Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Fatally Flawed - The Quest to be Deepest Paperback – January 22, 2011
|New from||Used from|
All Books, All the Time
Read author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more at the Amazon Book Review. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle edition for only $1.99 (Save 50%). Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.
For thousands of qualifying books, your past, present, and future print-edition purchases now lets you buy the Kindle edition for $2.99 or less. (Textbooks available for $9.99 or less.)
Top customer reviews
Fatally Flawed read like a personal empowerment journal, recounting Schaik's insecurities as she tried to break into a closed community of deep divers. I admittedly am spoiled by several recent reads about diving that crackled with personality and sharp prose, and detailed the planning and technical challenges of a dive (Blind Descent by James Tabor, is a great example). In contrast, you will learn almost nothing about deep diving from this book, and none of its characters - including Schaik, herself - achieve three dimensions. Worse, her prose is painful to read, peppered generously with "firstly" and "whilst," and weighed down with excessive rhetorical questions.
There is no better example of these failings than Schaik's account of Dave's Shaw's final dive - a well known tragedy for which Schaik had a front row seat. Despite her insider's perspective, Schaik seems not to have interviewed the many other divers at Boesmansgat that day. Instead, she focused the action through a lens of her own feelings, describing the challenges to her leadership on shore, and second-guessing the planning and prep work by the deep divers. The Wikipedia entry for this dive contained more facts in one page than Schaik described in twenty.
In sum, though Schaik's success in a difficult field is laudable, this book is underwhelming, and I do not recommend it.
Diving to 221 meters on open circuit (in a cave) is quite an extraordinary accomplishment. However, what makes Fatally Flawed - The Quest to be Deepest by Verna van Schaik special is the fact that she was an insider (part of the support team) to a number of famous divers in their quest also set world sport diving records. Yet, unlike the vast majority of books on sport diving, van Schaik departs from glorifying divers who take risks to set records. van Schaik examines the testosterone driven male ego, their motivations, their tribal behavior in a behind the scenes look at diving, while at the same time weaving in her views a female deep diver in a sport traditionally dominated by men. Truth is often more interesting than fiction as they say, and this is certainly the case in this story. Is it a great story.
Before purchasing this Kindle book, I read a few negative reviews and these reviews caused me to delay my purchase for about a month; however, I was glad I went ahead and bought this book, because the book is very good and is very unique. A few readers were critical of a number of editorial typos. Yes, there are a few typos here and there, but my view is "so what" as I felt very fortunate to be reading the first hand account of a female diver on her successful quest to be the "deepest woman" as she calls herself. I really enjoyed her insider perspective and female view into the mind of the technical diver; and I was surprised at her candor and honesty in such a small sport community.
van Schaik "names names" as they say; and there are those who might be offended by her courage to write her personal opinions and views. I think that she shows both heart and courage in both diving in her writing style. Her book was refreshing to read. van Schaik does hit hard in a number of areas (she does not hold much back); but in retrospect, that is the heart of her story. Her story is certainly a story worth reading; and I would recommend this book to anyone, not only divers, who want to read a direct first-hand account of someone who sets a very difficult goal in a potential deadly sport and achieves her goal(s).
Could be book be better? Yes, I think that there are some minor typos and grammatical mistakes; and yes in my Kindle version the images of all of the dive plans in the appendix are missing. However, these are minor annoyances in relative terms; and so I gave van Schaik 5 stars for writing an excellent story about her quest to be an elite athlete in a very dangerous, extreme sport. It is a privilege to read the story of such a fine deep sport diver and world record holder; after all, this story is not science fiction in our modern world, but if written 100 years ago, it would have certainly been science fiction then. Well done and highly recommended.
This book might just surprise you as it did me.