Crush Depth [NOOK Book]

Overview

Reactionary enemy regimes have brutally taken command in South Africa and Germany. U.S. and European shipping lanes are suddenly under attack. World War is at hand -- and for the ruthless Berlin–Boer Axis, the devastating weapons of choice will be tactical nukes used at sea.

The Voortrekker, a deep-diving state-of-the-art German submarine, is on the prowl, carrying more onboard firepower than many of the world's nations possess -- and the crippled sub USS Challenger is the only ...

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Crush Depth

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Overview

Reactionary enemy regimes have brutally taken command in South Africa and Germany. U.S. and European shipping lanes are suddenly under attack. World War is at hand -- and for the ruthless Berlin–Boer Axis, the devastating weapons of choice will be tactical nukes used at sea.

The Voortrekker, a deep-diving state-of-the-art German submarine, is on the prowl, carrying more onboard firepower than many of the world's nations possess -- and the crippled sub USS Challenger is the only weapon in America's arsenal that can match up with the silent killer. But the nation's last hope is in dry dock -- and Captain Jeffrey Fuller, Challenger's brilliant, driven skipper, must get his damaged boat back in action weeks before it is battle-ready. Fuller has faced Voortrekker in the past and, unlike so many others, he survived. This time, however, the fight will take place in waters far too deep for a normal sub to withstand. And this time the prize will be America.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
An unsettling mix of underwater suspense, love story and near-future sci-fi, Buff's latest represents a well-intentioned if plodding effort to update the genre of submarine thriller. Set in 2012, the novel takes as its premise a South Africa and Germany (the Axis) at war with the rest of the world (the Allies). Both sides use nuclear submarines as their primary weapons. After September 11, Buff's geopolitical vision seems unlikely at best. Even less convincing is the romance between South African turncoat Ilse Reebeck, now working for the Allies, and Jeffrey Fuller, U.S. nuclear submarine captain. Although Buff writes in clear and competent prose, the relationship between the two lovers remains lifeless. More interesting are the undersea conflicts between the Allied submarine Challenger and the Axis Voortrekker, commanded by Captain Jan ter Horst and first officer Gunther Van Gelder. Although marred by ter Horst's stiff lectures, the submarine battle scenes are stirring, especially when the Voortrekker attempts to sneak into Allied waters. Buff does a good job of switching between Allied and Axis positions and handling the rising tension as the two sides clash, though a few scenes of graphic violence seem more appropriate to a horror novel. The tongue-in-cheek nod to Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea-an encounter between a giant squid and a sperm whale-provides the only lighthearted moment in this otherwise deadly serious novel. Buff, a Life Member of the Naval Submarine League, clearly knows his stuff, but this entry lacks the impact of other recent submarine thrillers. (Oct.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061747878
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/13/2009
  • Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 512
  • Sales rank: 86,418
  • File size: 663 KB

Meet the Author

Joe Buff is a Life Member of the U.S. Naval Institute, the Navy League of the United States, the CEC/Seabees Historical Foundation, and the Fellows of the Naval War College. Respected for his technical knowledge, he is considered an expert on submarines and national defense. Two of his nonfiction articles about future submarine technology have won the Annual Literary Award from the Naval Submarine League. He is the author of five previous highly regarded novels of submarine warfare&#8212Straits of Power, Tidal Rip, Crush Depth, Thunder in the Deep, and Deep Sound Channel. He lives with his wife in Dutchess County, New York.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Later that day

Bachelor Officers Quarters,
Naval Submarine Base, New London, Connecticut

Outside the window, in the post-midnight pitch-blackness, the freezing wind howled and moaned. The wind slashed at the leafless trees on the slope that led down to the river. Now and then, sleet pattered the pane, the tail end of a strong nor'easter that had dumped a foot of snow. Inside the room, a candle glowed in one corner. The ancient steam-heat radiator hissed and dripped. Ilse Reebeck looked down at Jeffrey Fuller. "Do you want me to get off now?"

He met her gaze, with that slightly out-of-focus look in his eyes he always got right after making love. Jeffrey nodded, too sated to speak. Ilse felt him watch her intently as she left the bed. He stayed fully under the covers -- she'd noticed since they'd first become intimate on New Year's Eve that he was strangely shy with her about his body, well endowed as he was with muscles and dark curly hair and the scars of an honorable war wound. Ilse was proud of her figure -- she gave Jeffrey a last quick profile view and blew out the candle.

She got back in bed in the dark and put one arm across his chest and tried to fall asleep. It was good to lose herself in sex with Jeffrey Fuller, and tune out the rest of the world, but as the immediate ardor subsided she felt sad. Her family was dead, for resisting the old-line Boer takeover, her whole country in enemy hands. She'd been in pitched battle twice behind enemy lines, during tactical nuclear war, and killed and watched teammates be killed. The war was far from over, quite possibly unwinnable. Even the escape of sleep wasa mixed blessing, because sleep brought on the nightmares. Nightmares of combat flashbacks, of hurling grenades and bayonet charges and incoming main battle tank ire. Nightmares of relatives hanging. Nightmares of reunions with friends who were decomposed corpses.

If she hadnt been at a marine biology conference in the U.S. when the war broke out, Ilse might well be dead now too, strung up with the rest of them.

The radiator stopped hissing. Jeffrey reached over Ilse for the batterypowered alarm dock on his bedstand. His elbow rubbed her left nipple. "Sorry," he said, but she thought it an odd thing to apologize for, just after making love.

"Zero one hundred," he said. "Right on schedule."

Wartime energy conservation, Ilse thought. The heat was turned off in all base housing every night at one until five in the morning, along with hot water and power.

"Typical U.S. Navy," she said out loud. "If anything, always prompt." Ilse wasn't sure herself whether she meant to be sarcastic. It just came out. Jeffrey didn't respond. He rolled on his side and she rolled on her side so he could press himself against her in a hug ...

"You should go back to your room now."

Ilse stirred. She realized she'd fallen asleep like this and a few minutes must have passed.

"No" she told Jeffrey. "I want to stay." The bed was designed for one person, but they were both so used to sleeping on narrow racks in a submarine, the mattress seemed spacious in contrast.

"We have classes in the morning."

Also typical Jeffrey, always thinking ahead, making his plans and his schedules. Must do this, mustn't do that ... The naval officer in him never really shut down, or turned off or whatever, to simply let him be a person. Even six weeks after they'd both been permanently detached from USS Challenger -- and were rested now from the rigors of their Germany raid, when Jeffrey was acting captain -- he still ran himself with military precision out of sheer habit. He was taking the Prospective Commanding Officers course, and she was going through the Basic Submarine Officers course -- though she was technically a civilian, a consultant to the U.S. Navy.

"I'll set the alarm for four-thirty," Ilse said. "Plenty of time to get back to my room before the hallways start to liven up."

"Someone might see you. It's indiscreet."

"It's indiscreet me being here at one in the morning. I have makeup and stuff in my bag. I'll use your bathroom, and I'll have my briefcase, right? Anyone who sees me can think I worked the midnight shift."

"Clever girl."

"I'm not a girl. I'm nearly thirty." The thought sometimes frightened her.

"I meant -- "

"You don't need to apologize." Ilse knew Jeffrey was no sexist, and she really did care about him. It was just that, well ... Jeffrey was a great lion in battle, but taken out of purely military functions -- like here right now -- he wasn't exactly always at his best, socially speaking. He was almost forty, but had spent his entire adult life in navy circles.

Ilse began to doze off again, with her head on Jeffrey's forearm. She felt him squeeze her buttocks gently with his other hand. "Enough is enough," she told him. "It's very late."

She sensed Jeffrey pausing, a pregnant pause in the dark. "Who's better?" he finally said.

"What?"

"Who's better? Him or me?"

"What?" Ilse bristled.

"Ter Horst. What's he like? Hung like a horse?" Jeffrey sounded amused at his own little joke, but the amusement was forced.

"Don't be silly." And please don't spoil the evening for us both.

"No, I'm serious."

"Really, Jeffrey, there's no comparison." He was definitely a Jeffrey, not a Jeff; Ilse felt no impulse to give him a special nickname. "I knew Jan for more than two years, and you and I have been dating, what? Less than two months ... It was before the war and everything. It's a completely different situation."

Crush Depth. Copyright © by Joe Buff. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Table of Contents

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First Chapter

Crush Depth

Chapter One

Later that day

Bachelor Officers Quarters,
Naval Submarine Base, New London, Connecticut

Outside the window, in the post-midnight pitch-blackness, the freezing wind howled and moaned. The wind slashed at the leafless trees on the slope that led down to the river. Now and then, sleet pattered the pane, the tail end of a strong nor'easter that had dumped a foot of snow. Inside the room, a candle glowed in one corner. The ancient steam-heat radiator hissed and dripped. Ilse Reebeck looked down at Jeffrey Fuller. "Do you want me to get off now?"

He met her gaze, with that slightly out-of-focus look in his eyes he always got right after making love. Jeffrey nodded, too sated to speak. Ilse felt him watch her intently as she left the bed. He stayed fully under the covers -- she'd noticed since they'd first become intimate on New Year's Eve that he was strangely shy with her about his body, well endowed as he was with muscles and dark curly hair and the scars of an honorable war wound. Ilse was proud of her figure -- she gave Jeffrey a last quick profile view and blew out the candle.

She got back in bed in the dark and put one arm across his chest and tried to fall asleep. It was good to lose herself in sex with Jeffrey Fuller, and tune out the rest of the world, but as the immediate ardor subsided she felt sad. Her family was dead, for resisting the old-line Boer takeover, her whole country in enemy hands. She'd been in pitched battle twice behind enemy lines, during tactical nuclear war, and killed and watched teammates be killed. The war was far from over, quite possibly unwinnable. Even the escape of sleep was a mixed blessing, because sleep brought on the nightmares. Nightmares of combat flashbacks, of hurling grenades and bayonet charges and incoming main battle tank ire. Nightmares of relatives hanging. Nightmares of reunions with friends who were decomposed corpses.

If she hadnt been at a marine biology conference in the U.S. when the war broke out, Ilse might well be dead now too, strung up with the rest of them.

The radiator stopped hissing. Jeffrey reached over Ilse for the batterypowered alarm dock on his bedstand. His elbow rubbed her left nipple. "Sorry," he said, but she thought it an odd thing to apologize for, just after making love.

"Zero one hundred," he said. "Right on schedule."

Wartime energy conservation, Ilse thought. The heat was turned off in all base housing every night at one until five in the morning, along with hot water and power.

"Typical U.S. Navy," she said out loud. "If anything, always prompt." Ilse wasn't sure herself whether she meant to be sarcastic. It just came out. Jeffrey didn't respond. He rolled on his side and she rolled on her side so he could press himself against her in a hug ...

"You should go back to your room now."

Ilse stirred. She realized she'd fallen asleep like this and a few minutes must have passed.

"No" she told Jeffrey. "I want to stay." The bed was designed for one person, but they were both so used to sleeping on narrow racks in a submarine, the mattress seemed spacious in contrast.

"We have classes in the morning."

Also typical Jeffrey, always thinking ahead, making his plans and his schedules. Must do this, mustn't do that ... The naval officer in him never really shut down, or turned off or whatever, to simply let him be a person. Even six weeks after they'd both been permanently detached from USS Challenger -- and were rested now from the rigors of their Germany raid, when Jeffrey was acting captain -- he still ran himself with military precision out of sheer habit. He was taking the Prospective Commanding Officers course, and she was going through the Basic Submarine Officers course -- though she was technically a civilian, a consultant to the U.S. Navy.

"I'll set the alarm for four-thirty," Ilse said. "Plenty of time to get back to my room before the hallways start to liven up."

"Someone might see you. It's indiscreet."

"It's indiscreet me being here at one in the morning. I have makeup and stuff in my bag. I'll use your bathroom, and I'll have my briefcase, right? Anyone who sees me can think I worked the midnight shift."

"Clever girl."

"I'm not a girl. I'm nearly thirty." The thought sometimes frightened her.

"I meant -- "

"You don't need to apologize." Ilse knew Jeffrey was no sexist, and she really did care about him. It was just that, well ... Jeffrey was a great lion in battle, but taken out of purely military functions -- like here right now -- he wasn't exactly always at his best, socially speaking. He was almost forty, but had spent his entire adult life in navy circles.

Ilse began to doze off again, with her head on Jeffrey's forearm. She felt him squeeze her buttocks gently with his other hand. "Enough is enough," she told him. "It's very late."

She sensed Jeffrey pausing, a pregnant pause in the dark. "Who's better?" he finally said.

"What?"

"Who's better? Him or me?"

"What?" Ilse bristled.

"Ter Horst. What's he like? Hung like a horse?" Jeffrey sounded amused at his own little joke, but the amusement was forced.

"Don't be silly." And please don't spoil the evening for us both.

"No, I'm serious."

"Really, Jeffrey, there's no comparison." He was definitely a Jeffrey, not a Jeff; Ilse felt no impulse to give him a special nickname. "I knew Jan for more than two years, and you and I have been dating, what? Less than two months ... It was before the war and everything. It's a completely different situation."

Crush Depth. Copyright © by Joe Buff. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 22 )
Rating Distribution

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(12)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 22 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2012

    A good sub stiry A good sub story

    It needed a better ending.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 3, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Simply Amazing

    I must say, out of all the books I have read, Crush Depth is easily one of my all-time favourites. It's fast-paced, full of action, original characters and story line. The technologies mentioned in the book, namely the American USS Challenger and the German Voortrekker were described in huge detail, allowing you to physically picture the exterior and interior of both the American sub and the German U-Boat. The way it was written was incredibly thought-provoking, and it was all in immense detail, the characters had a physical appearance; you actually FELT it each time a nuke went off, you could feel the shudder of the Challenger at flank speed, you could SMELL the urine when Harrison wet his pants.
    Simply an amazing piece of literature that keeps its readability even after reading it multiple times in a row.
    A MUST get book, for any library.

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  • Posted August 22, 2009

    Great adventure read

    This book has a good story line and is a real thriller. Good technical knowledge and very plausible tale.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2005

    There really should be a 6th star for this.

    This book was seriously one of the best I've ever read. Being a fan of thriller/action books, I tried some Clancy books, but they were so drawn-out and I got bogged down ... I got bored with the genre and figured why not read something new? Something naval. Crush Depth solved all my problems. Crush Depth is the kind of book that everybody wants to read, whether or not they realize it. It has action, drama, romance, politics, suspense, mystery, you name it - Joe Buff included it here. I loved the beginning, and the ending was brilliant (I love ending a book and asking myself, 'What the heck just happened?'), but I have to say that the true meat of this book was not in the plot but in the characters themselves. The characters' relationships, with each other and with themselves, actually got me emotionally involved in the book. Characters that have no significant importance at first glance, such as Jeffrey Fuller's father, play a role in giving the reader a glimpse into the mind of one of the main characters, and I could understand what motivated him in many of the things that he did. The battle between the two main characters Jeffrey Fuller and Jan ter Horst was just as psychological as it was tactical. Jeffrey Fuller seemed like a bit of a miraculous hero at times, but I suppose when you're that high up you can afford to be like that. He was a great character, well put together and sensible. Heartstrings, baby. Jan ter Horst was an awesome villain, cold and brutally efficient the way villains should be. Couldn't get enough of his evil-genius demeanor, his perfect strategies, etc. Ilse was a good supporting character, witty and capable. Harrison, Van Gelder, the Commodore, the SEALs and the German equivalents (their real title is some crazy-looking long word) - all were great. Very meaty, beautifully written, self-complimentary, eerily believable story. Six stars out of five, no, ten out of five. READ THIS BOOK! YOU WON'T REGRET IT!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2004

    Nuclear War at Sea, ..Vision of the future?

    In an all too believable tale of future limited tactical nuclear war at sea, Joe Buff creates a nightmare scenario that could someday soon appear in our world headlines. A new and unexpected enemy emerges in the form of an unholy alliance between Germany and South Africa. Hard on the heels of coordinated coups in both countries, they become the Berlin-Boer Axis, intent on reclaiming past glories and dominating the world. The war is so far being waged primarily at sea between two cutting-edge undersea weapons platforms. The American 'Challenger' and The Axis 'Voortrekker'. Even more critical than the technology embodied in these super subs, is the skill and daring of both crews who man the controls and play a deadly game of 'Cat-and Mouse' across half the globe. Their innermost thoughts and motivations are revealed very candidly in the 'self-talk' that races through their highly trained and highly stressed minds. As nuclear destuction on a mind boggling scale is unleased along the way by this 'clash of titans ', the reader is drawn along on a headlong race to the climactic 'winner take all' showdown under the Arctic ice. Very well written battle scenes, whether on a grand scale over the vast expanses of the world's oceans, or on a more personal level between well-trained and well-equipped special forces on land, all add immeasurably to the excitement of the story. Anyone who likes the adenaline rush of combat, which can not be duplicated in any other way, will not be disappointed. The premise of near-future, limited tactical nuclear war at sea is very realisticlly portrayed here, and leaves an uneasy feeling that it might just happen something like this someday. Will we all be ready if it does?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2003

    Damn Good Read

    As good as anything I ever read by Clancy.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2003

    A Worthy Read!

    Crush Depth is an extremely fast-moving submarine-driven global warfare thriller that kept me up long past my bedtime. The characters are well-defined, and the matchup of wills between two enemy deep-diving ceramic-hulled submaries is topnotch. Commander Jeffrey Fuller of the USS Challenger starts his race for personal and Allied survival at a disadvantage in his mano-y-mano mission to sink and kill supersub Voortrekker, the proud and feared ultimate weapons delivery platform of the Berlin-Boer Axis. 'Limited' tactical atomic torpedo and missile exchanges between the subs change the face of both this war and this planet as the two leviathons take the battle to the very ends of the Earth. The character development of Lieutenant Commander Fuller is to be applauded as he moves from Challenger's XO to her captain, gaining a stripe in the process. With the increase of his command, we get a revealing insight into the mental matchup between Fuller and his nemesis, Jan ter Horst, the Boer captain of Voortrekker. Only by disciplining himself to out think ter Horst can Fuller hope to complete his mission - the destruction of Voortrekker at any cost, his submarine and her crew included - and thereby keep the unstable political and nuclear situation the world finds itself in ten years from now from deteriorating into all out worldwide nuclear war. Author Joe Buff's cast of characters, from Voortrekker's narcissistic captain ter Horst and his straight-thinking first officer van Gelder, to Fuller and his battle group commander and former captain, Commodore Wilson - not to mention Ilse Reebek, the female oceanographer whom Fuller and ter Horst have both relied upon and intimately known - are well-defined and believable. If you like seafaring warfare stories that place you in the control room under fire with the nautical reality of authors such as DiMercurio and Poyer and the thrills and believability of Clancy, then you will devour Buff's Crush Depth in only a few bites and still be hungry for more.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2003

    Watch Out Clancy!!

    The future: Another war... another frightening aspect of man¿s desire to dominate other men. A coordinated coups in South Africa and Germany catches America off guard and redefines a new Axis movement. With lightning speed these new enemies attack US and European shipping lanes, setting off a deadly escalating global crisis. The Berlin-Boer Axis weapons of choice: tactical nukes. The Axis state-of-the-art submarine that reeks havoc on Allied shipping is the Voortrekker, a prowling lethal underwater weapon captained by the brash Jan ter Horst. Captain Jeffrey Fuller and the crew of the USS Challenger are sent to stop ter Horst before his deadly ship can destroy the entire Pacific Fleet. Crush Depth is a well written thriller in the vein of Tom Clancy. Excellent is adventure and naval shoot outs. If you like Clancy, you¿ll like Joe Buff¿s Crush Depth for sure.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2003

    Joe Buff Keeps Getting Better and Better

    I've just finished reading this third Joe Buff submarine novel - I had been very anxious to get to the third novel after being so pleased with the first two. I have to say, as good as the first two were, this one is probably the best so far. What really stands out about this book is the degree to which the characters' personalities really matter to the story. As usual, Buff does not stint on the action, which is hard-hitting, exciting and even scary throughout, but the battles between Challenger and Voortrekker are more than anything else psychological battles between Jeffrey Fuller and Jan ter Horst, and this is what makes the story interesting. Also the interactions between Jeffrey and Ilse, and between Jeffrey and Commodore Wilson, as well as between ter Horst and Van Gelder, are more developed and more complex than before. Toward the end I really felt I knew Jeffrey and his crew, and I really cared about them. You not only feel like you're on the submarine, you even feel like you're part of the crew. So much so that I felt really bad for Harrison at the end. Even Jeffrey's Dad played a nontrivial role, and while perhaps this was less essential to the overall story line, it gave the reader a clue to what was driving Jeffrey.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2003

    I could not put the book down!

    Joe Buff really did his homework on this book.I felt like I was right there on the sub,standing next to the captain.The character depth was incredible.The action scenes were awasome and scary.The whole world Joe Buff has created in the Jeffrey Fuller saga is compelling and tremendously believable. Also I would recomend Buff's Deep Sound Channel, and Thunder in the Deep.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2003

    Fast-paced, cliff-hanging and frighteningly realistic

    Reading Joe Buff's CRUSH DEPTH was an adventure in fiction I'd not had for quite some time. Each time I prepared to put the book down, a well-placed cliffhanger or moment of foreshadowing kept me in the game for several more chapters (one night the game went on 'til nearly 5:00 am!). Buff makes the hypertechnical world of submarine navigation and nuclear warfare accessible to all. The alliances Buff draws are not incomprehensible and his detailed descriptions of the horrors of war have raised my consciousness to the possible devastations we as a race are capable of inflicting on one another and upon every species of the world. Cheers to Buff for not holding back or sugar-coating war. He shows all sides - the thrill, the valor, the horror and everything in between. CRUSH DEPTH is a must-read for anyone remotely concerned about the direction our lives will take should any country engage in nuclear warfare. It is also a must-read for anyone who just wants a good, fact-paced action packed story with believable and deep characters. Great Job Joe, looking forward to the next book!

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    Posted April 18, 2011

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    Posted May 28, 2011

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    Posted August 8, 2011

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    Posted January 27, 2010

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