Monday, August 1, 2011

Shark Week - Jaws Book Review

As some of my readers must have already guessed, I absolutely love sharks! Anything ocean-y, actually; I’m a big fan of whales, squid, and coelacanth too.

This week is Shark Week on Discovery Channel and it’s one of my favorite weeks of the year. (Yes, I do know I’m a geek. Thank you for noticing.) So to celebrate Shark Week, I’ll be writing a couple of fun sharky posts as well as reviews of shark fiction. Of course, I have to start with that famous classic, Jaws!

The original hardback cover
Jaws is not just the basis for a great movie, but a fantastic book in its own right. It's actually much more complex than the movie, and this is part of what makes it successful as a book: characters you care about, complex relationships between the main characters (ex: Chief Brody and Ellen), the influence of small-town politics, and the almost scientific description of the shark. Benchley doesn't overdo and sensationalize the shark in this story. Its scenes are very matter-of-fact, which actually makes the whole thing more chilling.

Cover based on
Jaws movie poster
The writing is very clean overall, all of the elements work together, and nothing is extraneous. This is simply an excellent story told well.


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