil-may-care approach to life is what's needed if you are going to grow up to be a captain of a crab boat on the Ber ...more
Time Bandit is a simple tale from a simple fisherman. Granted, this fisherman fishes the most dangerous seas around and develops many tales from that. This book would never be remotely mistaken for literature. It reminds me more along the lines of telling tales through oral tradition. This isn't because he necessarily tells tall tales, though I do question the truth in many of them, just the way he writes or speaks.
Reading this, I was going to write that the first chapter, written primarily by J
Jun 25, 2009 M— rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
I got the distinct impression that Malcolm MacPherson holed up with the Hillstrand brothers some place where there was a lot of booze and kept a recorder switched on the whole time. This resulting book is a lot of fun to read, but it's really only for people already fans of The Deadliest Catch. Andy and Johnathan rant and ramble and tell great embellishments to stories I'm already familiar with from watching the show, and while MacPherson has improved the structure immeasurably by formatting the ...more
Jul 23, 2010 Msslam rated it liked it
It's a mix of Old Man and the Sea and Hillstrand-isms like, "Shit happens when you party naked." I. love. it.

post read review: I really wanted to give this 3 stars, because I really do like it. BUT it suffers from a major lack of copyediting/proofreading. Disappointing really, because the skeleton of the book is excellent. The story frame is Jonathan being stranded at sea. Jonathan's chapters are first person with him telling the story of how he has come to be stranded and then reminiscing/regal
Oct 05, 2010 Jenn rated it it was amazing
I couldn't wait to start this one. This book did not disappoint. Granted I think it could've been written better but I think it would of taken away from the Hillstrand brothers. If the book was more serious it would of been fake. The book stayed true to how the brothers are portrayed on the Deadly Catch. This is why I gave it 5 stories. I applaud the editors for not taking anything away from these 2 and letting them tell their story in their own words.

Jonathon's personality did not surprise me.
Jun 04, 2008 Meagan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
When I received my copy of this book, I started reading it with great enthusiasm. I'm a big fan of the Discovery Channel series "The Deadliest Catch," and I was hoping that Time Bandit would in some way enhance my enjoyment of the show. I should preface my review by saying that I do believe that the Hillstrand brothers have some truly remarkable and fascinating stories to tell, and that the idea of this book is a good one. Unfortunately, it never really worked for me. Almost the entire book seem ...more
May 22, 2008 Gina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2009, memoir
If you are a fan of the Discovery Channel's show "The Deadliest Catch" then chances are you will be a fan of "Time Bandit". It was a fanatastic look into the thoughts and lives of two of the show's main co-captains, Jonathon and Andy Hillstrand, captains and owners of the F/V Time Bandit. Chock full of suspense, drama, and fishing tales it's captures everything we have come to love from the Hillstrand boys.

I will say one negative about the book though that a number of readers have already picked
Jul 18, 2008 Julie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This was clearly one of those cases where someone has some good stories and someone else tells him, "you should write a book!" and he unfortunately listens. Not all good stories, or as in this case collections of stories, deserve a book. This book? Case in point. I didn't realize until I got to the end that there was a TV show based on these guys (thus the book). If I had, I might have skipped it. I love a good sea story, ala "The Perfect Storm," (Junger) or "Batavia's Graveyard," (Dash) or "Int ...more
Aug 28, 2008 Caitlin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Boys... and girls who enjoy "Deadliest Catch"
Recommended to Caitlin by: My brother
I like "Deadliest Catch" and Time Bandit is my favorite boat (yes, I like it enough that I have a favorite boat. Don't laugh.) This book is a lot like watching the show, in fact, some of the stories in the book are ones I remember from the show. The voices of the Hillstrand brothers come through strongly in the writing and ring true to what you know of them from the show. You get to know more about them than the show allows for though - they are interesting, complex characters, for sure. It is a ...more
My dad once spent a flight from Anchorage to Seattle sitting next to Captain Jonathan Hillstrand, talking story all the way. Even though dad was en route to his father's funeral, he had a good time on that plane; two Alaskan men exchanging experiences. After listening to this book, I have some idea what that flight must have been like. I was surprised at how eloquent the Captains could be when describing the sea; I understand there was another author, but those words have to have been written by ...more
Sarah Lameche
Aug 08, 2014 Sarah Lameche rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh no! Its finished! What an enjoyable read. After becoming addicted to 'Deadliest Catch' I was really excited to learn that there was a book out (Phil Harris -the legendary crab fisherman). Sadly Phil passed away so I really appreciated being able to read about his life. I then discovered this book. It's a very different kind of read. Whilst Phil was one of my favourites after reading his book I discovered he made some bad choices in his life and wasn't always the nicest person. The Hillstrand ...more
Sarah G.
This book is written by the Hillstrand brothers that are co-captains on the Discovery series Deadliest Catch. Love the show, but the book was just OK for me. The portions of the book that were done by Andy literally put me to sleep. He gets way into the technical side of fishing which was over my head. Johnathan's portions could be a bit like that, but his stories were more adventurous (kind of like the show, in fact some of the stories were also on the show). He's a great storyteller (probably ...more
While TV show is riveting with its drama, this book leaves a lot to be desired. I couldn't even finish it. The book consists of loosely connected one-paragraph bar stories that leave the reader constantly grasping for more. When dramatic stories of disaster at sea do enter the story, the story is covered in a page-and-a-half, again leaving the reader drifting aimlessly in anecdotes.

To keep you turning the page, the writer has woven in a story arc where Johnathan is floating aimlessly in a boat a
Craig Williams
Feb 29, 2012 Craig Williams rated it liked it
I picked this up because I was enamored in the television series "Deadliest Catch" and wanted to know more stories behind the crab fisherman that I saw on the screen. At the time when I got this, there were no other books about any one else on the show, so in a way I settled for this one. After reading it, I know I didn't settle at all. This book is definitely about fishing, but even more. It is about two brothers, their family history, and the struggles of life on the sea and also on land. Ther ...more
Nov 19, 2012 Ashley rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is exactly as you'd expect it to be. Brash, easy to read, humorous, scandalous, and exactly the characters you watch every week on Deadliest Catch. The story gave fans of the show a look into the lives of our favorite Hillstrand boys before they were on tv, and frankly it made me terrified of the idea of ever having boys. Johnathan and Andy's poor mother. It's not the most literary work, but their ghost writer did a good job of capturing each of their essence, letting a reader look dee ...more
Cindy Griffin
I am a die hard fan of The Deadliest Catch so I was very excited by the opportunity to read Time Bandit. While the book was fun to read, it lacked the excitement and edge-of-your-seat thrills that are a part of the television show. But then again, this is not about the television show. The book focuses on one boat and the crew. It was interesting to follow the lives of these men and catch a glimpse of them in another light. I enjoyed reading about the relationships with their families and how th ...more
Jun 12, 2008 Nicole rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of the show
An interesting look at a lifestyle that is so far removed from what is familiar to most Americans that it almost seems unreal. The Hillstrands thrive in the most dangerous occupation around. Growing up in wild Alaska seems to have given them a thrist for adventure that matches that of this country's early settlers.

The book, with narration jumping between Johnathan and Andy, is a fast, entertaining read. Though they may seem rough and tough on Deadliest Catch, the book reveals both brothers to be
Jul 28, 2011 Deidre rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you're an obsessed fan of The Deadliest Catch (like me) you'll love this look into the Hillstrand brothers minds, childhoods and worst fears. They could probably fill another book with just their personal fishing stories the way they dart from fish tale to fishier tale in this one. Some of the book just rehashed events that you saw on the show but gave a little more detail. They repeatedly emphasize all the ways you can die on a crab boat and how crazy they are for doing it and at times go in ...more
Jul 01, 2008 Corey rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2008
I just finished the ARC. Hopefully, the typos have been removed and the syntax polished for the final market version. Entertaining and informative, this book has a few white-knuckle scenes but survives mainly on anecdotes related by Johnathan Hillstrand, the wilder of the two Hillstrand brothers who authored this book and achieved some notoriety on the TV show "The Deadliest Catch."

Time Bandit also provides an insider's perspective on Alaska life and why its citizens are so different from the re
Jun 24, 2010 Joy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This was a heck of a lot of fun to read, and the personalities of Johnathan and Andy in the book are very similar to what we see on TV. Lots of neat stories and anecdotes in this book, including the original commissioning of the F/V Time Bandit as well as tales from their childhood and personal lives, all set against a framework of an experience Johnathan had salmon fishing in recent years. I really enjoyed this book, and learning more about these guys, and came away thinking that they're crazy ...more
Nov 13, 2008 Delascabezas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a book about fishing.[return][return]I have a personal bias when it comes to this read. I am a fisherman, not by trade, but in my heart. The way Andy describes it is totally spot-on. While this collection of anecdotes and tall tales surrounding what is most likely one of the most insane profession remaining on the planet provide the reader with a profile of the type of person who would pursue this line of work, it does not prepare the reader for the realities that person faces, which are ...more
Nov 25, 2008 Rhonda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Deadliest Catch happens to be one of my favorite Discovery Channel show so when I found out that Andy and Johnathan Hillstrand, the captains aboard the Time Bandit, had written a book I had to read it.

I don't know if it was because I have watched these captains through several seasons of crab fishing that made me like this book so much or if it was the way they told their story. I just know that I finished it in less than two days and wanted more when it was done.

Now I want the guys aboard the N
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Andy Hillstrand is a crab boat captain that is most popularly known from the Discovery Channel series "Deadliest Catch"

Andy trades command duties with John between seasons; he is the captain of the Time Bandit during opilio crab season.

He is talkative and considers himself the most levelheaded of the family. He runs the business side but always includes his brothers on the final decisions. Andy i
More about Andy Hillstrand...

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