Shadow Divers immediately sucks you into the story, with a ton of unfolding drama and mystery. Where did this sub come from? How did it come to rest off the coast of New Jersey?
I knew nothing about Scuba Diving before I read this book, but that didn't matter. If you're unfamiliar with the sport, Kurson explains everything in detail, but not at the risk of boring you. He does an excellent job tackling the ins and outs so that you're left with an understanding of what's going on and yet you're not overwhelmed.
While balancing technical details, he manages to draw you into a riveting story of discovery and drama. The book revolves around several men intent on discovering the secrets the U-boat left behind; by the end of the book you really feel for these men and all they've experienced in trying to discover the mystery. They really sacrified a lot, as the U-boat wasn't only deadly for her crew, but for a handful of divers who explored her.
Highly recommended. This book started a bit of an avalanche effect for me and I immediately delved into other scuba diving action books like "Deep Descent", "Last Dive", etc.
From the back cover: In the fall of 1991, in the frigid Atlantic waters sixty miles off teh coast of New Jersey, weekend scuba divers John Chatterton and Richie Kohler made a startling discovery under decades of accumulated sediment: a World War II German U-boat, its interior a maze of twisted metal and human bones. Equally astonishing: All the official records agreed that there simply could not be a sunken U-boat at that location. Over the next six years, an elite team of divers enbarked on a quest to solve the mystery. Some of them would not live to see its end. Chatterton and Kohler, at first bitter rivals, were drawn into a deep bond of friendship. As the men's marriages frayed under the pressure of a shared obesssion, their dives grew more daring, and each realized that he was hunting for more than the identities of a lost U-boat and its nameless crew.
My thoughts: Think Indiana Jones under water. Great read for anyone who has ever been scuba diving.
Shadow Divers by Robert Kurson tells the true story of two American wreck divers who discover a sunken U-boat off the coast of New Jersey where the historical records say none should exist. Over the course of several years they risk death (at least three other divers die while exploring the U-Boat) and their marriages searching for the identity of the U-Boat, both underwater and in historical archives.
Robert Kurson makes this historical narrative an exciting story in addition to being a very well researched piece of true history. If you are interested in WWII or Scuba Diving I strongly recommend this book.
Absolutely fascinating story about John Chatterton, Richie Kohler, and other deep-sea divers who discover a World War II German U-boat off the coast of New Jersey.They spend six years trying to identify it and when they do, they re-write history books. You will also be drawn into that special world of divers who search for wrecks yet unidentified.
Very, very well written by Robert Kurson. I couldn't put it down, even cancelling some appointments with oh, so flimsy excuses!!!
I loved this book. It was a very educational, yet entertaining read. I learned lots about German U Boats and the personalities of the german sailors who helped operate these marvelous machines during WWII. It really personified the people of the U Boat profession and brought a sense of understanding to the history that I have already learned about WWII. If you have an interest in WWII history you really need to pick up this book and give it a read.
Additionally, if you have a slight interest of scuba diving, this could be a good start point to help you understand the complexities of the sport. The author explains diving without getting too technical.
You will NOT be disappointed.
Geniece - reviewed Shadow Divers (Audio CD) (Abridged) on
Helpful Score: 1
This fascinating book draws the reader into more than one world. Not only are the perils of deep-sea diving described in vivid detail, the book also invites us into history and the personal stories of the divers and men who lost their lives for their country. Kurson clearly did exhaustive research in writing this book. He uses interviews with the family and friends of the divers and the men lost on the sub to create personal and unexpected portraits of those involved in the endeavor to identify the sub and the brave men who fought in World War II. As Chatterton and Kohler re-write history, we learn the lesson not to take everything we read at face-value, and the importance of asking questions about what we think we know.
This true account of deep sea divers discovery of a sunken U-boat off the coast of New Jersey and their attempts to identify it is spell binding. It's a mystery that's non-fiction. Through Robert Kurson's narration, you find yourself enthralled with every step of their journey. You get to know some members of the crew of the U-boat. The difficulties the divers endured carries you with them as they uncover the story of the ill fated sub.
Anyone who loves history will love this book. When I spoke to friends about it, the first question was "did this really happen?" and the answer is yes. Highly recommend this well written book.
A John Krakauer-esque account of two divers' quest to identify an unknown submarine found in the northern Atlantic off the U.S. coast. A very informative and great read for anyone who has any interest in diving, or for someone who loves nonfiction adventures.
A true story of a present day mystery. What is a World War II German U-boat doing in the waters off New Jersey, where no German U-boat is supposed to be? Read about the find, and the following six years of exploring the boat, the loss of life in doing so, and the final revelations.
This was a very good book that was very hard to put down. The story about how this U boat was discovered and the mystery of how it ended up off of New Jersey was fascinating. A book that is actually a quick read due to it well placed stroy. The author does insert a chapter in some places that seems out of place, but in the end the book has a very nice flow to it.
I did not read this book but my husband did, and he couldn't put it down. He stayed up until 2:00am to finish it. He said it was a fabulous read and he is already passing this book along to others. Great book!
Wendy H. reviewed Shadow Divers (Audio CD) (Abridged) on
This is a great book! A true story, but written as a novel, so it's easy and interesting to read for fiction readers like me who normally dislike non-fiction. The history is fantastic too!
This is a must read especially for men who don't like to read. This book captured my husband's interest and actually turned him into a reader. I've heard the same from others I have recommended it too. One friend's non-reader husband walked around the house reading the book...he couldn't put it down!
This is a true story about two divers, John Chatterton and Richie Kohler who
discovered a sunken German U-boat from World War II, lying undetected only 60 miles off the New Jersey shore, its unexploded torpedoes and the bodies of its crew still aboard. Chatterton and his dive partners undertook a dangerous quest to identify the missing U-boat, a pursuit that took six years and costs three lives. The U-boat's history involves unusual coincidences and a startling twist of fate.
I was fascinated by the story and literally could not put it down.
Favorite quote: But as each man drove home that night he wondered: What will that say about me if I quit. What will it mean if life tests me and I do not try to strike a blow?
This book combined many of my interests and knowledge. I always like reading about nautical adventures and I have worked as an archivist for nearly twenty years. I enjoyed reading how Chatterton and Kohler researched the history of World War II German U-boats and how they gathered evidence from the submarine to discover the truth.
Very interesting account of the discovery of a u-boat off the NJ coast and the divers who explored it, what they found on it, as well as how they tracked down records to identify which u-boat it was. I especially liked the parts about the personalities and lives of the divers themselves, and what they found out about the dead crew members and their families. Also mentions diving on the Andrea Doria - fascinating!
This was as good a true story as I've ever heard. Well written with just the right mix of fact and author portrayal of events. It is an amazing story of how history sometimes gets distorted by the way events are recorded and then passed on through written texts. Cambell Scott does a great job reading the book too.
Who knew we had German submarines off the New Jersey coast in World War II! How it got here and how it was sunk without anyone knowing about it is part of the joy this book imparts during your reading...
Even if you don't think you'll like listening to a non-fiction account of how divers found a German u-boat in New Jersey, you will. This is a great audio book - it's suspenseful and interesting and well worth trying out.
I requested this because I heard Neko Case talking about how interesting it was. And it was interesting. I learned a lot about Diving. Unfortunately it was so poorly written/organized that I haven't been able to finish it.
Maybe you have seen John Chatterton and Richie Kohler on the History Channel hosting Deepsea Detectives or the Nova series Hitler's Lost Sub. Or perhaps you have heard of John as a 'diver's diver', setting records and being the 1st to dive on many famous shipwrecks. But prior to their notoriety they were just 2 guys who dived for recreation, who became obsessed with a new find, a previously unknown WWII German Uboat sunk off of the New Jersey coast.
This is a true story told by an author who researched it from many angles, and had the input from these 2 men to tell it right and to include all of the players. Several men died trying to solve the mystery of this wreck. Marriages ended over it. United States and German historical records were changed because of it.
I was taken in by this book and allowed to feel the slow pace of the process it took for this mystery to be solved. It took them several years - for me a couple of weeks. The story is fascinating but the information is best taken in through contemplating the problems just like John and Richie. I chose to read it in sections between other books, and then come back and learn some more.
I give this book a very good recommendation. It is not a story told through conversations, but an history told in story form, by those who lived it.
I didn't think I would be into deep sea diving and a true story but I was totally surprised and delighted. This book was amazing! It kept my interest and had me hooked. What an incredible true story. I completely enjoyed every minute of it.