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The Lost Boys of Montauk: The True Story of the Wind Blown, Four Men Who Vanished at Sea, and the Survivors They Left Behind
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The Lost Boys of Montauk: The True Story of the Wind Blown, Four Men Who Vanished at Sea, and the Survivors They Left Behind

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  246 ratings  ·  84 reviews
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 thr
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published May 25th 2021 by Gallery Books
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Average rating 3.62  · 
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Start your review of The Lost Boys of Montauk: The True Story of the Wind Blown, Four Men Who Vanished at Sea, and the Survivors They Left Behind
The Lost Boys of Montauk tells the story – through interviews and much research – of the commercial fishing boat Wind Blown, owned and skippered by husband and father of three boys, Mike Stedman with first mate Dave Connick, twenty-three, and deckhands Michael Vigilant, nineteen and Scott Clarke, eighteen. Wind Blown was a 65 foot long-line trawler; their planned catch would be tilefish, and Wind Blown was Mike’s pride and joy. But many would later say it was unseaworthy, especially seeing as Mi ...more
Apr 18, 2021 rated it it was ok
This one didn't do it for me.

I wanted to like this one. I feel bad that 4 men lost their lives and were never found and their family still mourns them. The author is trying to keep these men alive even just in memory with her book and that is commendable.

However, there were frequently too many TMIs, and maybe I'm not a man so maybe they're wired differently, but personally if I had died I would not want someone writing about the age I lost my virginity and whether or not I have sex while my gir
Stephen Smith
Feb 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A fantastic, gripping book about the intersecting lives of some young men from the Hamptons, some of whom were sons of privilege, and others of whom were local boys . They became surfers and fisherman and tried to prove themselves in the dangerous deep sea fishing trade and were lost in a monstrous storm. They left behind some loves and some secrets. But I wont spoil the book. Very touching story and great history of the Hamptons and the fishing trade. A great summer or anytime read.
Jun 06, 2021 rated it did not like it
It's a rare day I give a book one star, but frankly I thought this book sucked. There's no plot, no real story, it's mostly all very uninteresting filler. Either there's just not enough known about what actually happened to merit a book or the author just isn't talented enough to tell the story. Either way it's pretty lame alright. I can't believe it's made it to "book of the month" category. ...more
Sarah Buron
Apr 14, 2021 rated it it was ok
2.5 stars! The publisher was nice enough to reach out to me with a free copy of this book. The author definitely did a lot of research into the various histories of the families involved but I didn’t feel like I got to know the four men themselves enough. It was a little too long and drawn out as well.
Judy Millner
Nov 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
You must read this book! As an avid reader, it is rare to come across a book this well written. The Lost Boys of Montauk is a riveting piece of non fiction which brilliantly reads like fiction. With Ms. Fairbanks’ journalism background, I found this book to be beautifully researched and, in heart wrenchingly detail, delivered. It is a sea tale of family and betrayal, of societal discrepancies and privilege, of young love and devastating family grief. This book will pull on your heartstrings, all ...more
Sudhir Venkatesh
Feb 12, 2021 rated it it was amazing
If you think you know the Hamptons, think again. This book opens up worlds that many of us never see up close. Rarely do we see so many sides of an American community, one that comes together as it is ripped apart by a tragedy that won’t fade away. A craft, fishing, that is as old as man, becomes a thread for the author to weave a timeless tale of grief, love, and resilience.
Lori Hawkins
Feb 12, 2021 rated it it was amazing
While The Lost Boys of Montauk is nonfiction, it reads like fiction. It’s immediately evident that the writer, Amanda Fairbanks, not only cared deeply about the people contained within this story, but wanted to do it justice. I simply couldn’t put it down.
Donna Oschman
Jun 13, 2021 rated it it was ok
I want to love this book as a girl who grew up on the East and of Long Island and had her first job workin in East Hampton. I enjoyed all of the history and references to Gosman’s and Shagwong places I have been to and love.
Unfortunately, I felt like the author at times iwas all over the place and also gave us every fact she found, out. It felt exhausting and I as if we were given all this information but also told nothing all at the same time.
Kerry Pickens
May 08, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2021
Like many adventures books about the sea, this story ends tragically. If you enjoyed The Perfect Storm, you were would probably enjoy this book. The author does keep hitting you over the head with the fact that whole crew of young men died, but like most nonfiction the ending is a known fact. The dilemma is why chose this high risk way to make a living but it's the same reason people participate in any risky sports like scuba diving or surfing. They enjoy the adrenaline rush so it's their choice ...more
Jonathan Cranin
Feb 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I've been coming to the East End for 30 years and have watched the social dynamics change between the locals and weekend people. Amanda Fairbanks' powerful book is poignant in many ways, but shining a light on this slow, but inexorable, change is heartbreaking. It's a sad and wonderful book. ...more
May 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed, ng-reviews
4.75 stars / This review will be posted at today.

In March 1984 a fishing boat went down in the Atlantic during a storm. No, not the Andrea Gail, the F/V known as the Wind Blown. With four fishermen on board, no mayday was sounded, no distress calls, no known location. All that is known is that the Wind Blown was out in that storm and neither the boat nor fishermen ever returned home.

But it’s more than just a story about a downed vessel. Fairbanks does a journalist’s job of goi
Jun 15, 2021 rated it did not like it
This book was so disappointing. This is the first book I've ever wanted my money back for. I can only give one star because it was good to learn about the crew of the Wind Blown and know they're not forgotten. Some of the history of Montauk and Long Island was interesting, as well.

But the content is so disjointed. It was hard to follow the list of people that the author kept dropping into the story. And a lot of the content was unnecessary filler. The book was way too long for the limited amount
Stacie Moore
May 28, 2021 rated it it was amazing
There’s definitely a chance I’m rating this higher than deserved because I’m drawn to the material. I have no doubt there will be a million comparisons to The Perfect Storm by Sebastian Junger and, rightly so. It’s very similar in style, but also, how else could you really tell such a story? While I wouldn’t say it’s as good as TPS, it still has great character development, interesting information from great sources, and, well, heart.

If you enjoy stories of peril at sea, I think you’ll be glad
Sarah Gardenier
Jun 12, 2021 rated it it was ok
While this was a well written, interesting and well researched book, as it went on, I couldn't help but wonder about the ethics of a journalist writing a book about the private lives and secrets of ordinary people who are not public figures. At times it felt invasive and disrespectful. ...more
Mar 25, 2021 rated it it was ok
2 star
The Lost Boys of Montauk
by Amanda M. Fairbanks
This is supposed to be the story of the lost ship Windblown and the men who lost their lives. However, this is more a story of those left behind and their lives than those who died.
This is a strange yet interesting book The author clearly put in a lot of time and research into the book but so much of this book is pure fluff. Fairbanks also has some very strange beliefs that keep creeping in the book for no real reason.
The Lost Boys of Montauk
Jun 20, 2021 rated it did not like it
This book was so poorly-written that it hurt my eyes. The only reason it gets even one star is because of the tragedy of the story. The writer committed so many rookie reporter mistakes - including irrelevant details to show she did the research (who cares what Ed Koch said in an obit of a tangential character?), cringeworthy cliches ("siren song of Manhattan" - OUCH - "weekend people seem to breathe more rarified air" - DOUBLE OUCH - "The Wind Blown became Mike's mistress" - STOPPPP) and factua ...more
Zibby Owens
Jun 04, 2021 rated it it was amazing
In March of 1984, a commercial fishing boat left Montauk Harbor on a routine offshore voyage, but due to a storm, the boat went down with the captain (a married father of three young boys) and four men. The ship and the bodies were never recovered. This book is about the aftermath of that tradegy and how the immense grief impacted all the families and the town for generations to come— in big ways, in small ways, and in ways, they still can't quantify.

We spend most of the time with the survivors
Jun 05, 2021 rated it liked it
This was a pretty strange book. I sort of liked it and sort of didn't. The author says she wanted to write it to honor the four missing men but she exposed family secrets that were kind of shocking and really didn't do much to honor the memories of these men or their families. The book veered between TMI and then not enough information. In one case, she introduces someone named Philip who really didn't add much to the story and then she casually said his mother divorced his father and went on to ...more
Jun 20, 2021 rated it really liked it
I would us the word poignant to describe this book. I would also note that it might not be of interest to those unfamiliar with The Hamptons area described in detail. I am familiar with it, as I have rented in the summers in this area for much of my life. The familiarity of the area and landmark descriptions was interesting to me.

The loss of the four young men on a commercial fishing boat during a terrible storm in 1984 is the framework on which this book is built. The author examines the class
Brian Ratty
Feb 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing
The Lost Boys of Montauk: With the distinctive flair of the movie Perfect Storm, author Amanda M. Fairbanks crafts a fascinating true story about four young commercial fishermen who vanish at sea off Montauk Harbor New York in March of 1984. The book isn’t so much about the tragic wreckage of their fishing boat Wind Blown as it is about the many onshore survivors that now have to deal with their untimely deaths. Well researched and brilliantly written, 'The Lost Boys of Montauk’ is a look back t ...more
May 14, 2021 rated it really liked it
I loved this book. Fairbanks described the individuals related to the story vividly. Before A PERFECT STORM, there was a nor’easter in 1984, which sunk a ship with four young commercial fishermen. She begins by describing the storm and probable events leading to the ship sinking. The middle unspools all the of the fisherman’s histories and family dynamics. It ends with all the reverberations and impacts the survivors faced immediately after the tragedy and many years later. I like ocean/fisherma ...more
Jun 18, 2021 rated it it was ok
Buried here is a tale of a tragedy at sea, family dysfunction, and a community defined by class differences. Unfortunately, these themes are dwarfed by a disjointed narrative structure and mired in extraneous detail. It’s clear the writer did a lot of research but it seems like she felt compelled to report every single thing she learned rather than edit to tell the compelling story this might have been.
Feb 16, 2021 rated it really liked it
This book explores the true story of the 1984 sinking of the Montauk fishing vessel Wind Blown and it's four lost fishermen. Fairbanks interviews family members and townspeople to give a full picture of the tragedy. As Fairbanks states, commercial fishing is the most dangerous occupation on earth. One wonders why anyone would choose to take on this job knowing the risks, and this book makes these motivations clear. Very insightful! ...more
Olivia Chaplin
Feb 22, 2021 rated it it was amazing
As I read, and I couldn't put it down, I couldn't help but think of this as a motion picture or a limited series. It's kind of a mix of THE PERFECT STORM meets MANCHESTER BY THE SEA, with the young love of GOOD WILL HUNTING combined with the adultery and secrets of THE AFFAIR. ...more
Jun 02, 2021 rated it it was ok
This book's topic is tough. The men were tough. It was an awful loss to Montauk, and it is a fitting tribute to the families represented by the tragic loss of this crew. That being said, I found it difficult to work my way through the material. The style of writing is more that of memoir than a relating of the events surrounding the tragedy. Unfortunately, while the content is rich, the level of detail almost detracts from the story itself. For people closely connected to the events, this is a g ...more
michelle m bilotti
Since I grow up with one of the men, who lost his life at sea, I thought it would have been written with more truth and compassion. I know of 2 incidents that were written as fact in the book and was disappointed how the author decided to write it. It wasn't the story, I was hoping for and certainly did not give my child hood friend Michael Vigilant the respect him and his family deserved.
I would have not recommenced this book to any of my friends and never will
Jessica Haider
Jun 16, 2021 rated it liked it
Review coming soon.

Thank you to the publisher for the review copy!
Norman Lippman
Jun 04, 2021 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

I wanted a story about the sea, maybe another perfect storm. What I got was a boring history of the families and friends.
Jun 03, 2021 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The story is not exceptionally interesting and the presentation awkward but what a perfect closing line.
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Amanda M. Fairbanks is a journalist and writer who has worked in the editorial department of the New York Times, as a higher education reporter at HuffPost, and as a staff writer at the East Hampton Star. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Boston Globe, Newsweek, the Atlantic, and the San Francisco Chronicle, among other publications. A graduate of Smith College and a former Teach ...more

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