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Shadow Divers

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4.24 of 5 stars 4.24  ·  rating details  ·  12,121 ratings  ·  1,302 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...more
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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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 rivetin...more
Jessica
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...more
Lance Charnes
Dec 31, 2011 Lance Charnes rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of the Jon Krakauer/Sebastian Junger school of adventure writing
Shadow Divers is a quest story, and, as those often are, a story of obsession. It chronicles the discovery of a sunken U-boat off New Jersey by a group of die-hard wreck divers and their six-year campaign to identify that relic.

In 1991, when Bill Nagle and his small band of fanatics first ran across the sub in question (eventually identified as U-869, sunk in 1945), what we now call “technical diving” was in its gestational period. The equipment hadn’t progressed much past what Jacques Cousteau...more
Jenni
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...more
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...more
Janet
Feb 04, 2008 Janet rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: History Buffs, Adventure Readers, Those Who Love the Sea
Just as on the Titanic, it is U-869’s ghosts that do not let her sleep, crying out of the depths for their story to be told.

2 amateur “shadow” divers moved beyond reason, spent 6 years of their lives in study, research, planning, travel, and dangerous deep sea diving (risking death countless times, three men did in fact die while diving the wreck) to uncover the identity of a lost WW2 submarine discovered in 1991 on the floor of the Atlantic just off the coast of New Jersey. It is a flawlessly...more
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...more
awesomatik.com

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...more
Erin
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
Jeremy
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

...more
trishtrash
Jan 16, 2009 trishtrash rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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...more
K
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...more
Alanna
Oct 01, 2008 Alanna rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  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
Sam Chen
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....more
John Cooper
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
Craig a.k.a Meatstack
This book blew me away.

I went into this knowing nothing about scuba, and only a trivial amount of knowledge about u-boats. This audio book has been sitting in my queue for 2 years with many others jumping line ahead of it. What was I thinking.

Robert Kurson paints a vivid picture of two amazing people performing amazing feats under water, and the changes they experience as people in the process of discovering and identifying this mystery sub.

The author takes an appropriate amount of time telling...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
David
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...more
james
Nov 06, 2009 james rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
Shelves: favorites
Absolutely INCREDIBLE.

i cannot express in words how fantastic i thought this book was. an absolute page turner that i wish i could convince everyone to read.

the fact that this was non-fiction made it all the better. i cannot believe that they haven't made a movie based on this book.

i recommend it to everyone.

some favorite lines:
-if an undertaking was easy, someone else already would have done it.
-if you follow in another's footsteps, you miss the problems really worth solving.
-excellence is born...more
Ella
I am not interested in scuba diving, in boats, in submarines or in WWII, but I was intrigued by the great ratings. Boy, am I glad I didn't miss this one! What an incredible story, and it is non-fiction to boot! The story is fascinating, the men on the diving mission are fearless beyond belief and the history they uncover is staggering. I only listened to the abridged version because the unabridged was 2 credits and I was not sure this book was going to be my cup of tea.

Robert Kurson does an ou...more
Ty
This book tells the story of some guys who find the wreck of a sunken Nazi sub where none is supposed to be, off the coast of NJ. the book covers in painstaking detail the dangers of deep water, open ocean scuba diving and also has a lot of good WWII history thrown in. the people at the center of the story are very interesting and even though the story covers many years in real time, the read goes very quickly. Sometimes the author's prose is a bit overly descriptive, but the story makes up for...more
Arit
This was a very riveting book about two deep-wreck divers who risk everything to solve the mystery of a U-boat (German submarine) that they found off the coast of New Jersey. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. It really was very suspenseful for a non-fiction. Wow! There were so many things about deep-wreck diving that I never knew, and things about World War II. My only complaint is that the deep-wreck divers Kurson quotes in the book use A LOT of bad language. I'm really not a fan. Ot...more
Kali M
If you dislike language that sounds like it walked out of a fisherman's bar on the East Coast, then don't read this book. You have been warned.

That said, this story is amazing and this was a really great read. As someone who has lived a nearly landlocked life (other than my cumulative near-two years living on the coast of Brazil), I wasn't too familiar with deep sea scuba diving or it's dangers. This is not a sport for the passive. It's a strange combination of discipline and risk, particularly...more
John Humber
This is a book about the search to identify a U-boat wreck off the American Atlantic coast. You might come to this book because you are a diver or are interested in diving, or, like me, because you are interested in the U-boats and/or that period of twentieth century history. Either way it's a fascinating story and demonstrates how the official records of even this relatively recent period can be at best misleading and at worst very wrong.

Search Shadow Divers on Goodreads and further down the li...more
Carol
Another phenomenal book in my quest to read books of very diversified genres. This one is a doozey. I loved it. A real life story told of how men worked to find a submarine (u-boat) off New York into New Jersey about 60 miles. One's life is so absolutely fragile when doing deep sea wreck diving. They test 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 the hults...more
Kristen Dayley
This was not on my reading list, but once I picked it up I could not put it down (ask my annoyed husband who is only placated because he gets it next). Not since I read Krakauer's Into Think Air have I read a nonfiction drama so gripping. I loved the history of the WWII U-Boats, which I knew nothing about beyond generalities. The culture of wreck diving was completely new to me and fascinating. I acknowledge the language can be rough, something I am usually turned off by, but in this case it was...more
Stephanie
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.
Praxedes
Great story, great buildup. For history or diving buffs this book is a must. It was thoroughly researched and adequately written. I learned more about submarines and U2 boats in this book than in all my prior readings on the subject put together. The author is able to make the people --including the sailors who perished in the sub-- the real drivers of the story.
Paul
A friend lent this marvelous book to me and I was simply swept away. I'm fascinated by history anyway so the search for WWII history by John Chatterton and Richie Kohler was right up my alley. That being said, the book far exceeded my expectations for a non-fiction accounting of their feat. It is a well written adventure filled with courage (some may say insanity), intrigue, mystery, sorrow, loss, and achievement. I couldn't put it down.

If you enjoy WWII history and exploration to find answers t...more
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Finding U-Who 5 23 May 10, 2012 08:10AM  
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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 for "Crashing Through," the story of an entrepreneur who regains his eyesight after a lifetime of blindness.

Kurson is a contributing editor for Esquire.
More about Robert Kurson...
Crashing Through: A True Story of Risk, Adventure, and the Man Who Dared to See Official Three Stooges Encyclopedia: The Ultimate Knucklehead's Guide to Stoogedom--From Amalgamated Association of Morons to Ziller... Pirate Hunters: The Search for the Lost Treasure Ship of a Great Buccaneer Tras la sombra de un submarino Into the Light

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“He rolled with the unexpected—and much was unexpected on Seeker trips—because he believed in “No matter what.” 0 likes
“In the United States, of the ten million certified scuba divers, it is likely that only a few hundred dive deep for shipwrecks. To those few, it is not a matter of if they will taste death, only of whether they'll swallow.” 0 likes
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