Customer Reviews for

Ten Hours until Dawn: The True Story of Heroism and Tragedy Aboard the Can Do

Average Rating 4.5
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  • Posted February 8, 2010

    Heroism & Tragedy

    With stories of tragedy more than heroism being written about the sea and other maritime voyages, the story of the Frank Quirk and his crewman's sacrifice in a moment which fear would captivate others is compelling without a doubt. With dangerous winds and impossible seas, any man could have stayed at the harbor and kept safe but chose to put their life on the line to help a fellow mariner. The history behind the heroic acts and the tragic outcome is very well documented. Frank Quirk, the captain of the Can Do, volunteers himself to help an oil tanker that is on the brink of being destroyed after the coast guard attempts to help but gets put in just as terrifying of a position as the oil tanker it was attempting to rescue. The actions and consequences eventually lead to an incredible ending.All that being said this book was very hard to read due to the dryness of the story telling, ruining of the plot and the fact that Tougias, the author, rabbit trails off into deep historical moments for only brief seconds in an attempt to add more contextual evidence but only distracts the reader. The dryness of the story telling happens more often than the exciting and more imagery laced parts of the story. Much time is spent describing things and people that do not need to be described and makes it hard to focus on the main story. The plot is immediately ruined at the beginning of the book and the on the front cover. It says "the true story of heroism and tragedy aboard the Can Do". A great majority of the general populous can infer what happens to Frank Quirk and his crew. Those who do miss the not so subtle hint at the outcome will enjoy the book much more being that the ending is a twist in that sense. Tougais also provides an immense amount of information and condenses it so one can read the book in a reasonable amount of time but much of the information provided through-out the book is sporadic and quite unnecessary. It distracts from the story and become interest destroyers. It is far better to leave some information out than kill the reader's interest using a mass amount of information. On the flip side or starboard side; (you know you enjoy the sailing joke) the story has many moments of wonderment and amazement. The story of the heroics is very compelling and because the story isn't dressed up to look better and comes at a purely informational side of journalism, the story really hits home. This is also a very easy reader to those who have never sailed or know much about the nomenclature of sailing. It makes it effortless for those who are interested in the story itself and don't want to spend a solid amount of time looking up terms and equipment.
    This in all reality is a book for other mariners and aspiring mariners to remember and learn about Frank Quirk and his heroism. The general populous will struggle to maintain interest and eventually lose interest in the book because the story will seem so bland due to the descriptions. Never the less, the tragedy of the Can Do must be remembered from generation to generation to inspire the young to do what is right instead of what is safe. If you enjoyed Ten Hours Until Dawn, you'll probably enjoy Michael J. Tougias' other works such as Fatal Forecast and The Finest Hours which will satisfy your maritime fascination. These stories are just as compelling as the story of the Can Do but The Finest Hours is authored by Tougias and Casey Sherman which makes the book a

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 21, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Great read

    Highly recommend this book. It is a well written book about a disaster at sea's in the 1970's. Details the heroic measure of several men that should be remembered for their bravery !!

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  • Posted January 15, 2009

    WRONG PERSPECTIVE CHEATED AN INCREDIBLE ADVENTURE STORY...

    I am a mariner, and frequent maritime rescuer working on a commercial assistance provider in the NJ/NY area. So the book had many parts I could identify with first hand. But not having previously known this story(like most like minded people), the writer should have written it from a DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE. <BR/><BR/>The author peppered with plenty of narrative wordings that they died while he was telling the struggle, ignoring that 99.9% of the readers outside that geographic area knew what happen. It could have been an incredible thriller, but he gave away the ending way too soon. <BR/><BR/>Obviously he can not change the unfortunate reality that befell these poor guys. But it could have been such a phenominal page turner had he wriiten it differently. Then at the end, BANG!<BR/><BR/>I felt VERY cheated by the author. Like some one watching a great movie, and then some idiot tells you the ending. FRUSTRATING. But still agreat story.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2007

    From a Family Member

    Being a family member of Frank Quirk Jr. I can say that this book was outstanding. This book keeps you on the edge you never kno what will happen next. Being a family meber i can say that if Mick Tougias had not written this book the family would have. Everyone today when asked 'Who is your Hero?' they usually say some kind of sprts figure. well Frank Quirk is a true hero. this is a good book that i strongly reccomend. i'm not a reader and i had it read in 1 week.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2007

    a story that has you gasping for breath

    An excellent account of a heros tragedy. Written in a way that makes you feel the anguish and keeps your adrenalin peeked right along with the crews. Left me gasping for air and wishing I could help them! Looking out onto the ocean from these North Shore towns like Salem and Beverly sends me right back into the depths and pages of this story.I highly recommend.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 21, 2005

    Charlie Bucko

    Michel Tougias has done a superb job in recreating the events leading up to the tragety on the pilot boat Can Do. I was very fortunatly to be stationed with Charlie Bucko at Pt Allerton station till he got stationed at Gloucester C.G. station. I was not suprised on what Charlie did, he was a very dedicated C.G. personel. He took his job very serious to the very end. I am proud to have served with him.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2005

    Compelling Read

    Book is full of history for the coastal area where the Can Do went down. The stories from the crews of the other larger coast guard ships trying to assist were gripping. Cape Ann, not just Gloucester, has a rich history associated with the sea.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2005

    Gripping Account of a New England Tragedy

    Lost in the understandable media frenzy surrounding the 'Blizzard of '78' was the heroic and tragic story of Frank Quirk, and the crew of the Can Do. Thankfully, the author has tirelessly researched the relevant records and interviewed numerous colleagues of the fated crew to finally bring this story to light. A truly compelling and informative read.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2005

    Ten Hours until Dawn: The True Story of Heroism and Tragedy Aboard the Can Do

    As a college student who has not read any novels involving the sea, I was not only drawn in by the writing of Michael Tougias, but also captivated and completely moved at the heroism of Captain Quirk and his crew. This story kept me at the edge of my seat, I would recommend to any audience.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 3, 2005

    TRUE GLOUCESTER HEROES

    Gloucester is a seaport that has had more than its share of vessels that have left port never to be seen again. Most of the fishing fleet were and still are family owned and operated boats. The attention brought by ¿The Perfect Storm¿ put a shadow over the many people who gave their lives to help others. I am glad that the Can Do and it¿s ill fated crew have been able to have their story told. It is well worth reading for all ages. Thank you Michael for giving us this story. It was so long ago many of us, who lived through it, have pushed it from our memories.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2005

    Great read of heroism

    Michael Tougias' writing makes the reader feel that they are right there with the crew of the Can Do. I found myself routing for them even though unfortunately I knew the outcome. The historical information he included regarding the North Shore coast of Massachusetts and the shipwreck stories of the past were very interesting. These stories help to define the peril that the Can Do found itself in. Frank Quirk and his crew were truly heroes and that is something hard to find these days. It's a must read for those of us who love the ocean.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2005

    TEN HOURS UNTIL DAWN----THE BLIZZARD OF '78

    IF YOU ENJOYED 'THE PERFECT STORM', THIS BOOK IS EVEN BETTER. IT IS TOTALLY OUTSTANDING!!!! THE BOOK IS VERY WELL WRITTEN AND DESCRIBES THE PEOPLE INVOLVED, THE EVENTS LEADING UP TO THE TRAGEDY OF THE M/V CAN DO, WHAT HAPPENED DURING THE BLIZZARD, AND THE AFTERMATH. MR. TOUGIAS HAD TO SPEND AN IMMEASUREABLE AMOUNT OF TIME AND EFFORT INTO THIS BOOK. IT IS A FIRST CLASS PIECE OF WORK DESERVING THE HIGHEST IN LITERARY RECOGNITION. I PERSONALLY SERVED WITH CHARLIE BUCKO, ONE OF THE CREW ON THE CAN DO, AND GAVE HIM MY RECOLLECTIONS OF HIM. IT WAS AT USCG STATION PT. ALLERTON. THIS IS A BOOK EVERYONE SHOULD READ!!!! GREAT JOB MIKE!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2005

    Ten Hours until Dawn: The True Story of Heroism and Tragedy Aboard the Can Do

    I read alot of books by far this is the most riveting story I have ever read. The author makes you feel you are part of the story, and action. It is a must read for all.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2005

    Must Read!

    I have just finished Ten Hours Until Dawn, and it is by far one of the most enjoyable stories I have ever read. Once you begin this book you will not be able to put it down. Author Michael Tougias makes you feel as though you are part of the story. I highly recommend Ten Hours Until Dawn to all audiences.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2005

    Thrilling and electrifying

    Michael Tougias' Ten Hours Until Dawn is a true life story of peril at sea during the Blizzard of 1978. Since Sebastian Junger's classic epic, A Perfect Storm, many authors have written similar stories dealing with tragedies at sea. Tougias' book is by far the best such book since Junger's and in many ways is superior to A Perfect Storm. Tougias skillfully balances human drama with technical details in writing about the brave men who attempted to make a rescue at sea during the terrible blizzard. Ten Hours Until Dawn is an incredible tale of heroism and sacrafice.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2005

    Riviting Account of Attempted Rescue at Sea

    Having livied in Salem during the Blizzard of 78, I was quite interested in reading 'Ten Hours Until Dawn.' The characterizations are extremely personal and the plot riveting. The author instills drama and intrigue into each part of the book by delving into the background of the characters and related events.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2012

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