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Shadow Divers by Robert Kurson
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Shadow Divers (original 2004; edition 2004)

by Robert Kurson

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1,518484,865 (4.19)57
Member:MattBT
Title:Shadow Divers
Authors:Robert Kurson
Info:Random House (2004), Paperback, 375 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:None

Work details

Shadow divers : the true adventure of two Americans who risked everything to solve one of the last mysteries of World War II by Robert Kurson (2004)

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Showing 1-5 of 47 (next | show all)
This book sparked my interest in learning more about WWII. It captured my attention with its rich history of German U-boats and why, for a few years, they were the most feared weapon of the sea. The obstacles divers, John Chatterton and Richie Kohler, faced in diving the wreck kept me on the edge of my seat. Their research was fastidious and relentless. Their passion was even greater. They would eventually identify this submarine they had found at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean and in the process rewrite history. ( )
  iReadby | Apr 27, 2014 |
An extremely well written and unbelievably true adventure concerning the events and lives of a small group of deep shipwreck divers who discover a totally unknown sunken U-boat 60 miles off the New Jersey coast in late 1991. Located 230 ft below the ocean surface, it is at a depth that only a few of the top divers in the world can approach; an environment where the slightest mistakes can cost your life. Add the cramped, torn, twisted, and destructed nature of the sub’s interior and the risks increase even further.

Robert Kurson does a great job of writing, not only the story line, but at a level that allows individuals like me (who have never been exposed to diving) to understand and be transposed into this unique world and feel as though an active participant.

The timeframe transcends 6 years; from the circumstances leading up to the sub’s discovery, through a whole series of multilayered paths that cumulate with the eventual determination of it’s identity and that of the crew that perished with it. During this period, Kurson not only details the incredible diving and investigative experiences, but he also develops the personal side of the main “characters” involved. From strengths, growth, evolving friendships; to weaknesses, broken relationships, even tragedy and death. You get to “know” these men, feel their drive, determination, and obsession. You develop an understanding of their willingness to risk so much. And you celebrate in their achievements.

I totally enjoyed Shadow Divers. My next stop is to check out a PBS Web site for Hitler’s Lost Sub, a Nova documentary on this “mystery” sub (pbs.org/wgbh/nova/lostsub).
( )
  whwatson | Mar 7, 2014 |
this is a really fascinating book. Heath and I both enjoyed it. Well written it moves right along. Wonderful insight into deep sea diving. Divers finding a Uboat and trying to track down its identity. Excellent storyteller and very well researched. Michael Pritchard is a great reader. ( )
  njcur | Feb 13, 2014 |
In 1991, a small group of recreational wreck divers found an unknown German U-Boat off the coast of New Jersey. It had never been found, never been explored, and the quest of its discoverers quickly changed from recreation to investigation, and a quickly developing sense of fellowship with the crew, whose bones lay scattered thickly in piles of silt. How the divers grew from thrill-seekers to heroes is the central theme of this book, disguised in a story of diving at extreme depths amidst near-zero visibility and the ever-present possibility of vivid and terrifying death.

Although superficially a simple adventure tale of man against nature, the ethical and moral issues of treasure-hunting wreck sites are not skirted, and the character studies are compelling. One man drinks himself to death. Three die exploring the wreck. The two who become the central figures in the story change in surprising ways, and when the boat is identified and the identities of the German crew are uncovered, their stories are revealed with great poignancy and a satisfying resolution. ( )
  john.cooper | Feb 2, 2014 |
An interesting account of the discovery of a German submarine off the coast of New Jersey and the heroic efforts of the divers. It seemed a bit sensationalized (similar to Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer). ( )
  Becky221 | Jan 14, 2014 |
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Epigraph
Life's splendor forever lies in wait about each one of us in all its fullness, but veiled from view, deep down, invisible, far off. It is there, though, not hostile, not reluctant, not deaf. If you summon it by the right word, by its right name, it will come. - Franz Kafka, Diaries
Dedication
For Amy, the answer to my life's research
For Nate, already a seeker
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Bill Nagle's life changed the day a fisherman sat beside him in a ramshackle bar and told him about a mystery he had found lying at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345482476, Mass Market Paperback)

In the tradition of Jon Krakauer’s Into Thin Air and Sebastian Junger’s The Perfect Storm comes a true tale of riveting adventure in which two weekend scuba divers risk everything to solve a great historical mystery–and make history themselves.

For John Chatterton and Richie Kohler, deep wreck diving was more than a sport. Testing themselves against treacherous currents, braving depths that induced hallucinatory effects, navigating through wreckage as perilous as a minefield, they pushed themselves to their limits and beyond, brushing against death more than once in the rusting hulks of sunken ships.
But in the fall of 1991, not even these courageous divers were prepared for what they found 230 feet below the surface, in the frigid Atlantic waters sixty miles off the coast of New Jersey: a World War II German U-boat, its ruined interior a macabre wasteland of twisted metal, tangled wires, and human bones–all buried under decades of accumulated sediment.
No identifying marks were visible on the submarine or the few artifacts brought to the surface. No historian, expert, or government had a clue as to which U-boat the men had found. In fact, the official records all agreed that there simply could not be a sunken U-boat and crew at that location.

Over the next six years, an elite team of divers embarked on a quest to solve the mystery. Some of them would not live to see its end. Chatterton and Kohler, at first bitter rivals, would be drawn into a friendship that deepened to an almost mystical sense of brotherhood with each other and with the drowned U-boat sailors–former enemies of their country. As the men’s marriages frayed under the pressure of a shared obsession, their dives grew more daring, and each realized that he was hunting more than the identities of a lost U-boat and its nameless crew.

Author Robert Kurson’s account of this quest is at once thrilling and emotionally complex, and it is written with a vivid sense of what divers actually experience when they meet the dangers of the ocean’s underworld. The story of Shadow Divers often seems too amazing to be true, but it all happened, two hundred thirty feet down, in the deep blue sea.


From the Hardcover edition.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:41:16 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

"For John Chatterton and Richie Kohler, deep wreck diving was more than a sport. Testing themselves against treacherous currents, braving depths that induced hallucinatory effects, navigating through wreckage as perilous as a minefield, they pushed themselves to their limits and beyond, brushing against death more than once in the rusting hulks of sunken ships." "But in the fall of 1991, not even these courageous divers were prepared for what they found 230 feet below the surface, in the frigid Atlantic waters sixty miles off the coast of New Jersey: a World War II German U-boat, its ruined interior a macabre wasteland of twisted metal, tangled wires, and human bones - all buried under decades of accumulated sediment." "No identifying marks were visible on the submarine or the few artifacts brought to the surface. No historian, expert, or government had a clue as to which U-boat the men had found. In fact, the official records all agreed that there simply could not be a sunken U-boat and crew at that location." "Over the next six years, an elite team of divers embarked on a quest to solve the mystery. Some of them would not live to see its end. Chatterton and Kohler, at first bitter rivals, would be drawn into a friendship that deepened to an almost mystical sense of brotherhood with each other and with the drowned U-boat sailors - former enemies of their country. As the men's marriages frayed under the pressure of a shared obsession, their dives grew more daring, and each realized that he was hunting more than the identities of a lost U-boat and its nameless crew."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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