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In the tradition of Jon Krakauer’s Into Thin Air and Sebastian Junger’s The Perfect Storm comes a true tale of riveting adventure in which two weekend scuba divers risk everything to solve a great historical mystery–and make history themselves.

For John Chatterton and Richie Kohler, deep wreck diving was more than a sport. Testing themselves against treacherous currents, braving depths that induced hallucinatory effects, navigating through wreckage as perilous as a minefield, they pushed themselves to their limits and beyond, brushing against death more than once in the rusting hulks of sunken ships.
But in the fall of 1991, not even these courageous divers were prepared for what they found 230 feet below the surface, in the frigid Atlantic waters sixty miles off the coast of New Jersey: a World War II German U-boat, its ruined interior a macabre wasteland of twisted metal, tangled wires, and human bones–all buried under decades of accumulated sediment.
No identifying marks were visible on the submarine or the few artifacts brought to the surface. No historian, expert, or government had a clue as to which U-boat the men had found. In fact, the official records all agreed that there simply could not be a sunken U-boat and crew at that location.

Over the next six years, an elite team of divers embarked on a quest to solve the mystery. Some of them would not live to see its end. Chatterton and Kohler, at first bitter rivals, would be drawn into a friendship that deepened to an almost mystical sense of brotherhood with each other and with the drowned U-boat sailors–former enemies of their country. As the men’s marriages frayed under the pressure of a shared obsession, their dives grew more daring, and each realized that he was hunting more than the identities of a lost U-boat and its nameless crew.

Author Robert Kurson’s account of this quest is at once thrilling and emotionally complex, and it is written with a vivid sense of what divers actually experience when they meet the dangers of the ocean’s underworld. The story of Shadow Divers often seems too amazing to be true, but it all happened, two hundred thirty feet down, in the deep blue sea.

BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from Robert Kurson's Pirate Hunters.
Published: Random House Publishing Group an imprint of Random House Publishing Group on Jun 29, 2004
ISBN: 9781588362490
List price: $11.99
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This is a riveting, well written story about divers who discovered a U-boat sunk off of the New Jersey coast and their quest to identify the U-boat. It reads like a novel but in this situation, real live is more exciting and dangerous. I knew vertually nothing about wreck diving or deep sea diving and this story educates without overdoing it for novices. It grabbed my attention from the beginning and at times I could not read fast enough. It also touches on the personal side of war as one of the main divers becomes obsessed with finding the familes of the men lost on the U-boat and the sadness of losing young men in what was a losing cause.read more
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Got this one from Audible. Took me quite a while to finish it. It was OK, not the best adventure book, but good.read more
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I first read "First Dive" by Bernie Chowdry and then my Dad gave me this one... I hesitated to read it because I loved Bernie's telling of the story so much. I knew the Rouses so well after that book that it seemed to me that this book was just a retelling of their fateful dive. I am very happy that I finally picked it up! It is not a re-telling... it is the story of John and Richie's quest to identify this sunken submarine. Chris and Chrissy's dive was a very small and tragic part of the story. Very well written, researched and crafted. You must read it.read more
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This is a riveting, well written story about divers who discovered a U-boat sunk off of the New Jersey coast and their quest to identify the U-boat. It reads like a novel but in this situation, real live is more exciting and dangerous. I knew vertually nothing about wreck diving or deep sea diving and this story educates without overdoing it for novices. It grabbed my attention from the beginning and at times I could not read fast enough. It also touches on the personal side of war as one of the main divers becomes obsessed with finding the familes of the men lost on the U-boat and the sadness of losing young men in what was a losing cause.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Got this one from Audible. Took me quite a while to finish it. It was OK, not the best adventure book, but good.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I first read "First Dive" by Bernie Chowdry and then my Dad gave me this one... I hesitated to read it because I loved Bernie's telling of the story so much. I knew the Rouses so well after that book that it seemed to me that this book was just a retelling of their fateful dive. I am very happy that I finally picked it up! It is not a re-telling... it is the story of John and Richie's quest to identify this sunken submarine. Chris and Chrissy's dive was a very small and tragic part of the story. Very well written, researched and crafted. You must read it.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This book tells the story of several divers who explored the wreck of a German World War II submarine off the coast of New Jersey, and especially of two divers who worked to identify the U-boat. The author writes well, although I found it somewhat breathless, and the chapters on the German submariners (who all perished, save for one man left behind in Germany for medical reasons) turn a pointless waste of lives into a kind of brutally sentimental heroism. Although the American divers are presented sympathetically, most of them have demons of one kind or another - some are killed by their demons, others by horrible diving accidents. If you stop to think about it, you can see just how much skill the author has, to have arranged the story in a way that emphasizes heroism and presents the identification of the U-boat as a triumph. An equally valid but more bitter telling would emphasize the codes of masculinity that drove both the German sailors and the American divers to place themselves at such great risk, and ask whether identifying this submarine really did anything to redeem either set of losses. As one who is totally unfamiliar with the culture of deep sea diving, I was also struck by the tomb-robbing element of the dives -- the archeologists I know would be utterly disgusted at that kind of approach to artifacts on land, and I wondered what an aquatic archeologist would make of this book.
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This is an incredible book. An amazing story, well written - adventure, tragedy, history, likeable characters. The story will appeal to anyone. No need for an interest in diving or history. 
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Off I went again...reading a book on a subject I have absolutely no interest in...recommended by a friend I trust. I am so glad I took her word for it. An absolutely enthralling book that hooked me right from the first chapter. The story about finding a submarine off the Jersey Shore and the struggle over years to identify it was definitely a page-turner. Its also a story about how this project brought two men who started out not really liking each other together with a common attachment to the project for different reasons. I enjoyed it so much I rented the NOVA presentation of "Hitler's Lost U-Boat" mentioned in the Epilogue) from the library just to see more of this great story.
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