Dark Waters

An Insider's Account of the NR-1, the Cold War's Undercover Nuclear Sub
Narrated by: Braden Wright
Length: 9 hrs and 40 mins
Categories: History, Military
4.5 out of 5 stars (53 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Operating alone and unarmed on the bottom of the sea, the U.S. Navy's smallest nuclear-powered submarine is one of its biggest weapons. Tied up at a pier, the boat with the bright orange sail looks absolutely minuscule, innocent and out of place beside its big brothers, the fleet's huge missile-carrying and attack submarines, but it can dive deeper, stay down for a month, and accomplish missions far beyond the capabilities of any of them. The ship has been cloaked in mystery. It wasn't commissioned or given a name, and even today it is hardly known beyond a select fraternity of sailors and scientists. They simply call it the NR-1

The little submarine was born in controversy, served in secrecy, survived potential catastrophe on numerous occasions, and is still in operation almost forty years after being conceived. It was and remains the only one of its kind ever built. 

The story of the NR-1 is told against the tense background of the Cold War and peopled with such rich characters as the acerbic Admiral Hyman Rickover, ocean scientist Robert Ballard (who found the Titanic), the designers and builders who faced almost impossible tasks to give life to the ship, the unique officers and sailors who took the little boat down into depths on covert missions, and the families who waited for them on shore, unaware that there would be no escape if the boat ran into trouble. 

Dark Waters: An Insider's Account of the NR-1, the Cold War's Undercover Nuclear Sub is a thrill-a-minute book of submarine adventure, imminent danger, personal bravery, technological wonder and historic discovery. It will be a proud addition for listeners who love stories of the sea, history and intrigue.

©2003 Lee Vyborny and Don Davis. (P)2018 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

What listeners say about Dark Waters

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Fantastic book!

This is one of the best submarine books I have ever read. Very well done and preformed. Would definitely recommend.

2 people found this helpful

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One of the best books on the subject. Simply put.

This is a book that I've already restarted twice and I'm on my third run-through. I don't really want to spoil it too much but this was an amazing account of the NR-1, Admiral Rickover's brilliant tactics and bureaucratic supremacy (and arrogance and tendency to be a mean bully!). I couldn't get enough of the tales of sneaking around in the Mediterranean, observing objects of interest on the sea floor and running salvage missions from the depths. Amazing narrator too, who did an amazing job expressing the intent of the authors. Thank you lee Vyborny, Don Davis and Braden Wright for this awesome partnership. Thanks for your Naval service and professionalism in putting this book + audio book together. I freaking loved this one. I've read all of then, Red November., Blind Man's Bluff, Scorpion Down, and probably 10 others in this non-fiction space. This is a stand out. So good.

5 people found this helpful

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Can You Imagine What Is Missing?<br />

This book is mainly about "Heroes, " and through out the book, you begin to realize how unrecognized they are in this country. I will not tell you the book will have you sitting on the edge of your seat , as submarines no matter their size, 95% of the crew are in combat. They combat PSIG and these men, and now sadly women must ensure the boat runs like a fine Swiss Watch.
I know this particular boat worked its way up enemy rivers and ports on missions, where if found out, they could have been destroyed and the public would never know.
Why Carriers or SSBN are not carrying the name Rickenbacker on their hull as they would have years ago, is a fairly new Navy bad habit, hopefully it breaks. We rule the world for good reason, and use to watch the boats dock from time to time, and most of the time covered by gray silt, and you could easily surmise that this sub had been sitting on the bottom for a long time. It is Heroes that make this happen.

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Not What I Thought It Would Be About

I thought this would be about how Soviet subs and US subs would track and engage each other, sort of another Red October thriller. But it’s a history of the development of the NR-1, the secrecy behind its use and some of its mission.

The story is interesting about the technology behind the NR-1 nuclear sub some of its missions that sometimes makes for harrowing stories.

It also demonstrates the trials and tribulations of serving under Admiral Rickover.

Narrator did a nice job in his reading.

Again my main disappointment is that the story was not what I thought it would be.

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Interesting Story

Word mispronunciations were annoying but tolerable. Interesting book on a fascinating submarine. I especially enjoyed the stories about ADM Rickover. Good, but not as good as some of the other sub books I have read such as Blind Man's Bluff, Wake of the Wahoo, The Bravest Man, and Red November.

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  • Steve
  • 02-27-19

A bit monotonous

The story and the idea behind it seemed great as a read. However the narrative was repetitive and the narrators voice almost robotic at times. After three goes and two hours of listening I gave up.