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Raising the Dead: A True Story of Death and Survival [Format Kindle]

Phillip Finch

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Présentation de l'éditeur

A true story of death and survival in the world’s most dangerous sport, cave diving. Two friends plunge 900 ft deep into a water-filled crater in the Kalahari Desert to raise the body of a diver who had perished there a decade before. Only one returns. Unquenchable heroism and complex human relationships amid the perils of extreme sport.

On New Year's Day, 2005, David Shaw travelled halfway around the world on a journey that took him to the Kalahari Desert of South Africa, to a site known locally as Boesmansgat: Bushman's Hole. His destination was nearly 900 feet below the surface.

On 8 January, he stepped into the water. He wore and carried on him some of the most advanced diving equipment ever developed. Mounted to a helmet on his head was a video camera. David Shaw was about to attempt what had never been done before, and he wanted the world to see.

He descended. About fifteen feet below the surface was a fissure in the dolomite bottom of the basin, barely wide enough to admit him and his equipment and the aluminum tanks slung under his shoulders. He slipped through the opening, and disappeared from sight, leaving behind the world of light and life.

Then, a second diver descended through the same crack in the stone. This was Don Shirley, Shaw's friend and frequent dive partner, one of the few people in the world qualified to follow where Shaw was about to go. In the community of extreme diving, Don Shirley was a master among masters.

Twenty-five minutes later, one of the men was dead. The other was in mortal peril, and would spend the next 10 hours struggling to survive, existing literally from breath to breath.

What happened that day at Bushman's Hole is the stuff of nightmarish drama, juxtaposing classic elements of suspense with an extreme environment beyond most people’s comprehension. But it’s also a compelling human story of friendship, heroism, unswerving ambition and of coming to terms with loss and tragedy.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 1343 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 320 pages
  • Editeur : HarperSport (4 septembre 2008)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B002RI9OVY
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
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  • Word Wise: Non activé
  • Composition améliorée: Non activé
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°325.393 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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Amazon.com: 4.7 étoiles sur 5  41 commentaires
11 internautes sur 11 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Is It As Good As Shadow Divers? 2 octobre 2009
Par medi - Publié sur Amazon.com
It is inevitable that comparisons will always be made between great books within the same genre. Such is the fate of Phillip Finch's "Raising The Dead". This engaging book concerning the the rarefied world of deep diving will forever be compared to the ever-popular "Shadow Divers" by Robert Kurson. In both sagas the story unfolds at unimaginable depths where even the slightest mishap/mistake can and does cascade into a fatal event.

Notwithstanding further comparisons, "Raising The Dead" is a about a diver (David Shaw) who in the span of only 5 years went from a "rank beginner(diver) to one of the most accomplished and ambitious divers" in the history of sports diving. The depths to which Shaw achieved (700 ft to 900 ft) were often record dives on a non rebreather apparatus; "more men have walked on the moon."

In June 2004, during a cave dive at Bushman's Hole Shaw descended to an astounding depth of almost 900 feet. What he inadvertently discovered was the body of a young cave diver lost to a diving mishap some 10 years earlier. Though the author makes little note of the fact that Shaw is deeply religious and that Shaw had a previous dream envisioning that he would discover this body, Shaw felt that God has guided him to the body so that he can retrieve it for the still grieving parents of the young diver. All this would be little known to the world except for the fact that the mainstream media picked up the story; a story in which the media (newspapers, magazines, radio, television and a video team) intended to document this Herculean effort to retrieve the body at the bottom of a 900 ft deep cave. This is diving at the extreme!

Unfortunately all does not go as planned and as a result, the media and the reader witnesses a tragedy in the making. Phillip Finch documents this in a manner where the reader is aware of the inescapable tragedy but can't stop reading the next page, much like witnessing a train you know is going to crash but you can't stop looking at it.

As is common with all great extreme adventure stories where human boundaries are tested, this story involves the elements of courage vs. calculated recklessness, altruistic goals vs. potentially deadly practicalities and perhaps foreseeable tragedy vs. almost averted tragedy (sadly, "what could have been").

For those of us who are scuba divers, and even those of you who are not, this is certainly a book worthy of read. Is it better than Shadow Divers? You tell me.
6 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Very good insight into a complex topic 28 janvier 2013
Par Dean Laffan - Publié sur Amazon.com
As an experienced ocean diver and cave diver I generally approach books such as these with a fair degree of cynicism and expect to be disappointed. Why ? Because most authors who deal with topics of extreme sport cannot resist the lure of lapsing into simplistic hyperbole and writing something that bears little resemblance to the facts. The authors themselves either don't know it's complete nonsense (because they're not in that field), or don't care because they are trying to invent what is to their minds 'an exciting story' Cave divers are also well used to their sport being sensationalised by all forms of media who don't care for nuance and always feel the need to spin any story about cave diving as if every dive is a death defying escape from sure death ... which is complete nonsense.

So it was particularly surprising and refreshing to read 'Raising the Dead'. Phillip Finch is first and foremost a fine writer and it's that foundation that ensures the quality of this book. His prose is sure and succinct but it is the *structure* Finch employs that really makes this book rise to it's lofty heights. When we pick up the book, we already know how the dive ends. In a lesser writer's hands that may not have stopped them from writing a traditional linear narrative. But Finch does an excellent job of rotating between the various characters and themes of the book in logical and enthralling fashion without slavishly following a rote chronological timeline. Indeed we begin at the end and then move around the story in a non-linear sense time wise but in way that makes perfect sense of how Dave ended up at Boesmansgat that day. The structure works very well in the same way that a movie like say Pulp Fiction works.

As a cave diver himself Finch has also done an excellent job .. perhaps the best I've seen, of explaining in layman's terms the very complex issues which are intrinsic to the book and to the causes of Dave's eventual demise. Issues such as CO2 buildup, gas viscosity at depth, gas consumption related to depth (pressure) the various properties of mixed gasses, the process of decompression, the technicalities of rebreathers etc are all explained in scientifically correct yet completely understandable fashion.

It is also clear from the detail in the book Finch has had close and personal contact with all the major players in story. In the very compartmentalised world of cave diving, this means that the key players like Don Shirley and Dave's family trusted Finch and it shows by the level of detail and relating of personal conversations that Finch was allowed full access to not only the facts but to the thoughts and feelings of the people involved. Finch does an incredibly good job of letting us get to know all the characters in this dramatic tragedy.

This next point may puzzle some readers, but not experienced cave divers. The book is also refreshingly non-judgemental about the divers and their diving practices. Outsiders can not imagine how incredibly 'tribal' the world cave diving community is. It is is the nature of cave diving both globally and locally that one particular group does it one way and sneers at others who do it another. Rebreathers versus Open Circuit. This brand versus that brand. The Florida syle versus the Euro style ... right down to the most excruciating minutiae of how an item is clipped to your gear. Finch avoids the tribalism and focuses on the story to great effect.

This a rare book, one that can be appreciated and enjoyed by every-day cave divers and even cave explorers .... but also by any member of the general public. Since we know the story ends it is the journey and getting to know all of the characters in the book that make this such an enjoyable experience.

p.s. This book seems to exist as two titles, this one plus Diving into Darkness: A True Story of Death and Survival I assume they are the same book ...
7 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 just fantastic 26 juin 2008
Par CR Panegrouw - Publié sur Amazon.com
Awesome read , you just never want to put this one down , no hectic technical details in the story line , so non-tech divers can enjoy this one to without getting bored !
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 “…the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.” 17 août 2014
Par Julee Rudolf - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
I chose this title on the recommendation of an Amazon reviewer (Kindle Paperwhite Reader) who claimed, having read only two chapters of Peter Hunt’s Setting the Hook, that this book was “much, much better.” Although I enjoyed it, I preferred Shadow Divers (another book he said it was better than) and thought Setting the Hook was just as good, though for different reasons. As with Shadow Divers’ John Chatterton and Richie Kohler, Raising the Dead is primarily the story of two men, Don Shirley and Dave Shaw, both skilled tech divers, who become friends because of their common love of the sport. Although Don has lots of experience and runs a school for divers, Dave, who makes a living as a commercial airline pilot, enters the diving game late, but quickly increases his skills comparative to his newfound friend. When, on an extremely deep cave dive, Dave sees the body of Deon Dreyer, who died years earlier at age 20, he feels compelled to return to retrieve the body. Don, along with an entire support crew of folks of differing talents, agrees to assist. The dive is significant in that a documentary crew plans to film the dive. Minutes into the dive, things fall apart. And when support team members try to assist, things go from bad to worse.

Although much of the book includes information about the lives of the two individuals, Don Shirley and David Shaw, the story’s real excitement is “the” dive and recovery effort. A lot goes into its planning, including the use of police divers, other support divers, a record-breaking female tech diver, doctor, and on site decompression chamber. The only thing that I found strange about the story (besides the level of daredevilry that it takes these guys and gals to do these deep dives) was the part about Dave’s religion. Other divers’ accounts of time spent with the guy indicate that he did not discuss his supposed deep (Christian) religiosity with them, some of his closest friends, which makes all the talk about the subject feel forced, almost as if someone (his wife?) wanted to make sure that this part of his life was included, even though by his not choosing to mention it, he, himself chose not to make it part of his story. Best of the book: divers recounting details of their dives. In summary, the few pages in which author Phillip Finch explains “the bends” and partial pressures alone is worth the cost of this book, but beyond that, Raising the Dead is a well-told, gripping tale illuminating the dangers of tech (especially cave) diving. Better: Shadow Divers by Robert Kurson, Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer and Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Fascinating explanation of the subject 15 décembre 2011
Par Johnad - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Perhaps it says something morbid about me, but I found the story of David Shaw and his quest fascinating. Even though I, like I suspect all readers, went into the book knowing what happened, I was totally absorbed. As a cave diver myself, I found the details interesting and thought provoking. I finished it a week ago, and I am still thinking about some of the points in it and wondering how I feel about them. I believe those who are not familiar with the processes associated with cave diving and especially deep diving will like the description of that world. As a scuba instructor myself, I was impressed with how the author was able to describe complex issues in terms that anyone could understand.
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