Sunday, October 26, 2008

Review: Jaws by Peter Benchley

The famous precursor to the even more famous movie of the same name; the book that spurred on the deaths of thousands of innocent sharks; the book that makes people afraid to go swimming in chlorinated pools.

I'd seen the movie, and loved it. I'd read one of Benchley's other books, Beast, and loved it. (It's the squid one.) I love sharks and underwater monsters and the occasional horror movie to spice up my week.

With all that hype, I was kind of hoping the book would be, well, good. Sorry, folks... it wasn't. The pace dragged on for hundreds of pages at a time, layering on character development I didn't want for characters I didn't like, none of which resembled their movie counterparts in more than general ways. I found myself longing for the movie, because it was so much more straightforward and the characters were so much easier to connect with. And how can you be afraid of a shark that you hardly see or hear from for the middle third of the book?
If you're thinking about reading this, watch the movie or read Beast instead, You'll get a lot more satisfaction. All in all, it just didn't measure up.
Please note I reviewed this for the R.I.P. III challenge over at Stainless Steel Droppings. Since it generally failed to get me into the spirit, I'm off to read some Poe instead!

Buy Jaws


  1. Ok...I've never read 'Beast'! Can't believe I missed that one. I will go on a hunt for it since it's been a while since a book has scared me. :)

  2. Well, I've never even seen the movie! Sorry to hear this one disappointed.

  3. Michele: Glad I was of service! :D

    Ali: I originally saw it so that I could make and understand witty pop culture references to it. (That's some bad hat, Harry...)


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