Book Reviews of Shadow Divers

Shadow Divers
Shadow Divers
Author: Robert Kurson
ISBN-13: 9780965925075
ISBN-10: 0965925072
Publication Date: 2004
Pages: 375
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.

3.8 stars, based on 14 ratings
Publisher: Random House
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

50 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Shadow Divers on + 8 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
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.
reviewed Shadow Divers on + 283 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Very good read.
reviewed Shadow Divers on + 11 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
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.
reviewed Shadow Divers on
Helpful Score: 1
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.

Literary Quality: 8/10

Enjoyment: 8/10
reviewed Shadow Divers on + 46 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
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!!!
reviewed Shadow Divers on + 156 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
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.
reviewed Shadow Divers 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.
reviewed Shadow Divers on
Helpful Score: 1
Captivating, fascinating. Perfect for anyone who would like a fast paced and true story. Well written, could not put it down~!
reviewed Shadow Divers on + 16 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
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.
reviewed Shadow Divers on + 61 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Story of a Nazi Sub found where no Nazi sub should have been... A truely killer sub even after its death.
reviewed Shadow Divers on + 8 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This book was a vacation read for me and very exciting to read. I am a diver and was intrigued by some of the perils encountered by the real life divers in this book.
reviewed Shadow Divers on
Helpful Score: 1
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.
reviewed Shadow Divers on + 45 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
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.
reviewed Shadow Divers on + 6 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
great adventure read, in the same vein as perfect storm and into thin air, you won't be able to put it down!
reviewed Shadow Divers on + 4 more book reviews
Fantastic read!! You will not be able to put this one down.
reviewed Shadow Divers on + 8 more book reviews
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.
reviewed Shadow Divers on + 3 more book reviews
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!
reviewed Shadow Divers on + 2 more book reviews
Excellant book. The fortitude it took these guys to forge ahead with what they beleived, was truly awsome. As a fan of WWII history, this ranks right up there.
reviewed Shadow Divers 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!
reviewed Shadow Divers on + 29 more book reviews
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?
reviewed Shadow Divers on
An adrenalin rush. This book has it all, you care about the people and their stories. Terrific and completely tragic at the same time.
reviewed Shadow Divers on
You don't have to be a diver to enjoy the adventure in this book! If you enjoy history and mystery, you will love every minute of this book!
reviewed Shadow Divers on + 404 more book reviews
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.
reviewed Shadow Divers on + 26 more book reviews
Fascinating story. You learn a lot about deepwreck diving, WWII Uboats and the obsession of daring and treacherous divs.
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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!
reviewed Shadow Divers on + 22 more book reviews
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...
reviewed Shadow Divers on + 85 more book reviews
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.
reviewed Shadow Divers on + 2 more book reviews
Good book
reviewed Shadow Divers on + 107 more book reviews
This superlative journalistic narrative tells of John Chatterton and Rich Kohler, two deep-sea wreck divers who in 1991 dove to a mysterious wreck lying at the perilous depth of 230 feet, off the coast of New Jersey. Both had a philosophy of excelling and pushing themselves to the limit; both needed all their philosophy and fitness to proceed once they had identified the wreck as a WWII U-boat. As Kurson, a writer for Esquire, narrates in this debut, the two divers next undertook a seven-year search for the U-boat's identity inside the wreck, in a multitude of archives and in a host of human memories. Along the way, Chatterton's diving cost him a marriage, and Kohler's love for his German heritage helped turn him into a serious U-boat scholar. The two lost three of their diving companions on the wreck and their mentor, Bill Nagle, to alcoholism. (Chowdhury's The Last Dive, from HarperPerennial in 2002, covers two of the divers' deaths.) The successful completion of their quest fills in a gap in WWII history-the fate of the Type IX U-boat U-869. Chatterton and Kohler's success satisfied them and a diminishing handful of U-boat survivors. While Kurson doesn't stint on technical detail, lovers of any sort of adventure tale will certainly absorb the author's excellent characterizations, and particularly his balance in describing the combat arm of the Third Reich. Felicitous cooperation between author and subject rings through every page of this rare insightful action narrative. If the publishers are dreaming of another Perfect Storm, they may get their wish.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
reviewed Shadow Divers on + 140 more book reviews
Absolutely fantastic book! It was hard to put down. I would recommend it.
reviewed Shadow Divers on + 19 more book reviews
Interesting look into the quest for the last of the missing U-Boats of the second world war. If you like history and mystery you will love this.
reviewed Shadow Divers on + 141 more book reviews
Shabby writing. Pretty interesting topic, for all that.
reviewed Shadow Divers on + 16 more book reviews
A thriller, a mystery, a U-boat history and diving lessons all in one. An amazing but true story and a gripping read.
reviewed Shadow Divers on
This is more than just a story about danger. It really breaks down different winning personalities. Tells us what makes them winners.
reviewed Shadow Divers on
Incredibly compelling.
reviewed Shadow Divers on + 16 more book reviews
This is a great book!!! I am a certified diver and the book really explains the diving and the reasearch with great clairity. A+++++++
reviewed Shadow Divers on + 23 more book reviews
This reads like a novel. Intense, suspenseful and well paced, Kurson keeps the unknown submarine's mysterious origins in the dark for the length of the tale. Highly recommended.
reviewed Shadow Divers on + 11 more book reviews
This book rocks! It's about Nazis, Submarines, dangerous deep-sea diving, adventures, and treasure!

I could not stop reading it!
reviewed Shadow Divers on + 57 more book reviews
Fantastic story. Don't need to know anything about diving or WWII but this story will get you interested in both.
reviewed Shadow Divers on + 42 more book reviews
I couldn't put this book down, very interesting true story about deep sea divers who found a missing German U-boat from WW2. Also, the program on PBS Nova, Hitler's Ghost Ship, was based on the story.
reviewed Shadow Divers on
A great and incredible story. Reads like a thriller from start to finish.
reviewed Shadow Divers on + 2 more book reviews
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.
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Excellent adventure, one of the best books I've read. Not only the diving, but the research leading to their discovery of the truth. True heroism for no reward.
reviewed Shadow Divers on
Excellent writing and it engaged and captured my attention. I was constantly wondering what would happen next. Suspenseful and well done!
reviewed Shadow Divers on + 12 more book reviews
I loved this CD- It kept me riveted and gave a LOT of historical information as well as info re diving.
reviewed Shadow Divers on
good book.
reviewed Shadow Divers on + 106 more book reviews
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.
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great adventure story
reviewed Shadow Divers on + 69 more book reviews
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.
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A great read!