Friday, March 13, 2009


This makes the list of my favorite non-fiction books. Shadow Divers: The True Adventure of Two Americans Who Risked Everything to Solve One of the Last Mysteries of World War II. I read this book a few years ago and was reminded of it the other day.

Several years ago I read a book review by Barbara Peters of the Poisoned Pen Bookshop (Scottsdale, Arizona) and knew it was a book my darling Dad would enjoy. But unforunately, he passed away before I could give it to him. So I forgot about it until my friend Darcey gave a glowing review about it at a book night discussion.

This is the story of what happens when two wreck-divers, John Chatterton and Rich Kohler, find a German U-boat 35 miles off the shore of New Jersey. There is no record that anyone knew that the German's came that close to the United States during World War II.

Robert Kurson, the author, writes about the actual diving experience in a way that made me almost hyperventilate at the thought of this insane sport. I think I held my breath when I read about the critical importance (as in life or hideously painful death) of ascent. When the divers are under water with minimal or zero visability Kurson makes you feel you are right there. During this expedition lives are lost and marriages ruined. I cared about these guys and mourned with them.

Beyond the technical descriptions of deep sea wreck diving (which oddly I enjoyed) Chatterton and Kohler cared enough about the crew on the U-boat to research them individually. They treat the wreck site with respect.

This is a book I was sorry to see end.


  1. I read and enjoyed this in 2005 when a friend loaned me her copy. It was before I began my book blog, and although I commented about it on my quilting blog, I never reviewed it.

    I remember thinking that nothing could have persuaded me to dive to those depths!

  2. I know! I thought the same thing!

  3. I just finished listening to this on tape and loved it too. I'm trying to link your comments on my blog but I'm having success. You write so much clearer than I.

  4. "not having success." I wish we could edit our comments