Customer Reviews for

Titanic's Last Secrets: The Further Adventures of Shadow Divers John Chatterton and Richie Kohler

Average Rating 4
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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2008

    Provocative, entertaining, full of fresh revelations

    With Titanic Last Secrets, Brad Matsen, author of the acclaimed Descent: The Heroic Discovery of the Abyss, once again shows why he is one of the most gifted, accomplished writers on anything to do with the sea. In tackling history's most famous ship disaster, he accomplishes what I thought was impossible-telling us something new about the Titanic. The revelations are not only new but cumulatively downright sensational, rendered all the more so by new physical evidence and analysis that rewrites the history of the ship's last moments and resolves a lot of troubling questions that have until now been unresolved. The early focus of Matsen's well paced narrative are divers John Chatterton and Ritchie Kohler 'of Shadow Divers fame' who in the summer of 2005 dove the Titanic in search of clues that might explain how the ship sank in such a shockingly short time, less than three hours after striking an ice berg. In a largely unexplored debris field far from the ship's stern, the pair find two large intact sections of the Titanic's bottom, bottom-up on the ocean floor. The discoveries provide a wealth of forensic data supporting a theory that the Titanic actually broke up on the surface at a shallow angle before sinking. Seamlessly shifting the narrative back and forth from past to present, Matsen does a terrific job of painting a fresh and fascinating portrait of the doomed ocean liner and the principal characters whose hubris, greed, corruption, deadly cost-cutting and sheer folly led to the construction of a weak ship. Moreover, Matsen's modern-day archival investigations reveal the Titanic's builders knew the vessel's lethal shortcomings and covered them up, abetted in the aftermath of the sinking by the British government. It all make for a fast-moving entertaining read full of suspense and surprising turns. Titanic's Last Secrets belongs on the bookshelves of every mariner and armchair sailor. Granted, Matsen's conclusions are sure to be debated-even mocked-by 'Titaniac' buffs whose numbers are legion the world over, but this is as it should be. As the New York Times editorialized shortly after the new sinking theory emerged, 'There is really no getting over the Titanic, as least not where the human imagination is concerned.' Highest recommendation. John Grissim, founder Marine Watch and author, The Lost Treasure of the Concepcion and Pure Stoke

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2008

    Fascinating

    Having just read this book cover to cover in 2 sittings, I can heartily recommend it for both Titanic buffs as well as the casual reader. Matsen tells this tale with fresh eyes and new facts and keeps the pages turning. I won't be one of those reviewers who give away all the good details before you read the book, but I will say there are twists and turns in this often told story that made me think of Titanic in a whole new light. Five Stars!

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 28, 2009

    Commercialized History

    Sadly, a provocative discovery - two large sections of Titanic's keel with bottom facing upwards - has been approached with little, detailed forensic explanation. The "big-deal" discovery is not revealed until one has read through a drum-role of too-cute, personal asides about the mission before finally getting down to the purported Last Secrets. Nor are the secrets all that secret. Arguments have been put forward for years as to how the Titanic broke up - top down or bottom up. All in all a highly commercialized book, written with enough padding to flesh the pamphlet-sized new information into a book. Disappointing, and thinly explained, this work could have been much improved by the inclusion of top specialists in metallurgy and buoyancy expertise with some serious use of graphics to illustrate the book's conclusion. There was some compelling evidence discovered, but poorly explained or substantiated. Chapter on Wee Man, aka historian Thomas McCluskie was insulting. A man of Tom's accomplishments and recently inducted into the Order of the British Empire by the Queen, his physical handicap has not affected his keen intellect.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 3, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    GREAT NARITIVE FICTION, BUT LEAVES QUESTIONS UNANSWERED

    The idea and premise for the book were very interesting. The book started out very cool - with the THEORY of the Titanic being "grounded" on the iceberg, and what that could've meant to the fast sinking time. <BR/><BR/>The author then weaves a story starting with the owners and shipbuilders that is VERY interesting! Reads like Walter Lords epic tale. <BR/><BR/>Then unfortunately, the book kind of ends. Perhaps this is because it is how it was in reality, but it was disapointing to not have some of the questions not answered. You'd have to read it to understand, but as much as I liked the first 2/3rd's of the book, the end left me empty and looking for resolution.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 25, 2009

    Titanic's Last Secrets

    I loved this book it starts with whitestar and still continues even after they describe the sinking. They took alot of time and research to explain everything. Before I read the book I only knew about Titanic from the movie other than it sank and alot of people died. I now know alot about what happend.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2009

    More History than Secrets

    The book was a great overview of the history and details behind te making of the Titanic and the inquiries that took place after the sinking. The secrets that this book revealed were marginal at best

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 3, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Great read for Titanic enthusiasts!

    New information sheds light on the greatest maritime disaster. Interesting and informative, filled with never before heard testimony!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 19, 2010

    Awesome read

    I really enjoyed this book. It gave a new twist on the ship's demise with scientific data.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2008

    A reviewer

    I liked the book but they really didn't go in depth about how the ship sank.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted March 14, 2010

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