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Shadow Divers

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4.25  ·  Rating Details  ·  17,260 Ratings  ·  1,608 Reviews
13 Cds - unabridged book on CDs.

In 1991, acting on a tip from a local fisherman, two scuba divers discovered a sunken German U-boat - complete with its crew of 60 men - not too far off the New Jersey coast. The divers, realizing the momentousness of their discovery, began probing the mystery. Over the next six years, they became expert and well-traveled researchers, taugh
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Audio CD, 15 pages
Published June 29th 2004 by Books on Tape (first published January 1st 2004)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Beth F.
Things that don't interest me:

--military history
--WWII
--submarines
--other ocean-going vessels
--maritime terminology
--scuba diving

Oddly enough, these are what this book is about and whenever real life forced me to set it down and walk away for awhile, I spent an absurd amount of time thinking about it and frantically wondering, "what next? Tell me more! I need to know more!" I think that means Robert Kurson might be a brilliant writer.

My husband is a U.S. Navy submarine veteran and belongs to a
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Jessica
Jan 05, 2009 Jessica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Holy moly. I didn't think that this book would be as amazing as it was. I had thought it'd be a rather dry telling of an awesome discovery, but it was so much more than that.

Mr. Kurson was able to tell John Chatterton and Richie Kohler's stories so that it read just like that, a story. His tone was honest and even, his research was obvious. There were points where I had to remind myself that this wasn't fiction.

I truly appreciated the history that Mr. Kurson injected into this entire book. Not o
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Mara
Well, I've done some calculations, and it turns out that there are precisely one-bagillion ways to die while deep water diving. As I'm neither Boyle, nor Dalton nor Henry I won't be going into grave (as in watery grave) detail vis-à-vis the laws of physics that make humans so ill-equipped to brave the pelagic depths of the sea.* Things like nitrogen narcosis can impair even a master diver's decision-making skills, and those decisions can often be fatal. Wreck diving, the subject of this riveti ...more
Pamela
Akin to "Shadow Divers," I know what it's like to have a deep-shrouded mystery gnawing at you, where the answer is out there, somewhere, but finding the answer is like looking for a needle in a haystack. I was adopted as an infant, and spent my entire adult life sifting through murky waters, so to speak, for clues. No joy. Zero, zip, zilch. But joy of joys, just last week through an act of faith after years of searching, I found my birth siblings and my father!!! And I love each and every one of ...more
Chrissie
This is an action-packed adventure story. An adrenalin thrill. Make sure that is what you want before you start.

It is also a non-fiction book about the discovery of an unidentified submarine where none was said to exist. Which submarine was it? Who were the men that discovered it? What was done to discover its provenance and how it came to be there? Who were the dead men on that U-boat? That is the theme of this book. It can be tackled in several ways, two of which are to make it into a thrilli
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Jenni
Jul 28, 2014 Jenni rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, sports
When I was around ten years old my dad handed me this book. Looking back on it, I'm not too sure why he did so.

This is what I remember: I heard the word "motherfucker" for the first time, and reflected that it's one hell of a curse word. I became engrossed in the truth and real journalism in this novel--it made me realize the mysteries of the world and the great depths of the sea. Mostly, though, I remember loving the men and their devotion to this wreck. I remember them perservering through it
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Lance Charnes
Dec 31, 2011 Lance Charnes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of the Jon Krakauer/Sebastian Junger school of adventure writing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Janet
Feb 04, 2008 Janet rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: History Buffs, Adventure Readers, Those Who Love the Sea
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jaksen
Sep 11, 2015 Jaksen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Liked it, gave it four stars.

The best part, the many and detailed descriptions of searching the u-boat. The hazards, the danger, the insistence of certain divers to keep going back and back again, and yes, back again.

Why I took off one star, I didn't like the main characters. Perhaps I know too many people like this, driven to such exacting precision and perfection they become almost stereotypes of themselves. Or it could be the way the author chose to represent them. I wanted to say (to the aut
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Michaelbrent Collings
This was a fantastic book about a gripping story - part mystery, part history, with more than a little bit of life thrown in. The story of several divers who discover a u-boat 60 miles of the coast of New Jersey - that's right, a NAZI FRICKING SUBMARINE that was so close the submariners in it could have THROWN bombs at us if they wanted, let alone launching torpedoes... and one that was utterly unknown until the 1990s.

The book takes you beyond just the facts of the finding, into the lives of th
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Elizabeth A
Dec 28, 2015 Elizabeth A rated it really liked it
Recommended to Elizabeth by: Carol K
Shelves: audio, 2015, non-fiction
This nonfiction book lives up to its subtile: The true adventures of two Americans who risked everything to solve one of the last mysteries of World War II.

In order to fully appreciate my review of this book, you need to know that I am not a World War II (or WWI for that matter) buff in any shape or form. Yes, I've watched loads of war movies, and was that person; the one asking are those the Germans or allies? Am I the only one who did not know that you could tell them apart merely based on th
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Arah-Leah Hay
3.5 Stars
This story had me hook line and sinker. I initially came to it with its comparison to Jon Krakauer's "Into Thin Air", which blew me away. There is no doubt for the comparison. Where Into Thin Air delves into the politics and risks of climbing Mt. Everest, Shadow Divers deals in the risk and politics of deep sea diving. High altitude sickness vs depth narcosis, and how they both intrude on your sanity while you are already risking your life. This is a true story of discovery. American di
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Jeanette
May 12, 2016 Jeanette rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not only the date by date survey of a diving project that lasted many years, but also the depth and core story of the reality for the divers who accomplished the answers to the mystery.

Knowing you were going to get the tale of a sunken U boat, I had no idea you would also get the biography to emotional depths and physical conditions for the principles who operated this obsession off "The Seeker". And they did seek, and it did start with obsession. And did end with a more total obsession.

Being wi
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Kate
Jun 12, 2015 Kate rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015-books, 2015-tbr
This was on my shelves after I bought it for one of my sons who has still not read it. I picked it up after reading about the author's upcoming book on pirates and I was looking for something different. This is narrative nonfiction at its best, telling the story of deep wreck divers off the coast of New Jersey and their discovery of a World War II German U-boat. The descriptions of the dives and their discoveries are as interesting as the background stories of the divers themselves. The human an ...more
awesomatik.de

Ich habe als Kind mit Begeisterung die Comic-Reihe um den Meeresforscher Jean-Jaques Cousteau verschlungen. Am besten haben mir dabei immer die Tauchgänge der Calypso-Crew gefallen.

Dieser Enthusiasmus hat leider mit meinem ersten eigenen Tauchgang vor Gili Trawangan (Indonesien) rapide nachgelassen. Diverse Umstände haben dazu geführt, dass ich vorerst keine Tauchausrüstung mehr anrühren werde.

Warum also ein Buch zu dem Thema lesen?

Ich bin ein Fan von Non-Fiction und eines meiner Lieblingswerk
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Dana Stabenow
Jun 15, 2010 Dana Stabenow rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In the fall of 1991, deep wreck diver John Chatterton found a German U-boat under 230 feet of water off the New Jersey coast where no U-boat had ever been recorded sunk. According to all the history books, it simply couldn’t be there. It took Chatterton and fellow diver Richie Kohler six years, multiple dives to recover artifacts, exhaustive record searches through the National Archives and the Naval Historical Center, multiple trips to Germany, the solicitation of an endless anecdotal history f ...more
Erin
Feb 15, 2012 Erin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My book-club non-fiction-lover friend, Denise, chose this book. She did it again! I would have NEVER chosen this book myself. Thank God for book club! It was really quite gripping. I was glued to the story. It had all the elements of suspense that a nonfiction mystery novel would've had. The writing was surprisingly fluid and descriptive without becoming bogged down with detail. That's what I most have trouble with in nonfiction...the details drag me into boredom! I disassociate! This one, not a ...more
Steven
Best book I've read in five years. The adventure of a lifetime. A mystery underwater? I was already hooked. Two guys who find a German U-Boat off the New Jersey coast? The entire crew still inside? That's a book with promise. And the author delivers. He weaves the right combination of non-fiction research and a fascinating tale of two men struggling for seven years--against incredible and unexpected odds--to figure out which U-Boat they had found. If you know anything about research, or simply b ...more
Jeremy
Aug 17, 2012 Jeremy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Interestingly enough, this read started out as a required novel for a class I was taking about creative writing research. At first I was slightly upset that I was going to have to cram a full novel into my already busy schedule, but I am elated that I took the time to sit and digest everything within pages of this actual account. Kurson makes the divers and researchers of the U-boat wreck come alive as if you had actually met them and had a long dinner together, and also brings the fateful night ...more
Bookmarks Magazine

The "U-Who" and German soldiers' stories "have settled," Kurson writes, at the bottom of the sea, "where one uncovers the freeze-frames of final human experience." Critics compare Shadow Divers, a danger-filled adventure story that blends action, mystery, science, and military history, to Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air and Sebastian Unger's Perfect Storm. Like these true-adventure authors, Kurson, contributing editor to Esquire, definitely knows how to tell a story (some parts were previously cove

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David
Apr 18, 2012 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a great adventure/mystery; a German U-Boat from World War II is found off the coast of New Jersey. But history records do not mention any such submarine in the area. In fact, historical records are shown to be replete with errors and mistaken identities. So which U-Boat is it? What was it doing there? How did it sink?

This is the story of two brave divers, John Chatterton and Richie Kohler, and how they solved these mysteries. They risked their lives diving down to 230 feet over the cour
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Anna
I loved Robert Kurson's book "Pirate Hunters", and I loved "Shadow Divers" as well. Deep-sea wreck diving is something that sounds fascinating to me, but I'd never be tech-savvy enough to handle all that equipment nor brave enough to risk my life in the myriad of ways that divers do every day. I can't even swim that well.

Kurson's books (both centering on the actual diver John Chatterton as a main character) are non-fiction dressed up like fiction. What I mean by this is that, much like Erik Lars
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trishtrash
Jan 16, 2009 trishtrash rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: divers, history buffs, anyone who enjoys a good perils-of-the-sea yarn
Recommended to trishtrash by: cream_of_wheat, diver and fellow livejournaler
This book is principally the story of two American divers who risk their lives to explore and identify the wreck of a WWII U-Boat.

Rich with adversity, adventure and war history, the author's enthusiasm for the tale (which in turn is lit by the dedication and determination of the divers themselves) lends the writing that elusive thrill of perfect retelling. The balance of back-story of the men who explored the wreck, the detail and technical information, the history, the suspense of the dives the
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K
Jun 22, 2008 K rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the story of how some guys get into deep-sea diving, discover a previously undetected U-Boat wrecked off the coast of New Jersey, and struggle for over five years to identify it. Reading this was like reading Seabiscuit, in that before I started the book, I had little to no interest in the subject. Then when I started the book, I couldn't put it down. Then when I finished the book, I returned to having little to no interest in the subject.

Overall, engrossing and highly recommended for m
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Alanna
Jul 30, 2015 Alanna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: divers and history buffs
Recommended to Alanna by: Heather for bookclub
This is not a book I would normally have picked to read. It was our book club pick this month. I was surprised that I actually did like it. I found it interesting. I thought it was amazing that these divers would not give up until they had the answers they needed to satisfy their own curiosity and need. They went through so much, put in so much time to research, and faced terrible peril. I dive and have done a 100 foot on a shipwreck but after reading this book I don't think I will do it again. ...more
Nicole
Mar 24, 2015 Nicole rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Don't let the nonfiction genre & the WWII sub-theme scare you away. For starters nonfiction books aren't my cup of tea ( I had previously only finished 1 nonfiction book), let alone a nonfiction book about WWII. The first thoughts that comes to mind when I think nonfiction are: slow & boring. This book is just the opposite. It truly reads like an action/adventure fiction book. I just couldn't put it down! To all those readers hesitant to give this book a chance, just do it! Thanks to Kur ...more
Sam Chen
Sep 04, 2014 Sam Chen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shadow Divers is a non-fiction novel written by Robert Kurson. This book tells the adventure of a gang of intrepid divers and their perilous expeditions to the ocean abyss near the East Coast. Testing themselves against treacherous currents, braving depths that induced hallucinatory effects, they pushed themselves to their limits and beyond, brushing against death more than once in fallen ships.

As new concepts emerge, the author includes chapters explaining the process of diving and its dangers.
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Alisa
Feb 26, 2016 Alisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
I learned a lot from this book: for instance, there are many horrible ways to die while wreck diving. Consider the following:

"A diver who has spent time in deep water must ascend gradually... He must do this even if he believes himself to be suffocating or choking or dying. Panicked divers who bolt for "sunshine and seagulls" risk a case of decompression sickness, or the "bends." Severe bends can permanently handicap, paralyze, or kill a person."

Increased water pressure is also a problem:

"Rapid
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Stephanie
Oct 15, 2011 Stephanie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Riveting. I could not put it down. As a warm water certified diver, I have enjoyed dives up to 60 feet in great visibility. This book scared the crap out of me. Wreck diving is a different game. Magnificent story about the elite guys who make these deep water wreck dives and the German U-boat and remains they located right off our coast. Highly recommend this NYT bestseller to anyone who loves a great story and adventure.
John Cooper
Feb 02, 2014 John Cooper rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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-z ...more
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Robert Kurson is an American author, best known for his bestselling book, "Shadow Divers," the true story of two Americans who discover a sunken World War II German U-boat and for "Crashing Through," the story of an entrepreneur who regains his eyesight after a lifetime of blindness.

Kurson began his career as an attorney, graduating from Harvard Law School and practicing real estate law. His profe
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More about Robert Kurson...

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“Many dead divers have been found inside shipwrecks with more than enough air remaining to have made it to the surface. It is not that they chose to die, but rather that they could no longer figure out how to live.” 2 likes
“In a world where even the moon had been traveled, the floor of the Atlantic remained uncharted wilderness, its shipwrecks beacons for men compelled to look.” 1 likes
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