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Jaws (novel)

The novel by Peter Benchley in which a Great White shark attacks swimmers off the shores of a New England coastal town.

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Are you sure you want to go swimming?

  • Aug 3, 2000
  • by
Unlike most of the books I read, in the case of "Jaws", I saw the movie first. It was being shown on an outdoor screen above the wave pool at a local water park!

Peter Benchley is a good writer with an excellent command of the English language, and a good storyteller. This is a fast-paced book that starts off strong, weakens in the middle, but ends quite dramatically. He attempts, in this novel, to get inside the lives of numerous members of a small, beachfront community, whose economy would be devastated by losing their summer tourism season. With some characters he is more successful than others. Nevertheless, this is an engaging read, which you won't want to put down. 3 1/2 stars.

It is interesting to note, however, that Mr. Benchley, in his recent article on sharks for the "National Geographic", feels that in light of recent scientific discoveries concerning sharks, he could not now, in good conscience, write a novel like "Jaws". Regardless, sharks still scare the willies out of me!

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More Jaws (novel) reviews
review by . September 16, 2010
When Peter Benchley first met with the editor of Doubleday, he was more interested in getting a book deal for some of his non-fictional pieces.  However, the only thing the editor was interested in at that time was Benchley’s idea for a novel about a man-eating shark.  Benchley had been mulling over the idea for quite awhile.  A few years later, the result of that meeting became the novel JAWS, a book that was so popular the rights to the film were sold even before the book …
review by . January 24, 2007
It's a well known fact that film versions of popular novels rarely equal or surpass their literary counterparts. In the case of "Jaws," that's not true. Sure the main characters of Brody, Hooper, and Quint are all in place, but one of them in particular has a rather terrible secret that directly affects one of the others. I don't want to go into too many details and ruin the book for anyone, just know that there are three major differences in the book and the movie based upon it. First of all, there's …
review by . July 02, 2006
Imagine it's 1975 and you're Peter Benchley. You've just published your first novel, a tale about a nasty shark that is an immediate success. Then along comes some guy named Speilberg, and suddenly its his "Jaws" everyone is talking about.    Talk about sharkbite. Ouch!    Making matters worse is that the book is very different from the movie, in many minor and a few major respects. People reading "Jaws" after seeing the movie may scratch their heads seeing …
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David Zampino ()
Ranked #299
I am a 44-year-old historian and theologian.
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Starred Review. Benchley's novel, while better known as the source material for Steven Spielberg's classic movie, has earned its own stripes as a small gem of suspense fiction. With another summer fast approaching, audio listeners may be interested in revisiting the town of Amity, Long Island, and getting back in the water. Erik Steele, a theater and film actor, chomps into Benchley's raw prose with appetite, enjoying every bite of gore and social observation. Making ample use of well-placed pauses and silences, Steele amplifies not only the suspense, but Benchley's surprisingly well-honed characterizations. The experience, of course, is markedly different from Spielberg's film, offering shocks less visceral and more contemplative.A Random House hardcover. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.--This text refers to theAudio CDedition.
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ISBN-10: 0449219631
ISBN-13: 978-0449219638
Author: Peter Benchley
Genre: Thriller, Suspense
Publisher: Fawcett
Format: Novel
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