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North by Northwestern: A Seafaring Family on Deadly Alaskan Waters

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  974 ratings  ·  127 reviews
All this exposure has made unlikely heroes of some of the fishermen, especially a few of the captains...Captain Hansen of the Northwestern fascinates because of his Ahob-like focus and relentlessness.
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published March 30th 2010 by Thomas Dunne Books (first published January 1st 2010)
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 ·  974 ratings  ·  127 reviews

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Oct 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
I think I like Sig Hansen even more after reading this book. This was chalked full of history of his family and the history of the Norwegians. It also gave back round on how crab fishing works.

Even though it wasn't as quirky or entertaining as the Time Bandit book this book held it's own story. I have to admit some of the history parts did get a little boring but it's knowledge I would of have never even thought to look up had it not been for the Deadliest Catch.

Sig is quirky in his own right.
Apr 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Are you a Deadlist Catch fan? Read this book. It details all things Sig Hansen and how his family has bled and continues to bleed all things crab fishing. The author (same guy who wrote The Man who quit Money) also allowed Sig to include Norwegian history lessons and the biology of various crab species. This isn't just a biography, you can learn something from it.

Great read.
Ok book. Captain Sig Hansen holds very little back about personal life, fishing life and gives a lot of interesting information on Norwegian history.
Oct 02, 2017 rated it liked it
Very few fishermen I've known have not seen at least a handful of episodes of The Deadliest Catch. Even if they insist they don't care about it, or that it's just a vehicle for the ego of skippers like Sig Hansen, The Deadliest Catch has been incredible good advertising for the industry, and unlike the movie The Perfect Storm, it stars people who actually work in the industry.
One of the things I enjoyed most about this book is how the ghost writer Mark Sundeen is able to capture the voice of Sig
Dec 31, 2019 rated it liked it
My dad used to watch Deadliest Catch all the time. When I was working on my undergrad, I used to work on homework in their living room and ended up seeing the show playing in the background. I became taken with the lifestyle of these men and went back to watch earlier seasons. I got the opportunity to meet Jonathan Hillstrand, Phil Harris (shortly before he passed) and his two sons. I put this book on my TBR a long time ago, but it kept getting set aside for other things. I enjoyed the stories a ...more
Kathryn Holden
Mar 06, 2019 rated it liked it
A fast read and enjoyable. It was a great account of the industry through the years and the Hansen family was a part of that, as well as their personal culture and history. What I found difficult was the choppy, jump around telling of all these parts. While it is likely what kept the book moving along quickly, it seemed to jump back and forth on various timelines and was inconsistent in the use of dates vs ages, so I had a difficult time trying to piece together the order of events with respect ...more
Dec 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
The narrator for the audiobook was pretty monotone and boring, but the content of the book itself was great. If you have any interest in Deadliest Catch or crab fishing in general, you will probably like this book.
Dec 22, 2019 rated it it was ok
Interesting inside look at Alaskan Crab Fishing. Background on Norwegian family devoted to fishing, relationship to New Bedford, Seattle and Alaska. Problems of boat ownership, maintainance, keeping crews, locating crabs and battling weather.
Ria F
Feb 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
A lot of what's in this book was covered when DC did the ship by ship retrospective. Definitely written in Sig's "voice" I enjoyed it ...more
Gina Henderson
May 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
Loved reading this. The Northwestern is one of my favorite 2 crab boats on tbe Deadliest Catch. it was great seeing the saga unfold from the beginning. Well written and kept my interest.
Paul Ingrey
Jan 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not what I expected at all, full of Viking history and Norse mythology tied with the exploits of his owns family and colleagues makes this a great read.
Aug 25, 2019 rated it liked it
Interesting stories
Alex Telander
Aug 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing
From the very first episodes of the premiere season of Deadliest Catch, viewers knew they’d been invited into a world that they’d had little idea existed. To call it the deadliest job in the world is a large claim to make, but anyone who has watched the show – as excited and thrilled they might be at the fantasy of riding the rough seas and risking their lives – knows it’s a feat that these guys make it back to Dutch Harbor at the end of each season. But how did these people become the incredibl ...more
Jun 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, memoir
I'm not sure how I became a fan of Deadliest Catch, but somehow I got sucked into the show and really fell in love with these fishermen that I'd never met. I think a good part of it is that they do what they do despite - or maybe even because of - the danger involved. So, when I found Captain Sig's book at the library, I had to get it.

I'm really glad that I did pick it up. North by Northwestern tells the story of not just the Hansen family, but also the story of the fishing industry in the Paci
Travis Smith
Feb 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads-win
I was lucky enough to win this book through the Goodreads giveaway and was so happy it was the one I won; ever since I heard about it I wanted get it. I’ve seen all the seasons of the Deadliest Catch and feel like I have come to a good understanding of how the crab industry works but this book really explains things in great detail. It’s the story of Sig Hansen and his family all the way back to his great-grandfather. Further if you count him telling of the Vikings and discoving North America fi ...more
Marc Morin
Sep 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
In the autobiography, North By Northwestern, by Sig Hanson, the cool waters of the Bering Sea swirl you in to a inspirational story about three brothers, a family, and a dream. I selected this book after being intrigued by watching the popular TV show, Deadliest Catch on Discovery Channel. The F/ V (stands for fishing vessel) Northwestern is one one of my favorite boats on the show and always seems to dominate the market with crab. The main character of the book is Sig, the captain, and of cour ...more
Fiona Finding Fifth
Nov 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
The nail biting tale of Sverre Hansen and the sinking of the Foremost punctuates this book from the beginning to the end. Sverre was the Norwegian father of Sig Hansen captain of The Northwestern (featured on Deadliest Catch and Cars 3). Sig and co author Mark Sundeen have put together a book that chronicles the inception and history of the Alaskan crab fishing industry. I found it fascinating to read about the history of the Aleutians, Dutch Harbour, boat building, Norwegian immigration and cul ...more
Feb 15, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I won this on first-reads and was very excited since Captain Sig and his crew were my favorites on the Discovery Channel’s ‘Deadliest Catch’. This book was a great insight to the life of a fisherman. It was full of interesting facts that hooked me in and carried me through the end. What I really liked was the fact that Sig is a normal everyday guy that happens to have a very dangerous job for a living. I loved his writing style, it was raw and real. If this was done any other way I think it woul ...more
Jun 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
I'm a fan of Discovery's Deadliest Catch. The Hansen family runs the boat F/V Northwestern and this is their story.

This really is the Hansen family story. Captain Sig relates how his family came to be in America and talks about the Norwegian area of Ballard where they settled.. This is his dad's story, how the Northwestern came to be and how Sig came to captain it. He also tells about the history of crab fishing and the changes in the industry and fleet throughout the years. He talks about close
Drew Gagnon
Sep 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book, North By Northwestern, was a great book to read. Its a true story about a family legacy of fishermen that brave the vast, unpredictable Bering Sea for Alaskan crab.

I personally enjoyed reading this piece of nonfiction due to the amount of detail the author put in the text. Another reason is because the second generation of fishing in the Hansen Family was a Norwegian immigrant, Sverre Hansen, that went to Alaska to follow his fathers footsteps and that was to fish. With that dream he
Jul 13, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir, read-in-2013
As a fan of Discovery's "Deadliest Catch" TV show I have been wanting to read "North by Northwestern" for quite sometime. A couple of years ago I read the book written by the Hillstrand brothers and enjoyed it but I feel that "North by Northwestern" surpassed their book.

Each chapter is basically split in three parts. In the first we follow the sinking of the steel Foremost who was captained by the Hansens' father. In the second third you follow the history of the Hansens' migration into Alaska
Aug 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle, read-in-2015
I picked up this book because I love Deadliest Catch and the Northwestern is one of my favorites to follow on the show. I really enjoyed learning about their father and their backstories before Deadliest Catch. You can tell the book is a bit outdated now but it's still a good read if you're a fan of the show.

The timeline does bounce around a bit and can be a bit maddening at times. I wish it'd been cleaned up a bit and presented in a chronological fashion around the story that's weaved through
Jan 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography, nonfiction
I was predisposed to like this book because I've always liked the TV show Deadliest Catch, and the Hansen family.

Sig is probably a bit kinder to himself than his brothers would be, but he does admit to flaws and mistakes. He tells a little bit of his brothers' stories, and even more about his dad. Svarre was a really interesting person.

I really enjoyed the history of the Alaskan fishing industry and of the areas in Norway and Seattle from where their crews came.

Part of the appeal was being able
Feb 15, 2010 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Julia Carter, Leah Kyle
I really enjoyed this book, and not just because I got it for free.

Although it seemed to need more editing to give it better flow (it was an advanced un-proofed copy), the stroy overall was riviting. I do not watch The Deadliest Catch (gave up cable years ago now), but even I had heard of it and thought I would enjoy it. Having access to the main characters through this book was nearly as good, and probably in some ways better. The story of this family, Sig's parents coming over to the Unitied S
Feb 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first_reads
WOW! Killing ice, howling storms, rogue waves, all in the middle of Alaska's Bering Sea, while defeat or success depends on positioning a metal cage on the bottom of the sea just right for a living creature to crawl inside? A superb interweaving of a sea faring family's past with the same family's present, all enclosed in the impact of the industry on Alaska and the Seattle area. Be prepared to feel that you are part of the crew - half frozen, drenched in sea water, and perhaps worst - as yo ...more
Nancy Corlett
Mar 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing
The story of the Hansen family pulls you into th action from the prologue to the last chapter. This story is much better than the movie "The Perfect Storm" because it is the true history of a family of Norwegean heritage to achieve the American Dream. The history lesson of Vikings and the map of the Aleutian Islands and the Bering Sea had me flipping through the book to place where the action was happening. The history of the fishing industry and the shipping industry in Alaska was very interest ...more
Andrew Mutch
Dec 31, 2010 rated it really liked it
For those who know Sig Hansen from episodes of "Deadliest Catch", this book provides a chance to get to know the story of the Hansen brothers before the TV cameras arrived. Diving into the Hansen family history stretching back to Norway, Sig Hansen leads you through the family's journey from Norway to America and their emergence as one of the most well-known fishing families in America. The book is peppered with stories of adventure and mishaps, interspersed with his own father's tale of near-di ...more
Angela Holland
Mar 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
I picked this book up because I am fan of the tv show Deadliest Catch and one of my favorite boats on the show is the Northwestern. Because of this when I walked into the bookstore and saw this sitting there I had to read it. I have to say I was thinking this may be a dry book that I was not sure I would be able to finish. I was very wrong. Reading this book is like listening to a friend or family member telling you stories of days gone by. I really enjoyed this book and recommend reading it if ...more
Apr 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
As a huge fan of Discovery's Deadliest Catch and the crew of the F/V Northwestern in general this book was a must-read. Sig Hansen, who is obviously a fisherman first and not an awe-inspiring author ~no offense Sig~, does an excellent job recounting both the history of the crab fishery on the Bering Sea as well as his own family history. The book is a very easy read and I personally learned a lot about the fishery. After reading this book, I've also found watching Deadliest Catch to be a little ...more
Margaret J
Jan 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I admit, I'm rather obsessed with Deadliest Catch but these guys and the work they do are fascinating. The Northwestern is my favorite boat and it was neat to find a book about the guys who run it. It was very imformative: Captain Sig didn't just write about him and his brothers (the stories he did mention, however, were hilarious), he also wrote about how crab fishing in the Bering Sea got started, Norway's (where his father was from) history, how the boats work, life in small fishing communiti ...more
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Sig Hansen is the captain of the commercial fishing vessel Northwestern. With Mark Sundeen, he is the author of North by Northwestern: A Seafaring Family on Deadly Alaskan Waters. Hansen has been featured on Discovery Channel's Deadliest Catch from the pilot through every season of the show.

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