Shadow Divers

By Robert Kurson,

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

Book description

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…

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Why read it?

4 authors picked Shadow Divers as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Is it possible to read this book without sitting on the edge of your seat? Maybe, but that wasn’t my experience.

Shadow Divers became an instant nonfiction classic featuring a macho cadre of limit-pushing recreational scuba divers and a mysterious unidentified submarine lost in 230 feet of water off New Jersey. The mystery drew in two of the best divers of their generation, both operating at the ragged edge of dive science, all in an effort to solve one of the most fascinating and dangerous mysteries of the Second World War.

Much of my reading is non-fiction, the kind of research material I need to create my work. A lot of it is pretty dry, or of interest only to the specialist. Not so with Kurson's work!

This is an adventure book all the way, and the best part is, it's a true story! Shadow Divers follows a team looking for a new dive site, and finding a lot more: a sunken U-Boat, lost off the American coast for decades. The story travels between archives and dives to a deep wreck where the current could sweep the divers away.

The vividness…

From E. Chris' list on weaving adventure and history.

Back before extreme sports were a thing, people found personal ways to test themselves. In this case, we have guys from New Jersey who did scuba diving to depths that were the edge of both human physiology and the technology of the time, while exploring sunken wrecks over 200 feet below the surface. For fun. Then they tripped over a lost Nazi submarine. Off the coast of New Jersey.  

It sounds like the worst kind of B-movie nonsense, but it’s true. Two of the men become driven to not only document the submarine’s provenance as an actual German vessel, but…

In the early 1990s, two recreational scuba divers became fascinated with identifying a WWII-era German submarine that had sunk off the New Jersey coast. Shadow Divers is a well-written account of their quest to solve the mystery of that sub’s identity by venturing into the dangerous, obstacle-strewn inner reaches of its hull to recover some object that might identify the sub with certainty and help memorialize its crew. These were the early days of sophisticated saturation and mixed-gas diving, so these amateur explorers literally risked their lives with every descent to the wreck. As the book’s heroes doffed their scuba…

From John's list on disaster & survival.

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