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

Extended Audio Sample Shadow Divers: The True Adventure of Two Americans Who RIsked Everything to Solve One of the Last Mysteries of World War II Audiobook, by Robert Kurson Click for printable size audiobook cover
4.22 out of 54.22 out of 54.22 out of 54.22 out of 54.22 out of 5 4.22 (32 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Robert Kurson Narrator: Campbell Scott Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2004 ISBN: 9780739312001
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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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Written with great you-are-there intensity and dynamic verve.”

    New York Times

  • An engrossing saga of the suspenseful, intriguing, and dangerous underwater investigation of a Mystery U-boat. CLIVE CUSSLER
  • “Robert Kurson’s Shadow Divers, about the divers exploring a sunken shipwreck off the New Jersey coast, is a gripping account of real-life adventurers and a real-life mystery. In addition to being compellingly readable on every page, the book offers a unique window on the deep, almost reckless nature of the human quest to know. SCOTT TUROW, author of Reversible Errors
  • 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 and Why Courage Matters
  • Robert Kurson’s status as an undiscovered pleasure among Chicago readers is about to change, I suspect, in a hurry. Shadow Divers is so culturally astute and terrifyingly suspenseful that it should reach the sort of audience John Berendt, Susan Orlean, Jon Krakauer and Laura Hillenbrand have recently earned. Kurson’s new focus is the larger historical world--a world of U-Boats, forensics and lung-crushing pressure--and his prose is, as always, plain gorgeous. JAMES MCMANUS, author of Positively Fifth Street
  • A winning tale exceedingly well told, Shadow Divers takes us on a dangerous and seemingly quixotic descent into the murk–and then, in a fog of nitrogen narcosis, brings us back to the surface with a richer, fuller fathoming of a history we only thought we knew. HAMPTON SIDES, author of Ghost Soldiers: The Epic Account of World War II’s Greatest Rescue Mission
  • “An engrossing saga of the suspenseful, intriguing, and dangerous underwater investigation of a Mystery U-boat.”

    Clive Cussler

  • “Robert Kurson’s Shadow Divers, about the divers exploring a sunken shipwreck off the New Jersey coast, is a gripping account of real-life adventurers and a real-life mystery…The book offers a unique window on the deep, almost reckless nature of the human quest to know.”

    Scott Turow, author of Reversible Errors

  • “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 and Why Courage Matters

  • “Robert Kurson’s status as an undiscovered pleasure…is about to change, I suspect, in a hurry. Shadow Divers is so culturally astute and terrifyingly suspenseful that it should reach the sort of audience John Berendt, Susan Orlean, Jon Krakauer, and Laura Hillenbrand have recently earned. Kurson’s new focus is the larger historical world—a world of U-Boats, forensics, and lung-crushing pressure—and his prose is, as always, plain gorgeous.”

    James McManus, author of Positively Fifth Street

  • “A winning tale exceedingly well told, Shadow Divers takes us on a dangerous and seemingly quixotic descent into the murk—and then, in a fog of nitrogen narcosis, brings us back to the surface with a richer, fuller fathoming of a history we only thought we knew.”

    Hampton Sides, author of Ghost Soldiers: The Epic Account of World War II’s Greatest Rescue Mission

  • Winner of a 2005 YALSA Alex Award
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A USA Today Bestseller
  • Nominated for the Barnes & Noble Discover Award
  • Winner of Margaret A. Edwards Award (Alex Awards), 2005

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jan | 2/12/2014

    " Fascinating account--read like fiction, but it was a true story! Anyone who likes mysteries would love this book. I couldn't put it down! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Krista | 2/12/2014

    " Such an interesting tale of the dangers and amazing finds in deep sea diving. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amanda | 2/10/2014

    " Entertaining, engrossing read about divers who discover a U-boat off the coast of NJ, their lives, and their search to discover the identity of the boat and the men who perished aboard her. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chrysanthe Longman | 1/20/2014

    " Not a book I would typically read. It was assigned to my daughter as summer reading and we got the audiobook. I listened to this on my way to work and really got into it. I think the fact that it is a local story also helped to make it more interesting. John Chatterton and Robert Kurson also spoke at out high school about their experiences and the writing of the book. The book was a little slow at times, but overall fascinating. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 C'Anne | 1/1/2014

    " I liked the story of this book a lot, exciting but educational too. However, there was a lot of swearing (F word) so be warned. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris Still | 12/26/2013

    " I really enjoyed this one...kind of claustrophobic in parts "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Barbara | 12/21/2013

    " My favorite parts explained the diving-> its technicality, where they were, how that got so good. Be forewarned it has a whole lot of swearing and has some slow parts to the story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Josh Ferrin | 12/13/2013

    " A testament to the adage "reality is much weirder than fiction". This book gave me an itch that I still haven't scratched; to learn to scuba dive. I never plan on swimming blindly through a collapsing submarine 200 feet under water but I still feel a strong desire to follow their lead. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Luan | 11/20/2013

    " I feel bad. I wanted to give this book more stars. I even had Bob read it on vacation. The consensus was it was interesting, in fact, very interesting but not engaging. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Danny | 10/29/2013

    " History in this one about the German U-boats and the surprise and once in a life time find of a group of dedicated divers. Based on a true story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Emily | 10/25/2013

    " this would definitely not be something you'd ever find me doing, diving to unheard of depths in search of a u-boat that people didn't think existed, but i loved reading about it. crazy people. but i'm glad they're out there discovering missing u-boats. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 T. | 9/28/2013

    " Interesting book about the search for a previously unidentified German sub. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Candide | 9/26/2013

    " Interesting true adventure of deep sea divers find an unknown U-boat off the New Jersey coast and take several years of making dangerous dives to learns its identity "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Darren Seagren | 9/16/2013

    " Pretty good read, however, I think the chapters dedicated to the divers backgrounds were a little long. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nick | 8/25/2013

    " Amazing story of risk and adventure in the name of discovery. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amy Poor | 3/4/2013

    " I listened to the audiobook of this read by Campbell Scott, who I will always love for Singles. Any way, It started rather slow, but really gained momentum towards the end. If you listen to the audiobook, do listen to the author and diver interviews at the end; they were fascinating. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ellen | 2/1/2013

    " My brother gave me this book to read while I was visting. I love sharing books with my brother. I was very proud that I read this book and I enjoyed it immensely. It was exciting and interesting. A real life thriller. I learned a lot about history and diving. An excellent read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stephanie | 10/26/2012

    " I enjoyed this read, and it really educated me to the inherent dangers of wreck diving. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gary Barrentine | 6/17/2012

    " It was very informative about the hazards of deep sea diving. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Christine | 2/22/2012

    " This writer make a whole book out of what I would normally expect to be a short book. He tells the story from all different angles and makes what could be rather difficult to read interesting and understandable. I became invested in the lives of the men in this real life story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeanne | 4/20/2011

    " Shocked that I liked a book about diving for sunken shipwrecks, but this was absolutely fascinating. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bill | 4/19/2011

    " I felt like I got to know the divers. the description of the wreck divers was wonderful. I have recommended this to lots of my friends. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Susanne | 4/18/2011

    " Couldn't put this book down. Such an unbelievable story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Krista | 4/1/2011

    " Such an interesting tale of the dangers and amazing finds in deep sea diving. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jess | 3/28/2011

    " Outstanding account of the search for the identity of a sunken U-boat where one was not supposed to be. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kendar88 | 3/26/2011

    " Fantastic! Totally got me hooked on submarines, WWII and SCUBA. Interesting characters and facinating adventures. All history books should be this entertaining. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kim | 3/25/2011

    " This book was awesome! I learned a lot about scuba diving and about WWII U-boats. I don't typically read a lot of non-fiction, but I couldn't put this one down! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rob | 3/16/2011

    " Great story, a real page turner. But the stars of the book are self-obsessed, and it gets a bit old "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Katherine | 3/8/2011

    " One of my all time favorites. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katie | 3/7/2011

    " Really interesting book. A real-life modern adventure story filled with danger and mystery. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jolee | 3/2/2011

    " One of the most interesting stories I've read. Totally loved it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Al | 2/26/2011

    " This was a pretty interesting story and a good book for listening. Adventurers and WWII buffs would likely enjoy it the most. "

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About the Author

Robert Kurson earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the University of Wisconsin, then a law degree from Harvard Law School. After working as a features reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago magazine, he moved to Esquire as a contributing editor. His award-winning stories have also appeared in Rolling Stone, the New York Times Magazine, and other publications. He is also the author of Shadow Divers and lives in Chicago.

About the Narrator

Campbell Scott has, in addition to his numerous stage and film credits, narrated more than forty audiobooks, including This Boy’s Life and Into Thin Air.