Shadow Divers: The True Adventure of Two Americans Who Risked Everything to Solve One of the Last Mysteries of World War II (Random House Large Print Nonfiction)
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.
His research is meticulous, his characters are skilfully drawn and the narrative is so well paced and constructed that it develops a hypnotic, almost suffocating tension. But far more than adventure, this is also a haunting, painful story of obsession. The comparisons with THE PERFECT STORM are not out of place; this is a memorable story, beautifully told. (The Sunday Times)Undersea thrills, a gripping mystery, incredible discoveries...written with great you-are-there intensity and dynamic verve. A pulse-quickening real-life thriller. (New York Times)[A] pulse-quickening account of the attempt to explore and identify the mystery sub . . . [a] fantastic yarn that happens to be true. (Newsweek)An irresistible sea yarn...Sometimes writers, like divers, stumble on treasure. (Time)Describes all the anguish, exhilaration and danger if deep-sea wreck diving in vivid detail...one of the best pieces of dive-related non-fiction I have read. (Sport Diver)Superlative .... If the publishers are dreaming of another PERFECT STORM, they may get their wish. (Publishers Weekly)A tremendously suspenseful story of discovery that comes as close as any book could to providing the reader with approximate sensations of deep sea diving and of life on a submarine at war, and that leaves us with a hell of an impression of the grit, guts, and compassion of a U-boat crew and the two American divers who risked everything to solve the mystery of their last mission. (John McCain, author of FAITH OF MY FATHERS) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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