Flowers are blooming, birds are singing, and I'm thinking about my next book.
This incredible true adventure is one of my favorite Audible listens.
The diving scenes are tense, and I found myself holding my breath each time they dove to 230 feet to explore the boat. Searching the boat must be done with extreme care due to the depth, but also the danger of getting trapped inside where there is debri that could fall at the wrong touch. Added to the danger, they take care not to disturb the remains of the men who perished on the boat.
However, most of the story is above water, about two dedicated men who will not give up until they find out the mystery of the boat found off the coast of New Jersey. This takes them almost 7 years to wade through the red tape and brick walls that seem to interfere at every turn.
John Chatterton and Richie Kohler become almost obsessed with their quest to find out the name of the WW II U-Boat. It takes over their lives so completely that they both eventually lose their marriages.
Amazingly only three men in Chatterton's dive group lost their lives while attempting to get identification off the boat. In such deep waters, they could only stay down about 30 minutes per dive, or risk getting Narc'd -resulting in extreme confusion and bad decisions which could cause a rise too quickly to the surface. This is where the term "the bends" comes from- and is so painful that one of the men begs to be shot rather than endure it.
I really like the narrator as well. His voice didn't distract from the story, which almost is told like a documentary. Worth the credit.
I could not put my iPod down once the voyage started. However, be aware that there are hours of listening in preparation, and a review of who is in the crew before we ever see the USS Jeannette take to the seas.
Commander George DeLong takes charge of 32 crew members on their voyage; all having the highest expectations that this would be a successful trip. After all, the Jeannette was reinforced in every way possible to ensure barging through the ice would be no problem. There were enough supplies and food on board to last well through the anticipated trip. The crew was carefully picked to make sure there was a good mix of quality and knowledgeable men.
However, nothing could have prepared them for being trapped in the ice for years. Like so many North Pole expeditions of that time period, it was a struggle just to survive. After the Jeannette is trapped in the ice, DeLong deserves a lot of credit for keeping his crew in good spirits through some of the most horrific and grizzly injuries and freezing conditions you can imagine.
If you like this type of historical adventure, it is well worth a credit. Very well written and the narration is great.
What an extraordinary story. Interesting from the very beginning, this story will keep you listening far into the night. Danger around every corner, along with the breathtaking beauty of the Amazon.
Candice Millard has pulled together a very enjoyable book based on history, biography, adventure, and courage. I learned a lot about Theodore Roosevelt-he was one of those people who you may think of as "bigger than life" -quite a unique man.
Paul Michael deserves high praise as well- narrates the book to perfection.
I could see this novel being made into a movie---