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Shadow Divers Audiobook

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

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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

4.6 (2951 )
5 star
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4.7 (1378 )
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4.5 (1370 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Paula Overland Park, KS USA 10-01-16
    Paula Overland Park, KS USA 10-01-16 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2097
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    873
    311
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    20
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    Story
    "Amazing True Story about Courage and Persistence"

    My disclaimer: I like any good fiction or nonfiction related to WWII. . . so it was not difficult to REALLY like this action packed true story about deep sea scuba diving and the discovery of a WWII German U-Boat off the Atlantic coast of New Jersey. The book is very well written with data and facts gathered from many extensive research efforts by both the divers and the author of the book.

    There are four main things about this book that captivated me:
    (1) the very engaging stories of the US-based divers' -- their family backgrounds and how they found deep sea diving as a profession or avocation as young adults;
    (2) the true stories of the U-Boat seaman who lost their lives in American waters in 1945;
    (3) the accountings of the post-WWII research archives that are still being compiled and consulted today both in the US, Great Britain and Germany;
    (4) the telling of the emotional, physical/biological and technical aspects of deep sea scuba, and its significant dangers as the story rolled along.

    The only shortcoming for me was the rather strident voice of the narrator. It was off-putting at first, but the story grabbed me and I soon found the narration to be a non-issue. The end notes are worth listening to -- to gather a complete perspective on the research that went into the compilation of the book.

    Highly recommended!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cindy Smith Naples, TX 05-01-17
    Cindy Smith Naples, TX 05-01-17 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Exhilarating and True!"

    What an exhilarating read! The amount of research this project undertook is mind-blowing. I am not a diver and have no interest in learning but read this book on a recommendation. It was not written as a documentary on wreck diving but one that described the meticulous planning and research that was involved to uncover the treasures. Robert Kurson made me know what was going on in the minds of Chatterton and Kohler but also offered an emotional connection with the German soldiers stationed on the U-boat and their families. The determination and tenacity of these two is amazing but they knew they could never give up. Michael Prichard was superb narrating.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard A. Weber 10-21-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A tremendous read"

    This book was woven together so beautifully by Robert Kurson and the narration was flawless. It touched upon so many parts as they discovered this sunken WW11 U boat off the coast of New Jersey. The divers and their personal lives: the history of the U boats and the role played during the war and the follow up and research that took them from archives in DC to historians in Germany. A thrilling book that you hope never ends.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 10-13-17
    RATINGS
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    1
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    Story
    "Interesting read"

    This is a good book, unfortunately there is a lot of profanity. Even so, it is an interesting read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dan DuBois Michigan 09-19-17
    Dan DuBois Michigan 09-19-17 Member Since 2016
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    1
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    Story
    "Honor the warrior"

    Great real life story. Interestingly shows why we continue to keep statues of warriors and should not tear them down. Cool interview in the audio edition with the two divers at the end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Judith Sweeney 06-22-17
    RATINGS
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    3
    2
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    "Shadow Divers"

    Excellent. Could not stop listening. Historically interesting as well as educational. Ending with characters and author was informative.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    clay warren 06-13-17
    clay warren 06-13-17 Member Since 2017
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    REVIEWS
    2
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    "Absolutely loved it! "

    I am a commercial diver in Gulf of Mexico oilfields. This book drew me in as if I were on water stops with them. The book captured the setting, divers lives and the story of the U-boat crews lives in a way that really drew me in. The narrator is awesome as well. The interview at the end is an added bonus.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Howard Houchen 06-10-17 Member Since 2017
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    "A Masterpiece!"

    Absolutely one of the finest researched, organized, and written books I have read (listened to)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    lilly Hautes Alpes 02-24-17
    lilly Hautes Alpes 02-24-17
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    "Fantastically well researched"

    Neither my 13 year old mother-tongue French son (with only moderate English comprehension) nor I could stop listening to this exciting real life story of submarine divers searching to solve the mystery of a German submarine found off the US coast in recent years. We knew absolutely nothing about diving before starting to listen, but were drawn into a whole new world as we followed discovery after discovery, as well as the terrifying dangers that can face those who brave the deepest waters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Walks in the woods 02-23-17
    RATINGS
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    8
    3
    "Great"

    Another great book. It was great. I love this great book. Totally awesome. Sweet. Cool

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • William
    DouglasIreland
    9/6/09
    Overall
    "One of the best audio books I've ever listened to"

    This is probably the best book I've ever listened to on audible, the narration is fantastic and the book is totally gripping, I couldn't put it down. The book is much more that the summary says. The interview with the divers and the author at the end of the book is a fantastic addition.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • M A Kirkland
    UK
    3/31/10
    Overall
    "Excellent"

    This title provides a fascinating insight into the world of deep wreck diving. It describes the dangers they encountered particularly in the early years when they breathed oxygen and narcosis was a constant and dangerous presence on their dives. Also the dedication of the divers as they risked their lives time and time again to find another piece of the puzzle.

    I've never dived and never really considered just how dangerous diving can be but this story makes you appreciate the bravery, sometimes the foolhardiness but always the dedication to their sport of the early pioneers of deep wreck diving.

    Truly rivetting.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Paul
    Dunbar, United Kingdom
    12/23/12
    Overall
    "A unique and dangerous discovery."

    This is a great listen, another one of those I struggled to switch off when I should have been sleeping, working or being sociable! This story ticks lots of boxes for me; history, exploration, mystery, suspense, drama, human tragedy and endeavour and it's all true! One note of caution: If you suffer from claustrophobia as I do, you might have a few troubled nights of sleep.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Karen
    Gibraltar, Gibraltar
    11/10/11
    Overall
    "non-diving girlie"

    I am a girlie girl who is terrified of the sea and I loved this book, it took a while for me to get into it and I had to speed up the narrator to cope with the accent but it didn't matter because the story is so good. I got mixed up with the names of the characters too, but again it didn't matter. A great big thumbs up and highly recommend to listen, I'm gutted it's finished!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Barry
    Douglas, Isle of Man
    6/12/11
    Overall
    "Shadow Divers"

    This is my first ever review here, ive bought many books here and not bothered to leave a review past the 5 star system, but with this book I felt the need to break my silence!
    Here is something else for you to mull over before we continue, I haven't actually even finished the book, Im still 3/4 of the way through it!

    This book is dangerous!
    Because of this book I have arrived into work late, spent longer on my lunch break that i should and the general quality of my work has dropped due to a lack of sleep the night before.
    I cannot put this book down (turn it off).

    This is a amazing adventure, made more so by the fact that its real.
    At first I was not too fussed on the narrator if im honest but that sticking point seemed to vanish shortly after the first one or two chapters, although it does grate when he says "sub-marine-rs" instead of "sub-marin-rs" but thats a personal grip (dont get me started on Xpecially and Nitch).

    The story is fast paced, well written and leaves you wanting more at the end of each chapter, "just 10 more minutes and I promise i'll switch it off and go to sleep"

    Listen, im rubbish at reviews, so i'll end this one with this. Ive bought about 15 books here to date, ive not felt the need to review any of them, I did with this, and ive not even finished it yet!,
    Read this book, you will love it, if you dont blame me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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