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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 (2093 )
5 star
 (1325)
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4.6 (574 )
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4.4 (571 )
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3 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    03-16-10
    03-16-10 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    31
    3
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    "History isn't as reliable as I thought!"

    This is a simply fabulous book whether you're into diving or not. A remarkable story, remarkable divers, well researched and well told - I often found myself holding my breath. Watching the video documentary added another dimension but I'm so glad I had read the book first. Thankyou Bill, John and Ritchie (et al) for your effort - and Robert for telling their story.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christina M. 09-14-08 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "Riveting"

    My husband and I could not stop listening. We were listening in the car and started taking longer routes to listen to even more. Well told story!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Glasshouse MtnsAustralia 12-22-07
    David Glasshouse MtnsAustralia 12-22-07
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
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    "Fascinating"

    The story unfolds at just the right pace to bring this amazing true story to life.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Betty Lou Fockler Centerburg OH USA 07-10-07
    Betty Lou Fockler Centerburg OH USA 07-10-07 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
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    29
    10
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    "Fascinating!!!"

    One of the best non-fiction I've ever read, and I've read alot. I had to keep reminding myself that these events and characters are real! A Great Read!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Katharine San Jose, CA, USA 10-18-05
    Katharine San Jose, CA, USA 10-18-05
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    "A Great listen and Great story"

    I listened to this book on a very exciting drive from Mammoth last year, during a fantastic show storm. This story kept me entertained the entire time. As a SCUBA diver and a sometimes too inquisitive individual, I loved the tale. It was a bit long, but then as the Unabridged version, you sort of expect it to be. I have highly recommeneded this book to friends and will continue to do so.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Caesar44BC Detroit, MI 07-11-05
    Caesar44BC Detroit, MI 07-11-05 Listener Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Shadow Divers"

    This non-fictional account of two men risking their lives to identify a sunken German U-Boat from WWII is far from excellent. The first half of this book becomes very preachy (as if teaching the reader what to do when diving) and the context is choppy. All throughout Shadow Divers the author leads the reader far off subject for reasons not necessary. Although true, the author continuously describes the characters in such an unrealistic way it discredits the entire story. Furthermore, the author is so repetitive, reading the book seems like an eternity.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    06-18-05
    06-18-05 Member Since 2004
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    "Shadow Divers"

    Intensely interesting, thoroughly engaging story overcomes awful narration (why hire a blaring newsreel monotone when highly sensitive narrative inflection is required?). Get past the voice and the occasional weak prose by a first-time author -- who makes amends by providing a gerth of thoroughly-research facts, representations, and historical context -- and enjoy a great, great listen.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A. Gibb Flagstaff, AZ 05-20-05
    A. Gibb Flagstaff, AZ 05-20-05 Listener Since 2002

    Dr. Flatfish

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    14
    4
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    "Action, adventure and purple prose"

    This is a very interesting story and overall it is well told. The author, however, tries a bit too hard to make the prose more "interesting" by adding improbable metaphors and extravagent phrasing where more simple phrasing would do. The result of this "purple prose" is that I often found myself laughing outloud at moments that were intended to be climactic! As another reviewer mentioned, the narrator also leaves a bit to be desired. In summary: a very good story reasonably well told.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Simi Valley, CA, United States 01-29-05
    David Simi Valley, CA, United States 01-29-05 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    117
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    "Idolization does not make for a good read"

    Just by listening to the first hour becomes apparent that the author had to butter up his subjects. Whether so they would let him write their story at all or charge him less royalty, it doesn't matter. The first character you meet was once successful but is now little more than a sad drunk whose wife and kids left him. However, he is portrayed as a great man, who left his family to live a bachelor's life. This kind of blatant glorification rankles me and I was unable to finish the book. The other reviews are universally good, however, so perhaps I'm the only one annoyed by this flaw. By all means, try this book; but only download the first section so you can return it if you find it irritating.

    2 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vicky Thorneside, QLD, Australia 09-14-08
    Vicky Thorneside, QLD, Australia 09-14-08 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    36
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    "Narrator was terrible"

    This was an interesting story, and was good when you heard the interviews at the end, but in my opinion it was totally wrecked by the narrator. Not only was it read without passion, but it was blindingly obvious when he had taken breaks. To be honest I would have rather got an e-book and got my Mac to read it back to me.
    I have to say that I am English so maybe I just don't get the US accent, but listen to Outlander read by Davina Porter and you will see what I mean. That takes you to a different place, this just annoyed me.

    1 of 6 people found this review helpful
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