Monday, March 27, 2006

Shadow Divers (Robert Kurson)

I don't like open water. Rather, I like to look at it from a safe distance. When we were snorkeling in Hawaii, I stayed in my "safe place" (where I could easily touch the sandy bottom) while Jim explored further out. (I would like to point out that I saw three different kinds of fish from my safe place, along with a sea turtle, and even though Jim was braver, he didn't see any turtles.) Still, as I learned reading this book, I do really enjoy reading about people who love open water and try to test its limits.

Shadow Divers: The True Adventure of Two Americans Who Risked Everything to Solve One of the Last Mysteries of World War II is not a book I would have picked out to read on my own (mainly because of the mention of World War II in the title and the fact that the blurbs on the back are all from men, including Scott Turow and Senator John McCain). However, it was recommended by Ashley Merryman, who works with Po Bronson and researched his latest book. If you check out the Ashley's comment on my post, you'll see that she recommended I check out Po's latest book Why Do I Love These People first. However, due to logistical problems (i.e., the library didn't have Po's latest book yet, so I put in a request for them to purchase it), I started with Shadow Divers.

I couldn't put this book down. It's a unbelievable true story about two deep wreck divers who discover a mystery U-boat off the New Jersey coast. Some of the main characters are gritty and tough (in my mind I pictured one of the sea captains being similar to Robert Shaw's character in the movie Jaws), and the dangers of deep wreck diving are very real (as my dad-in-law pointed out in a comment, real people do die diving the wreck). This book is incredibly engrossing, full of suspense, and great detail. The author Robert Kurson meticulously researched his subjects and gives his sources at the end of the book, yet while I was reading the book, it didn't feel academic, or too heavy with facts, or slow---he does an excellent job recreating this amazing story.

Next book up: The Prizewinner of Defiance, Ohio by Terry Ryan

1 comment:

Ashley Merryman said...

So glad you liked it! And thanks for having the library order Po's book!

-- Ashley Merryman