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The Last Dive

A Father and Son's Fatal Descent into the Ocean's Depths
Narrated by: L. J. Ganser
Length: 16 hrs and 42 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (19 ratings)

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Summary

Chris and Chrissy Rouse, an experienced father-and-son scuba diving team, hoped to achieve widespread recognition for their outstanding but controversial diving skills. Obsessed and ambitious, they sought to solve the secrets of a mysterious, undocumented World War II German U-boat that lay under 230 feet of water, only a half day's mission from New York Harbor. In doing so they paid the ultimate price in their quest for fame.

Bernie Chowdhury, himself an expert diver and a close friend of the Rouses, explores the thrill-seeking world of deep-sea diving, including its legendary figures, most celebrated triumphs, and gruesome tragedies. By examining the diver's psychology through the complex father-and-son dynamic, Chowdhury illuminates the extreme sport diver's push toward - and sometimes beyond - the limits of human endurance.

©2000 Bernie Chowdhury (P)2003 Recorded Books, LLC

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Macho BS

Historically inaccurate drivel bordering on the libellous. I would like to see the evidence to back the claims the author recited regarding Churchill's involvement in the sinking of the Lusitania. America entered the war on April 6, 1917 two years after the sinking on 7 May 1915, what does that tell you?
Perhaps if the author had stuck to telling the story of the subjects of his book I may have appreciated it more, but he insists on spending huge swathes of his book telling stories of his own diving adventures, describing the feats of various "World Class," "pioneering," or "heroic" divers. It seems that any diver from the NE coast of the US is "World Class" just by virtue of turning up on the boat! The death toll of such divers in the book in not inconsiderable, death by greed, stupidity or incompetence, take your pick.
Another major annoyance for me in the audiobook which I listened to twice because I couldn`t believe some of the nonsense I heard the first time was the narrators constant mispronunciation of words, but that's not the worst, calling an Ecosystem an "Echo system" is not a simple mispronunciation, it`s completely the wrong word. Perhaps he was just reading what was written? I have no idea whether to blame the author or narrator for that one.
If by chance anybody actually reads this review and thinks to themselves "who is this guy having a go at the book?" you would be right in your pondering, I am a scuba diver, but by no stretch of the imagination on a par with any of the "World Class" divers between those pages, so what do I know? But then again, I`m still alive and have never seen the inside of a recompression chamber...

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    4 out of 5 stars

Gripping, fascinating and horrifying.

The risks undertaken by technical divers are grippingly explained in this book along with their culture.

I found it horrifying to hear of the levels of mortality encountered in this sport as well as the incredible small margins for error.

I still find it difficult to understand how anyone could reconcile /conscience the risks with visiting underwater caves or penetrating wrecks but that is a personal opinion.

I arrived the information to form this opinion purely through the skilled and thorough account given in the book.

I was gripped by the narrative which has left me shocked, horrified and fascinated.

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Insightful and Informative

Don’t think I have read anything which explains the risks and ultimate disregard of the same so well. Passion for diving but without sugar coating. A human and tragic story well written. Loved it.

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Profile Image for Will O.
  • Will O.
  • 21-08-18

This book is terrible

The story of the Rouses is probably an interesting one, but it could have been done in about 1/2 the number of chapters actually included. An unforgivable number of unrelated sentences made this a difficult book to get through.

The amount of repetition drove me insane. Some sub-stories were repeated 2 or 3 times. Explanations of equipment use and features - 5 or more repeats.

The author either has amnesia or Alzheimer’s and the editor needs to be fired.

I found myself continuing to listen only to hear about “the last dive” which turned out to a single paragraph. You would think that would be close to the end, requiring only an epilogue. No, this author needed 4 more hours of unrelated stories before he could put hi pen down.

If you want another viewpoint of this story with a much better presentation, listen to Shadow Divers by Robert Kurson.

8 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Carl Schumann
  • 02-01-17

Misleading title

I enjoyed this book, but it has much content unrelated to the Rouses' deaths or even their life. The author frequently writes of himself, which can still be interesting. There is a factual disagreement with Shadow Divers about whom to evacuate by Coast Guard helicopter. Not sure which book to trust.

6 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-04-17

Who's Last Dive

This book seem to be more about the author and his embellished accomplishments then the Rouses. His speculation on what they did on their last dive was almost comical seeing his wasn't even there. Hearing the narrator take deep breaths at every sentence made this a painful book to listen to.

10 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Michael Lee Struchen
  • 02-04-19

Good Story

I have read to book several times when I was active in diving. Even have it signed by Bernie. A shame they ruined it with a poor narrator. You could him almost gasping for air trying to keep up the tempo.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Erik
  • Erik
  • 01-10-19

Excellent

I almost listened to the whole book straight through, it kept me interested the entire time. Captured what it must be like diving in dangerous places very well, and told a story about real life people and who they were (are) seemingly very well too. Worth a listen to if you like interesting stuff and cool people.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Dave T
  • 13-09-18

The Dive Parts Are Good

The diving portions of the book are very good. The author spends too much time with the psychology and sociology aspects of diving and the books starts to bog down. Seems like he was going out of his way to promote Dr Hunt for some reason. You can see how the author also got caught up with how the deep diving and artifact collecting would define him. THe narrators emphasis on non English pronunciations was a bit distracting.

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Profile Image for Howard Houchen
  • Howard Houchen
  • 20-06-17

Very Good Book!

Loved every paragraph of every chapter. The author writes about somewhat technical details of sport diving in ways that explain while capturing attention.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Greg Grant
  • 21-04-17

Great story destroyed by a heavy breather

A great review and story of people and their willingness to encounter fear and the potentially fatal. Made me do some self reflection. Great read.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Frogman
  • 28-11-16

must read for divers

Excellent book about diving and the tragedy of Chris and Chrissy. This book explains the dangers of deep wreck diving and the history of the sport.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Karbush
  • 17-08-16

Well Written and Engaging

Very engaging--I never lost interest. Thorough --if you like adventure stories you will like this and learn a lot about diving. Narration was ok but you could hear him taking deep breaths before reading which was kind of weird. I highly recommend this book.