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on 31 May 2005
I've read a few books on scuba diving and alot get really stuck with technique. this book is good for divers - you can feel that you are there ---- and non divers - explained enough to not bore, gripping enough to hold you.
found that there was alot of repetition but not too much, hence the 4 stars... really overall 5 star
if you dive get this book..... if you don't but your partner/friend does buy it to read or as a guaranteed A1 present.
scares the hell out of any person... gives a real choking feeling at times and you really get close to the people in the book
you will learn alot about diving
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on 26 October 2003
A great book that appeals not just to divers, but to anyone with in interest in the dreams and fascinations, of ordinary people testing their limits to the ultimate extremes, diving in that great unknown place "Inner Space"
This is the story of a father and son that we would all have liked to have had as friends and a stark reminder that we are all mortal, and to be aware of the dangers in this great sport.
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on 4 December 2011
I read this book after reading Shadow Divers by Robert Kurson (an INCREDIBLE book by the way...) and I am not at all happy with the outcome, despite its rave reviews. Though I am sure that Bernie Chowdury has some excellent stories to tell, I feel he should have used somebody else to write them (perhaps Robert Kurson).

I read the book because the relationship that Chris and Chrissy Rouse had was of interest to me and I wanted to learn more about them, and the development of their skills and adventures. The ratio of details to do with the Rouses and details to boost Chowdhury's ego when it comes to his own set of diving skills is not what I was hoping it would be. One page of the book is spent describing how Chowdhury decompression time is spent in fear of a Jellyfish stinging him on the lip. Aside from disrespectful and patronising I find the book dull.

I know it has been described as a "must read" - and part of me thinks it is, if only to get an opinion on it and see what you think.

I think that it was foolish to think that he was capable of writing such an important story, and why it has been published in so many different languages (as his facebook profile pictures modestly communicate) is beyond me.

Any feedback welcome...
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on 9 September 2005
This book tells the fascinating and fateful story of Chris Rouse and his son Chrissy from their discovery of scuba diving through to their tragic accident whilst trying to identify a mystery U-boat in the deep atlantic. Their story is interwoven with a fascinating insight into the world of technical diving - a persuit which relates to recreational scuba much as climbing Mount Everest relates to some gentle hill walking.
The descriptions of technical diving are kept simple enough for the non-diver to understand and yet contain enough detail that certified scuba divers will learn much about a world which basic open water courses dare not mention.
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on 25 July 2006
Overall a very interesting read into the world of deep/cave diving. Would have been nice if the author had not felt the need to explain the 24 hour clock to me twice in as many pages - apparantly, 13:48 means 1:48 in the afternoon !!! Also didn't need to know how many languages his gran can speak. Apart from that a good read when he managed to stay focused on the subject at hand - deep wreck/cave diving and the inherent risks involved. Preferred Shadow Divers, and would like to know which of the differing accounts of what happened on the dive deck of the Seeker were nearest the truth regarding the Chatterton/Coast Guard exchanges.
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on 11 January 2015
Without taking anything away from Chowdhury's expertise and experiences as diver, (he has reached levels most of us will never get near) the book for me drags and is a quite frustrating read at times.

The crux of the book is sold as the fatal last dive of the Rouses. However, the book is far too long and drawn out for the content. Chowdhury doesn't reach the fatal dive until almost the last chapter and then it is scimmed over quickly. Hence the most dramatic aspect of the book is over very quickly leaving you, (without sounding morbid), feeling somewhat sort changed. Maybe it was out of respect for the dead but why write a book advertised around their fatal last dive and then barely touch the subject? Chowdbury would have been better writing a magazine article if he had wanted to focus on just that fateful dive-keeping it short and too the point. Or advertise his book as an exploration into the diving community and it experimentation in new techniques during the late 80's early 90's. He simply doesn't have enough material and your left with pages and pages of rather boring fleshing out. It may as well be an autobiography on both himself and the Rouse's which is interesting at times but is not why I bought the book.

As another reviewer mentioned there is so much irrelevant information and bizarre tangents in an attempt to flesh out the book. I'm reading a book on diving I don't wish to know about his fathers career as a scientist etc. The are huge areas of repetition on dive tables, gas effects under pressure, how decompression sickness occurs, once I've read it once I've got it, I became frustrated when such information appears again and again and goes on for pages. I landed up skipping through huge chunks as I'd read it all before in the previous chapter.

The writing is very melodramatic and over the top at times. Using 'war zone' analogies with reference to deep diving I found both cringing and quite insulting is merely one example. I understand it is a very extreme sport and takes a strong minded individual to dive the way these men and woman do but the constant descriptive glorification regarding them is both cheesy and unnecessary.

Sadly, with his overly dramatic references and long winded writing style I feel Chowdbury has missed the mark with this book. Although, if your after a sort of semi-autobiography and the challenges of pioneering tech diving it might be up your street.

Philip Finch's 'Raising the Dead' about Dave Shaw's final dive, is a fantastic example of a book written around what some would deem a relatively short piece of subject matter. It is informative, cohesive, gripping and to the point about diving to much greater depths without any glorification or melodrama. If your after a non fiction thriller on diving you literally can't put down look no further.
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on 3 September 2006
The writing is repetitive and unfortunately marred by sub-sixth form writing (eg "they swam up together, like two aquatic Jacks in the children's beanstalk story"). None of the dialogue reads very convincingly either.

However, speaking as a diver, the more factual passages about the perils of the deep are quite compelling. And the description of what happens if you mess up your decompression is memorable and salutory.
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Bernie Chowdhury has crafted a true tale of questionable courage and obsessive details of a father-son dive team. Chris and Chrissy Rouse were a competitive duo that fell in love with SCUBA diving and all the exciting adventures it entailed. The book covers the history of the Rouse family from teen years to their tragic ending. Instead of concentrating only on diving, Chowdhury reveals other human aspects of the Rouse family, including the urgency of Chris Rouse to provide for his family and his unending interest in being the best at whatever he did, whether it be an independent contractor, an owner of his own airplane or breaking records for diving depths and times. He poured this obsession onto his son Chrissy, with whom he had an intense, friendly bickering relationship with. The family history is shown as important in the ultimate growth of the family and what eventually led to their deaths. Along the way, the reader is introduced to the history of diving in colorful depictions with descriptions of the myriad of gas mixes without getting dry or too scientific. The excitement, urgency, thrills and ultimate heartbreak make for a fascinating read. This is a book for everyone, but divers will be especially enthralled.
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on 17 January 2013
I am nearly at the end of the book. The story is gripping and engaging, the technical diving terms are all well explained and should not get in the way of the non-diver wishing to read the book.

What annoyed me was that the writer repeated a lot of facts in several sections of the book, recounting the same tales multiple times. The flow of the story was not well maintained. Compared to "Raising the Dead" by Phillip Finch, which I also read, this book is poorly written.

Having said that, if you can brush over these imperfections, the book is still well worth reading.
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on 16 June 2016
A great price, fast delivery. A subject not known by everyone but what a great book of facts this is, very sad, , in this this game break the rules and you are dead unless you are very lucky. I am an ex firefighter from a city brigade and breathing apparatus was the name of my game I was in, I broke the rules 3 times and nearly paid the price, underwater carries the same rules.
A good book everyone needs to read this book, Bernie Chowdhury did a brilliant job in writing it.
Regards..
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