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Shadow Divers: Two Americans Who Risked Everything to Solve One of the Last Mysteries of WWII | [Robert Kurson]

Shadow Divers: Two Americans Who Risked Everything to Solve One of the Last Mysteries of WWII

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, taught themselves German, hunted for clues in Germany, and constructed theories corrective of the history books, all in an effort to identify this sunken U-boat and its crew.
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Audible Editor Reviews

Why You Should Download This Audiobook: At the heart of this true story are two larger-than-life characters who risk everything to uncover the wreck of a WWII submarine. It is their relationship, friendship, and loyalty that make this more than just a fascinating account about the world of wreck diving. The narration by Michael Prichard is note-perfect: You actually forget that you are being read to, so you are free to experience this amazing story as though you are underwater with the divers and submariners.

Publisher's Summary

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, taught themselves German, hunted for clues in Germany, and constructed theories corrective of the history books, all in an effort to identify this sunken U-boat and its crew. During that time, three of their colleagues died exploring the wreck, including a father and son team. In 1997, when it all seemed in vain, the two divers came up with a final plan, so dangerous that the book ends with this last dive.

Listen to an interview with Robert Kurson on C-SPAN Booknotes from July 11, 2004.

©2004 Robert Kurson; (P)2004 Books on Tape

What the Critics Say

  • Alex Award Winner, 2005

"While Kurson doesn't stint on technical detail, lovers of any sort of adventure tale will certainly absorb the author's excellent characterizations, and particularly his balance in describing the combat arm of the Third Reich. Felicitous cooperation between author and subject rings through every page of this rare insightful action narrative." (Publishers Weekly)
"A fascinating look at the sometimes communal, sometimes bitterly competitive psychology of wreck-divers, weekend warriors in wet suits whose dangerous hobby is often an antidote to the frustrations of the workaday world." (Booklist)
"The story told in Robert Kurson's new book features undersea thrills, a gripping mystery, incredible discoveries, true-blue friendship, life-or-death crises and history unfolding....Written with great you-are-there intensity and dynamic verve." (The New York Times)
"From U-boat history to the mortal dangers of diving (disorientation is so common that you wonder only three men drowned on this quest), Kurson explains it all, even as he's spinning a fantastic yarn that happens to be true. All he leaves out are the boring parts." (Newsweek)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (2141 )
5 star
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4.6 (616 )
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4.4 (614 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Michael Littlestown, PA, USA 03-19-09
    Michael Littlestown, PA, USA 03-19-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "Very exciting"

    Great listening. Never a dull moment. Lot's of very interesting U Boat history. Also a great insight into the skills of deep water diving. This is one of my favorites. The narrator does a perfect job.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    PKsweets CA 04-24-08
    PKsweets CA 04-24-08 Member Since 2004

    A reader from day 1 now a listener too! Remember honesty in a review does help you decide, even if you don't agree!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    82
    ratings
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    25
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    "Compelling, Fantastic Story!"

    Wow, what a ride! Truth is way more interesting, and this has it all; Flawed people with the right skills, doing the right thing, for history and family. I would have never picked it for such a supreme listen, but it ranks up there with those that you never want to finish....the story, narration and prose....a perfect storm, that you will listen again and again...don't even think about it...hit the 'buy' button!!!!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Port St. Lucie, FL, USA 07-21-04
    Robert Port St. Lucie, FL, USA 07-21-04 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "A true page turner"

    This is a book hat holds your interest from the start. If you are familiar with the New Jersey shore where this mystery unfolds makes it that more interesting, and the background on the main characters is superb. This is a read that is hard to put down.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark GILROY, CA, United States 02-22-10
    Mark GILROY, CA, United States 02-22-10 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "This took me diving"

    The research and writing that went into this book makes it more than an adventure book, more than a history book and more than a great scuba diving book. Yes, I remained in my car and didn't mind traffic, because I wasn't in traffic. I was diving off the east coast on a U-boat in 200 feet of water. The narrator's delivery was pitch perfect. This has motivated me to get back into scuba, but I will not be going to the depths of these individuals. Great book.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris Morin Milwaukee, Wisconsin USA 06-13-09
    Chris Morin Milwaukee, Wisconsin USA 06-13-09 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    "Riveting"

    Shadow Divers is riveting. It is even more amazing because it is a true story. Michael Prichard's reading makes it impossible to stop reading.

    Chatterton and Kohler are my new heroes. These two along with other brave divers unraveled a true mystery and rewrote history in the process.

    I had never heard this story. My reading about WWII centered on the European theatre. This book piqued my curiosity to read even more widely.

    The book is very well written. It's style pulls the reader in by laying out the dangers of deep sea diving, introducing you to the players and allows the mystery to unfold nearly as it must have unfolded for these men and women. It does not hold back on the foibles of any of the characters. It does not hold back on how unforgiving deep diving is.

    Michael Prichard's delivery is masterful. I am mesmerized by his delivery of Kurson's text. If there are awards for narrating audio books, I hope Prichard won all of them for this performance.

    I've been an Audible member for 18 months. This is the best book to date. Thank you Robert Kurson for how you told the tale of this U Boat. Thank you Michael Prichard for your truly unmatched delivery. Thank you Chatterton, Kohler and the others for risking everything to bring this story to the world. Thank you Audible.




    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ron Sidney, British Columbia, Canada 01-20-09
    Ron Sidney, British Columbia, Canada 01-20-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    "Spellbinding"

    I'd been listening to Leo Laporte's various podcasts on TwiT. A number of his shows are sponsored by Audible. Leo and his guests are generally quite enthusiastic about Audible and it was listening to this endless gushing that prompted me to sign up. I was not disappointed.

    'Shadow Divers' had been mentioned a number of times on those podcasts. I'd always been fascinated by submarines and oceanography. Films like 'The Hunt for Red October' and 'Das Boot' are favourites. This reading brings the people and settings of this story vividly to life. I feel as though I have really learned something while being deeply entertained. The fact that this really happened... 'Shadow Divers' could easily be a movie or a mini-series.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Geoffrey New Port Richey, FL 12-27-08
    Geoffrey New Port Richey, FL 12-27-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "best book I've ever "read""

    wow. Since reading this book I've recommended it to about 8 people and they actually thank me for telling them. I love non-fiction and this is simply amazing. Get it......and thank me later.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    T. Butter 12-24-08
    T. Butter 12-24-08 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    3
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    "Great book not just for divers"

    A truly great book, meticulously researched and well narrated. The author vividly describes wreck diving culture, but the book excels in bringing the man on board of the sunken U-Boot, and their historic background back to life. So while i bought this audiobook to better understand wreckdiving and see if this might be fun, it really is a book that everybody with an interest in adventure and history is bound to like. The extensive research behind this book makes the bravery of both the divers and the U-Boot crew both more obvious and believable. A great audio book, made even better through the final section, where the author gets back together for an interview with some of the stories main characters, which just seems to bring you that much closer to the story. My only complaint about this book as a native german speaker is the frequent mispronounciation of German words and the sometimes strange imitation of german accents, other than that the narrator does a good job though.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    rfcoach 05-09-08
    rfcoach 05-09-08 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Outstanding"

    I couldn't wait until the next time I could listen! The author has a way of incorporating the necessary technical details to keep you informed and wanting more. The narrator was pleasant too. (didn't take away from the story in any way). Whether you are into scuba, history, or just like to be entertained, I highly recommend this book. There is an epilogue and interview with Chatterton and Kohler at the end of the book which are great too.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Theodore Pueblo, CO, USA 05-01-05
    Theodore Pueblo, CO, USA 05-01-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    72
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    "Compelling and terrifying"

    I've listened to a number of titles through Audible but this story is the one that has really hooked me on audiobooks. Despite the long length of the unabridged version, it was worth every minute and I found myself regretting there was nothing left to hear at the end of the book. This is a great listen for anyone who likes both history and a mystery. The narration is excellent and the story maintains a "tension" throughout. Add this to your wishlist!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
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