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The Last Dive: The Dra...
Bernie Chowdhury
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The Last Dive: The Dramatic Account Of A Father And Son's Underwater Tragedy (Viagens Radicais)

3.98  ·  Rating Details ·  862 Ratings  ·  77 Reviews

Chris and Chrissy Rouse, an experienced father-and-son scuba diving team, hoped to achieve widespread recognition for their outstanding but controversial diving skills. Obsessed and ambitious, they sought to solve the secrets of a mysterious, undocumented World War II German U-boat that lay under 230 feet of water, only a half-day's mission from New York Harbor. In doing s

Published (first published October 1st 2000)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jennifer Entwistle
If you have not read Shadow Divers and are planning on it, read this book second. If you don't do it that way, you have to read a very brief, depressing version of the deaths all over again. I love that they have some decent books about scuba diving out there. This book makes you see everything they went through in their diving careers and how all of your training can still fail when you make one mistake diving. Also, no matter how much you know how you are supposed to react in an emergency situ ...more
Derek Simon
An interesting story, but the book contained far too much filler. At it's best, it provided a compelling human drama which it set in the context of the advances in diving of the time. However, it was amazing how often the author veered off into telling stories about himself instead of the Rouses. He also had a habit of repeating certain points endlessly, while leaving out other key details and then dropping them into the story later out of time and context. The author also tried to use the book ...more
Oct 22, 2007 Chris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What I learned from this book...
#1 When you're underwater no one cares how big you think your balls are
#2 Things can get out of hand very quickly
#3 Live to dive another day

Good book, sad book. It does a really good job at describing technical diving, even in a way that a non-diver can understand.
Erik Johnson
May 27, 2007 Erik Johnson rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: thrill seekers, boys' books, father's day gift
Despite the folksy, hamfisted, and frankly amateurish writing, The Last Dive is at its heart a breathtaking adventure story about a truly different kind of thrill-seeking.

Don't confuse this with a deep-sea diving book. Both Bernie and the Rouses, the focal characters, are mainly cave and wreck divers as portrayed here, and those are quite different sports from the sort of deep sea diving you might do on a cruise or see on a Jacques Cousteau special. Specialized techniques and equipment abound, a
"The adventurous father and son diving team of Chris and Chrissy Rouse is the center of Chowdhury's book, which details their lifestyle from learning to dive to exploring Florida's limestone cave system to diving wrecks at the limit of advanced scuba diving capabilities (The Andrea Doria as well as the U-boat, also mentioned in "Shadow Divers". Chowdhury himself is an expert diver as well as a friend of the family's. His book not only explores the father-son dynamic but also the world of deep se ...more
Stephanie Waaser
Great example of a true story done well. History of diving, history and personal stories of the Rousses, all terms and scuba practices explained - just excellent at pulling the world into the world of scuba diving without leaving the reader at a loss. Made me want to try it, but also respect the folks who dive and understand the dangers that come with the sport. If you're looking for something eloquent or fancifully written, this isn't it, but if you're looking for something informative, touchin ...more
Mar 13, 2012 Em rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I thought this was going to be a narrative of the final dive of father and son, Chris and Chrissy Rouse, but it was actually a superb history of the sport of technical diving. I really enjoyed this book. It was informative and made me appreciate everything that went into all the gear, rules and regulations that I was required to learn for my diving certification. (Although I'm not sure I would have ever scuba dived had I read this book first!) It was a hard book to put down, and I would recommen ...more
Dec 18, 2010 Ame rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Whoah. Totally opened my eyes. I have a way deeper understanding of , the history of SCUBA and especially technical diving, the bends, decompression issues, the psychology involved in diving, etc. Looking forward to Tiger Beach in 6 weeks and feel more prepared overall for future diving. I also realize just how lucky I was in the Galapagos to have come back home totally healthy!
Bernadette Calonego
Sometimes I like to read about topics that are out of my comfort zone. This book is about recreational diving of the risky kind. Technical deep diving, it is called, I think.
I didn`t know anything about it before I read this book. I don`t dive myself nor do I know any divers personally.

Reading this book, I dove into a world (pun intended) that is very foreign to me. The diving realm is still very male-dominated, rather macho (who can dive the deepest? who can retrieve the most valuable items fr
Feb 20, 2016 Jarad rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: true-story
If you enjoy diving and reading you will enjoy reading this book. This book tells us about the tragic story of a father and son who die while diving on a mysterious German U-boat wreck. The book also takes the reader on a trip through the history of diving, encompassing both wreck diving and cave diving. You are shown a glimpse of what diving was like at different points over time, just how difficult it was for these ground breaking divers and the risks that they took to advance diving and make ...more
Lucas Abroms
Aug 23, 2015 Lucas Abroms rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is about the deadly dive of a World War II German U-boat by Chris and Chrissy Rouse. Chris and Chrissy, father and son, dove off the coast of New York to depths of over 200 feet. However, they decided to dive with normal air, instead of enhanced air, which helped contribute to their deaths. Although they were skilled divers, they performed many dangerous actions underwater. I was interested in this book because I received my scuba certification a few years ago and wanted to know some s ...more
destiney sunshine
What a disappointment! The actual story about the father/son last dive is collectively only about two chapters worth. The rest of the book is just filler. Some of it is educational. You learn about diving, its techniques, verbiage and history. But the author has a problem with repeating some parts over and over and OVER again! It got really annoying. He also took a slight detour and told about his diving accident (which took up more than the actual story of the father/son's last dive). I was rea ...more
Nov 25, 2013 Jenna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 100-in-2013
I really enjoyed this book, even though it was about a topic I was unfamiliar with. I love reading books and learning about other people's passions, especially if it's a topic I know nothing about. I really enjoyed reading about the Rouse's and their family bond and experiences with scuba diving, but I also enjoyed all of the history and background information on scuba diving as well. Usually with books like these, I dislike all of the background information and just want to get into the story, ...more
Tatiana Ament
Mar 31, 2014 Tatiana Ament rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: divers, anyone
Shelves: favorites
A very interesting story to readers of all sorts and a must-read to divers. Not the best book in terms of narrative, but it takes you on a journey through the scuba diving world and its technical evolution. For divers, it is a great wake-up call to your own motivations and to remind you that shit definitely happens - the chapter describing the author's accident is disturbingly vivid. It is also hard not to get emotional over the father and son story – you know what will happen to them since page ...more
May 06, 2014 Sara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting book. I liked that it told some of the history of scuba diving. I enjoyed reading about cave & wreck diving as it's not something I will ever do - I'm happy sticking to dives of less than 100 ft. This book did put a bit of a fear of diving in me as it detailed many ways a planned dive can go wrong - sometimes ending in fatalities. Even having several hundred dives or being an instructor... there is still a chance something could happen. Diving is a fun and exciting sport but ...more
Jan 04, 2014 Aggie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Heartwrenching... just incredible. Yes, there was too much "filler", but I feel connected to the family and author in the story, perhaps because I am a deep diver. So, why would I want to read such a tragic story if this is a sport I do avidly? I learned from it and it served up a generous dose of reality and horror. Things I know can happen, but have never seen (well, a minor ear bend twice, but nothing compared to this father-son team). I do recommend that divers read it as a humbling reminder ...more
May 28, 2008 Rhona rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
Recommended to Rhona by: fellow diver
I loved this book and I could hardly put it down! A diver friend gave this to me and anyone who has done any diving will dive into this story! I learned alot about something I enjoy doing. Although I have only gone to about a depth of 104ft, the extreme divers in this story go 300+ft on regular air. This is a very interesting, yet sad story. It also addresses the psychological needs of people who participate in very dangerous activities. Excellent!
Bryan K.
Dec 10, 2008 Bryan K. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was really fun to read and I laughed a lot. It about two scuba divers, father and son, and their voyage to try and discover the identity of a mystery sub. It is so great because I love scuba diving and all the details of diving are very vivid. It made me feel as though I was underneath the surface with the Rouses, Chowdhury did agreat job making the reader feel like a part of the story. This book had a very very sad ending but it was all worth it.
Jul 07, 2010 Kellie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Also got this at a library book sale as a book on tape. I listened to it all day doing dishes and baking! :) I really enjoyed the journey it gave into the diving world. The story is so tragic, but it taught a lot, too. I don't know that I would pick it up to read, but really enjoyed listening. In case anyone decides to read (or listen if you want - let me know - does anyone still own a tape deck?? :)), the "F bomb" is popped a little in quoting some of the people in the book....
Jul 05, 2009 Sally rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reading "Shadow Divers" made me want to know more...this is the story of the ill-fated father and son diving team that lost their lives exploring the German U-Boat off the coast of New Jersey. Not quite as riveting as "Shadow Divers" but a very interesting expose of "deep wreck diving," nonetheless.
Sep 01, 2014 Kris rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Holy Backstory Batman!

I thought from the description (and the title) that this would be an adventure packed take of an expedition to a sunken U-boat that turned into a tragedy. Turns out, "The Last Dive" is simply the tie of the last chapter. Only on page 240 of 350 do you start the dive that cost the Rouses their lives. Some backstory is necessary, but 240 pages is over kill.
Nov 14, 2012 Amy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

357 pgs

A true life diving adventure. The joys, realities, trimuphs and tragidys
of real people and their love of their underwater expierences. As various people explore the waters, we learn of their diving experiences full trottle along with diving history of equipment and shipwrecks.

Only dive in the warm waters of the carribian and look at the pertty fish.
Apr 01, 2012 Dave rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellently researched and written biography of the famous father and son dive team that lost their lives while pursuing their addiction. Provides many missing insights into the accident, along with the inspirations of the two men and their journey to the grave. Inspiring, but not without a warning.
Aug 27, 2012 Helen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Good book for even non-divers as much of the technical stuff is explained in an easy to follow manner. sad story - fascinated by a type of diving I am not mentally equipped to do. it is hard to imagine participating in a sport that is almost guaranteed to take your life one day...(deep wreck diving).
Jun 16, 2013 Eddy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent read, best book on diving. So informative and educational. A real tribute to the Rouses. I highly recommend this book if you have any interest in diving. This is probably the best book in the business. I would read this after Shadow Divers if i were you, Shadow Divers is a good intro, but this takes things to a whole new level. Five Star. So much depth...
Angela Wade
Really needed to be divided in to three books: the history of diving, the author's biography, and the biography of the Rouses. As a non-diver, I had no real interest in the often-repeated background information, and the only reason I finished the book was because I wanted to know the full story of what happened to Chris and his son.
Sep 14, 2007 Matt rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Read it after recently being certified for open water diving, scared the hell out of me... but made me more mindful and astute as far as diving and its risks.

Not the greatest writing, but harrowing accounts of dives gone wrong provide invaluable learning tools for people interested in sport diving and wreck diving.
Apr 14, 2010 Mark rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It was fascinating to read about the dysfunctional Rouses and their motivation for this type of diving. Diving for fame or recognition is asking for trouble. It is like flying, the best pilots and divers are those who pursue their avocation because they love it, all else being secondary.
Jul 27, 2011 Nicole rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Good subject matter and information if you are interested about technical diving. Does tell some of the Rouse's story but book is more autobiographical. The poor structure and repetitiveness makes it an grueling read.
Nov 28, 2015 Stormcrow rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For the most part, I found this very engaging and darkly somber as we learn the fate not only of the two main characters, but so many other divers who gave their lives in the pursuit of their risky passion.
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