Shadow Divers: The True Adventure of Two Americans Who Risked Everything to Solve One of the Last Mysteries of World War II

Abridged Audiobook

Written By: Robert Kurson

Narrated By: Campbell Scott

Publisher: Random House (Audio)

Date: June 2004

Duration: 6 hours 30 minutes

Summary:

New York Times Bestseller 

In the tradition of Jon Krakauer’s Into Thin Air and Sebastian Junger’s The Perfect Storm comes a true tale of riveting adventure in which two weekend scuba divers risk everything to solve a great historical mystery–and make history themselves.

For John Chatterton and Richie Kohler, deep wreck diving was more than a sport. Testing themselves against treacherous currents, braving depths that induced hallucinatory effects, navigating through wreckage as perilous as a minefield, they pushed themselves to their limits and beyond, brushing against death more than once in the rusting hulks of sunken ships.
But in the fall of 1991, not even these courageous divers were prepared for what they found 230 feet below the surface, in the frigid Atlantic waters sixty miles off the coast of New Jersey: a World War II German U-boat, its ruined interior a macabre wasteland of twisted metal, tangled wires, and human bones–all buried under decades of accumulated sediment.
No identifying marks were visible on the submarine or the few artifacts brought to the surface. No historian, expert, or government had a clue as to which U-boat the men had found. In fact, the official records all agreed that there simply could not be a sunken U-boat and crew at that location.

Over the next six years, an elite team of divers embarked on a quest to solve the mystery. Some of them would not live to see its end. Chatterton and Kohler, at first bitter rivals, would be drawn into a friendship that deepened to an almost mystical sense of brotherhood with each other and with the drowned U-boat sailors–former enemies of their country. As the men’s marriages frayed under the pressure of a shared obsession, their dives grew more daring, and each realized that he was hunting more than the identities of a lost U-boat and its nameless crew.

Author Robert Kurson’s account of this quest is at once thrilling and emotionally complex, and it is written with a vivid sense of what divers actually experience when they meet the dangers of the ocean’s underworld. The story of Shadow Divers often seems too amazing to be true, but it all happened, two hundred thirty feet down, in the deep blue sea.

Genres:

  • Albert

    This is a story of serious, dangerous adventure. Courage and the spirit of adventure are alive and well in at least a few of us. I think James Weddell, Theodore Roosevelt, Amelia Earhart, and Admiral Byrd were looking down from heaven and smiling as these men discovered and researched the wreck of an old war machine. We benefit from a well-written documentary that is expertly narrated on this recorded book.

  • Liz B

    I don't read a lot of nonfiction, so it has to be pretty good for me to get all the way through it. This audiobook definitely held my interest all the way through; not only is it interesting from a historical perspective, the writer does a nice job fleshing out the "characters" so that I really connected with them and understood WHY they were doing what they did.

  • Anonymous

    Outstanding! This book was thrilling to listen to.

  • Mary

    This book was better than I thought it would be. There was some back and forth going from past to present but fairly easy to follow with a minimal of characters. I found myself pulling into the garage and sitting there still listening to the book not wanting to turn it off!

  • Anonymous

    A truly remarkable book that is masterfully read by Campbell Scott! This story is an amazing real life adventure involving history, its recordation, our need to know the truth and to honor those who lived it. I simply could not recommend this book more.

  • John C Hagan MD

    This book is a masterpiece and compares with any of the great true life thrillers (Into Thing Air, The Perfect Storm). It is so engrossing that I sat in the garage for a hour before I found a point where I could leave the narrative and go into the house. This book was recommended to me by a physician that is a voracious reader. He told me that he had over 10 friends that called him to thank him for his enthusiastic recommendation. I am making the same enthusiastic endorsement to you.

  • Tom Watrous

    Of all the cd's I have listened to in the last several years, this is the best. What an amazing story. Fast paced, well read....a fantastic and dangerous adventure. Wreck divers seem to have the same drive that leads others to climb Mt. Everest....and it's just as dangerous. I can't say enough good things about this book.

  • Anonymous

    I typically lean more toward fiction but decided to rent this book since it was rated so favorably. I'm glad I did. The narrator did a fantastic job and their story was mesmerizing. I really enjoyed the interview with John Chatterton and Richie Kohler at the end of the book.

  • Jean

    This is a great story and I liked the interview with the key divers at the end of the story. This reminded of the stories I devoured as a kid. I have always been fascinated with shipwrecks. When I was younger I dove on some wrecks from WWII in the South Pacific. It was great fun but also a great learning adventure as we had to learn all about that ship.

  • Frank Morris

    Very well done. Renewed my faith in folks who dive and are willing to respect the location for what it is - a military gravesite. Do not pull the last CD when the narrative concludes. Interviews at the end of that CD are nearly as good as the entire story.

Shadow Divers: The True Adventure of Two Americans Who Risked Everything to Solve One of the Last Mysteries of World War II

by Robert Kurson

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Shadow Divers: The True Adventure of Two Americans Who Risked Everything to Solve One of the Last Mysteries of World War II, Robert Kurson
Shadow Divers: The True Adventure of Two Americans Who Risked Everything to Solve One of the Last Mysteries of World War II, Robert Kurson
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