Book Review of Shadow Divers
If you haven`t read this book, you should. I think it`s rapidly becoming a classic in the dive community. This book and the NOVA documentary Hitler`s Lost Sub led to the History Channel show, Deep Sea Detectives.
The book covers several areas that will interest divers, especially wreck divers. It discusses the hazards of deep diving and wreck penetration. It also discusses the research needed to find out about an unidentified wreck. If you`re a history buff like me, it touches on a few areas of WWII history that are very interesting.
I don`t want to tell to much about the plot of the book because of the writing style. Knowing the details would ruin the story for you if you haven`t read it yet. The descriptions of the accidents that take place on the wreck during the ten years spent trying to ID the U-boat will fascinate and horrify you at the same time. It`s a good way to learn from the mistakes of others.
The personalities of the divers involved come through very well. Chatterton is the guy who loves to work with the newest stuff in diving. If there is a new technology, I can see him heading out to try it. Kohler on the other hand loves his old stuff. I remember an episode of Deep Sea Detectives where Chatterton rags on him a bit saying that he`s got the new high tech rig and Richie is over there with the old style. Kohler doesn`t miss a beat, just give Chatterton a grin and says "You mean the stuff that works"
All of the main character in this book are Northeastern Wreck Divers. The book will also spend a good deal of time covering the nature of that community. They come off as highly proficient, competent and eccentric.
The book is extremely well written and easy to read. It`s out in paperback now so there`s no reason not to read it.
You can buy it here or other places of course.
Supplement the book with this video that preceded it and led up to the show, Deep Sea Detectives
There is another book out there that disputes some of the story in Shadow Divers. I haven`t read it yet, though I`ve added it to my wishlist. I figure it would be unfair not to put it out there for you to compare. Check out the reviews on the page.
There is also another book out their about two of the divers who would die on this wreck. I haven`t read it either but it`s on my follow up reading list and wish list as well.