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.