CAPTAIN PHIL HARRIS by Josh Harris

CAPTAIN PHIL HARRIS

The Legendary Crab Fisherman, Our Hero, Our Dad

KIRKUS REVIEW

A candid narrative deconstructs the turbulent personal and professional life of the late Deadliest Catch star Phil Harris.

Told by Harris’ sons and written with the help of journalists Springer and Chavez (co-authors: Hard Luck: The Triumph and Tragedy of "Irish" Jerry Quarry, 2011), this biography of the reality-TV star captures the gritty details of his high-speed life, declining health and death. Harris surely personified the prologue’s statement that, “Pound for pound, crabbers are the toughest bastards on earth.” With a history of fishing in his family, Harris, who as a high school kid was voted least likely to succeed, became a living legend in this dangerous job undertaken in one of the world’s harshest environments, the Bering Sea. Revered as a skilled seamen, Harris’ onshore behavior was notorious. Numerous escapades fueled by alcohol, copious amounts of various drugs combined with womanizing and a bizarre family life meant Harris was pegged as “a rock star even before he was a TV star.” A turbulent marriage produced two sons and plenty of pain. Alcohol took a toll on his relationship and his work. A second marriage proved more disastrous, especially for Harris’ two sons. In 2005, the Discovery Channel’s Deadliest Catch debuted, and Harris was on the road to becoming a reality-TV celebrity. In 2008, he was at the height of his TV fame, but his bad habits began taking a toll, and his health deteriorated. In 2010, Harris suffered a massive stroke. With his consent, Harris’ last hours were filmed by the show’s producers, with 8.5 million viewers tuning in to watch.

An unflinching portrait that will surely satisfy Harris’ fans.

Pub Date: April 23rd, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-4516-6604-5
Page count: 240pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2013




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