A Captain’s Duty by Richard Phillips is an account of his harrowing story off the shore of Somalia where his cargo ship was captured by pirates, and he was taken hostage in a lifeboat in 2009. The book goes through Captain Phillips’ actions to prepare for an attack, what he did to keep his crew safe, and how he survived. The tension between the pirates and Captain Phillips is palpable as he accounts the mock executions, the humiliation, and his crews’ actions. It was interesting to read his account because I remembered the event in the news. Though, the book revealed specific actions he’d done to keep his crew safe on the Maersk Alabama by running drills, building repertoire with the pirates, and alerting his crew over the radio. There were so many things that he’d done right, but it was interesting for him to recount and focus on the mistakes he made. And while the book’s style/content wasn’t particularly one I usually read, I still found it held up. Overall, I enjoyed the depth with which it went into Captain Phillip’s mindset and his perseverance.
Final Rating: 3.5/5
Maxwell Suzuki is a writer, poet, and photographer based in Los Angeles.