eBook - 1974
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It's out there in the water--waiting. Nature's most fearsome predator. It fears nothing. It attacks anything. It devours everything. And the seaside community of Amity is at its mercy.
Publisher: New York : Ballantine Books, 1974
ISBN: 9780307828668
Characteristics: 1 online resource

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Benchley's classic novel spawned the interest in sharks that continues today

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Apr 14, 2020

The book wasn't as good as the movie, but it's still worth reading. The interplay between the characters once they get on the boat is great, just like in the movie, but the movie was smart enough to ditch a lot of the non-shark related drama and get them out onto the water as soon as possible. I did like the ending of the book better than the movie, though.

The movie actually is better. The book is more complex certainly, but that complexity obscures the story here in ways that only drag down the product. Worth a read, and it is a good book, just not quite up to par with Spielburg's effort.

Jul 17, 2019

The movie is one of my favourite, but I gotta say that I liked the book more. I enjoyed how much human and political drama was laced into the story- but it also didn’t hold back on the tense and gory scenes involving Bruce the shark.

Nov 12, 2018

Benchley's descriptive prose leaves me on the edge of my seat. Not the same as the Spielberg film adaptation. Every detail Benchley writes makes me feel I am in the boat chasing the shark.

ArapahoeSarahD Jul 30, 2018

This is the first time I've ever thought that the film is better than the book. While I did enjoy it, I found the ending rushed and appreciate how the film really played into how terrifying the shark was. The book did a better job at describing how dire closing the beaches could be for the town. Overall, I'm glad I read it but I still enjoyed the movie more. Mostly because of Robert Shaw. ;)

Mar 21, 2018

I think it is good more suitable then the movie. I could be wrong.

Jul 30, 2017

haven't read the novel yet heard its good

KaiteS_KCMO Dec 09, 2016

Yeah, I read it. When I was in 7th grade. I liked it better than the movie. Because Ellen had a fling with Matt Hooper. Bam. You go, Ellen, you '70s housewife, you.

May 05, 2016

2/7 - 50 pages in and I'm enjoying the book more than I did the movie. I've only seen it once, but I distinctly remember laughing when the shark ate Chrissie Watkins. The look of her zipping back and forth in the water, supposedly being dragged by the shark was so fake looking I couldn't help but find it hilarious. I knew it was supposed to be horrifying and terrifying, but as a 15-20 year old (I can't remember exactly how old I was, but it was somewhere around that age) it just looked to me like she was on a pair of out of control water skis just below the surface of the water. I guess it didn't help that I saw a behind the scenes, 'making of' documentary before I saw the movie. So I had the knowledge of how difficult the shark was to control (and what it looked like when you could see the whole thing) and the amount of time and money that was spent perfecting it to Spielberg's exacting standards colouring my view of how scary the shark was. Plus I saw it after I saw movies like Terminator 2, Alien, and The Exorcist. After seeing those movies a fake-looking shark whose mouth wouldn't work properly right up until the day of filming didn't effect me that much. I think this'll be a fast 3.5 star read for me (my edition used a large type font which means I'm just flying through the pages). To be continued...


3/7 - Ellen cheating on her husband with Hooper was a distastefully salacious subplot that was completely unnecessary. It didn't add anything to the story, in fact it took away from it. It made Ellen a cheater, as well as a woman who is more interested in her social status (or lack thereof) than in her husband or children (in relation to children, you choose your path and you stick to it, it's not like making a career change because you never were really happy selling life insurance). It made Brody an angry, jealous, slightly violent brute who could no longer hold the attention of his wife. In fact I can't think of a single character I actually liked, they all had flaws that were too close to the surface, they weren't balanced out by their good sides. I was quite upset by some of Quint's actions during the scenes Brody, Quint, and Hooper spent trying to catch the shark. Slitting open a shark's belly, allowing the shark's guts to fall out into the water, then pushing the still living shark back into the water and watching it eat its own guts over and over again as they keep falling back out of the gaping hole. That is just horrible and made Quint into a bit of a demon, I found some poetic justice in the fact that the shark took him down with it. Ellen and Quint kept the stars at three, just average, definitely not above.

Jul 29, 2014

maybe because I've seen it 400 times, but I liked the movie better. Better ending and liked the characters better.

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Jul 20, 2019

blue_panda_5473 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 11 and 45

Aug 15, 2017

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Oct 05, 2018

“The great fish moved silently through the night water.”

Jul 29, 2014

right before she got attacked by the shark--"She saw the lights in the house,and for a comforting moment she thought she saw someone pass by one of the windows."


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