Friday, June 29, 2007

Review: Shadow Divers

Shadow Divers, by Robert Kurson, is the story of a bunch of wreck divers who found a WWII U-boat and diligently researched it till it was identified.

The story piqued my interest enough to rent it from the library, yet, by the time I was ready to listen to it the above description didn't seem terribly exciting. I was thinking: OK, a bunch of divers found a boat, big whoop.

It turns out my instincts couldn't have been more off. The book is incredibly interesting and was a terrific read (well, listen, anyway). And here's why: deep wreck diving is insanely dangerous. It makes a trip to Everest look like an afternoon hike with the guys.

There are so many ways to die in this sport, and the distance from OK to absolute disaster is so tiny, you can't help but be enthralled by it.

Kurson did a thorough job researching and painting the picture of the wreck. He even collected up and retold the story of the sub from the doomed crew's perspective. It's well done stuff.

The book on CD actually contains a bit of bonus material. At the end, the author interviews the two main characters of the book. It was a treat to get to actually hear the voices and comments of these guys I had been getting to know over the last few weeks.

I give the book a 9.313/10 for introducing me to a sport that is better listened to than actually attempted.


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