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Shark Trouble: True Stories About Sharks and the Sea by the author of Jaws [Audiobook, Unabridged] [Audio CD]

Peter Benchley
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
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Book Description

June 4 2002
Master storyteller Peter Benchley combines high adventure with practical information in Shark Trouble, a book that is at once a thriller and a valuable guide to being safe in, on, under, and around the sea. The bestselling author of Jaws, The Deep, and other works draws on more than three decades of experience to share information about sharks and other marine animals.

“Shark attacks on human beings generate a tremendous amount of media coverage,” Benchley writes, “partly because they occur so rarely, but mostly, I think, because people are, and always have been, simultaneously intrigued and terrified by sharks. Sharks come from a wing of the dark castle where our nightmares live—deep water beyond our sight and understanding—and so they stimulate our fears and fantasies and imaginations.”

Benchley describes the many types of sharks (including the ones that pose a genuine threat to man), what is and isn’t known about shark behavior, the odds against an attack and how to reduce them even further—all reinforced with the lessons he has learned, the mistakes he has made, and the personal perils he has encountered while producing television documentaries, bestselling novels, and articles about the sea and its inhabitants. He tells how to swim safely in the ocean, how to read the tides and currents, what behavior to avoid, and how to survive when danger suddenly strikes. He discusses how to tell children about sharks and the sea and how to develop, in young and old alike, a healthy respect for the ocean.

As Benchley says, “The ocean is the only alien and potentially hostile environment on the planet into which we tend to venture without thinking about the animals that live there, how they behave, how they support themselves, and how they perceive us. I know of no one who would set off into the jungles of Malaysia armed only with a bathing suit, a tube of suntan cream, and a book, and yet that’s precisely how we approach the oceans.”

No longer. Not after you’ve read Shark Trouble.

From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

Product Description

From Library Journal

After three decades, Benchley is still talking about sharks.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

The man who wrote Jaws in 1974 and White Shark 20 yearslater is not merely a wily storyteller playing on our fears ofmonsters from the deep but, rather, a knowledgeable and intrepid diverand a passionate advocate for the preservation of ocean life. Inaddition to writing his best-selling, movie-compatible novels,Benchley has also reported for National Geographic and the NewYork Times and written and hosted television documentaries, and hedraws on both his research and risky but revelatory ocean experiencesto create a suspenseful and resonantly informative overview of thelives of sharks and other amazing creatures who dwell in the nowworrisomely overfished seas. Benchley begins by gently mocking thehysteria of both the media and the public over shark attacks duringthe summer of 2001. Not only was the number of tragic run-ins betweenhumans and sharks normal, Benchley writes, the truth of the matter isthat "for every human being killed by a shark, roughly ten millionsharks are killed by humans." Handy with statistics and quick to cracka joke with himself as the target, Benchley offers riveting accountsof his and his family's up close and personal encounters with sharks,a gigantic manta ray, a friendly killer whale, barracuda, and sundryother wild creatures. These vivid moments inspire clarion tributes tothe wonder of the entire marine ecosystem, and a no-nonsense warningabout the disastrous consequences of continued assaults against "theworld's largest primal wilderness." It's a boon to have a writer withsuch tremendous name recognition speak up for nature. Donna Seaman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A Tale of Frisky Sea Beasts Feb. 4 2003
Peter Benchly, author of "Jaws", atones for his contributions to shark hysteria with the book "Shark Trouble". Benchly is an active scuba diver and was frequently sought after to participate in shark dives as a publicity event during the whole run of the "Jaws" phenomenon. So he has had many opportunities to see the infamous predators up close and personal. Benchly provides some light background on what is "known" about the shark (which is still quite little) and also shares his experiences with the dread fish of the deep from the various shark dives he has made over the years between "Jaws" and today. His themes are consistent throughout: respect for the shark, respect for its environment, and the need for awareness of the human contribution to any episode of "Shark Trouble". Despite the strength of the themes Benchly never preaches to the reader and I found the book to be an excellent read. This scuba diver and shark encounter veteran gives it a very strong four stars.
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2.0 out of 5 stars FIND ANOTHER TOPIC AND ANOTHER JOB Jan. 18 2003
By Sesho
You know, when I was a kid I had a fear of the ocean, which in some ways came about because of the movie Jaws. I hadn't even seen the movie in its initial release. I had heard of the plot from an older brother and it didn't take much for an overimaginative 1st grader to be scared of what was lurking unseen in the water's depths as i swam. I think with Shark Trouble, Peter Benchley is trying to repair the public relations disaster of the great white shark. Who knows how many sharks he caused to be destroyed senselessly with his novel.
I finally did see the movie and enjoyed it so much that I sought out the novel many years later. ...
I don't know why I expected Peter Benchley to be able to write non-fiction any better than fiction, but I did. I guess I picked up this book in the belief that he would have some special insight into sharks or be able to write in an entertaining way. He failed.
There is trouble with Shark Trouble on many fronts. Peter has turned what could have been an educational experience into an apology for sharks. He acts like its our fault that sharks attack us. If people get bitten in half, its just a simple mistake by the poor innocent defenseless baby carriage pushing shark. He goes on and on about how great the odds are against being attacked by a shark. I guess those odds are great as long as you aren't the one person getting swallowed in blood.
Another thing that brings the book down is Peter's constant assertions of anthropomorphizing, or giving human characteristics, to sharks. He over and over tries to take this godlike stance that he knows what sharks are thinking. The fact is that noone can truly predict what a shark is going to do. That's what wild animal means.
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Heard the taped version of SHARK TROUBLE, written and read
by Peter Benchley . . . this is a nonfiction book that tells you how to be safe in, on, under, and around the ocean . . . Benchley, author of JAWS, draws on more than three decades of
experience around sharks and other marine animals . . . there is
some useful information here, but a lot of it has seems to be
"filler" material; e.g., a short fiction piece on what would happen if every shark on the planet were to be killed . . . also, I'm not sure why he bothered to include a whole chapter on ocean swimming safety . . . overall, I came away with the felling that you have to be careful when in the ocean, in that there's a LOT of marine life that is potentially harmful to humans (though I'm not so sure that I had to keep hearing this over and over) . . . I further did come to accept Benchley's premise that we should redirect our research priorities and spend more money on looking at all the valuable resources in the water--and less on the much scarcer resources in outer space.
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Peter Benchley, author of the novel JAWS must have a guilty conscious. After all, his novel and the blockbuster film it inspired have drastically affected the public's psyche about ocean swimming and sh-sh-sharks. Who hasn't scanned the water for predatory dorsal fins before stepping into the water? In response, Benchley has crafted a quick book to offer a greater understanding of the fish.
His basic theme weaved throughout the book is man's own responsibility for shark attacks. After all, when swimming we are entering their territory. He also states that many shark attacks are accidental, that the fish thinks the human is something tastier but after a bite, it runs off to find something more appetizing. He is quick to challenge theoretical claims that suggest the thought process of the shark. How can we actually know what the shark is thinking if we are not a shark? (Forget the fact that the book is jam-packed full of similar shark-thought suggestions of its own.)
The book is made up of three types of communication. First, it carries an animal activist voice. It doesn't plead, rather it confidently uses 'facts' and 'statistics', which is much more powerful. However, the use of a short story about a town affected by the death of the local sharks borders on ridiculous. Second and most interesting is Benchley's use of personal experiences to lay down the point. His recollection of swimming with Great White's, other sharks and even dolphins often reads like summer reading, a page-turner. The weakest element is Benchley's reliance on other author's work. Most often, this material is a static read and is only as revealing as an eighth-grade report on sharks.
SHARK TROUBLE is not a major accomplishment, but simple reading for anyone who wants to increase a basic education of the fish. Major students of the shark will find the book unfulfilling. But, any book about one of the planets most interesting creatures is worth a look.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A Surprising Delight
I really enjoyed this audio book. In it, Peter Benchely recounts his adventures in the seas interspersed with factual information on sharks and other sea creatures. Read more
Published on May 27 2004 by Kristine S. Woeckener
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
Peter Benchley, author of Jaws, pens a non-fiction book setting the record straight on shark behavior. It sounds like a great idea and it is, but the execution is horrible. Read more
Published on Aug. 22 2003 by Keith E. Stetson
4.0 out of 5 stars Benchley's Act of Contrition Works!
Peter Benchley seeks to atone for his unparalleled contribution to shark hysteria in Shark Trouble, a much more factual account of the Shark than his earlier works. Read more
Published on April 21 2003 by Nick Nalepa
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable listening, but...
Peter Benchley makes a good, light, and accomplished reading of his own book. This is easily accessible and not bogged down with science, though depending on what you want, that... Read more
Published on April 15 2003
4.0 out of 5 stars Great fun!
Most of my family and friends love to tease me about the fact my all-time favorite movie is "Jaws," based on a book by the author of this book, Peter Benchley. Read more
Published on Sept. 10 2002 by Meg Brunner
4.0 out of 5 stars If you like sharks and the ocean...good read!
I'm an avid Benchley reader and this book wasn't a disappointment as a whole. My only complaints are that 1) it's too short! Read more
Published on Aug. 8 2002 by Rob
2.0 out of 5 stars Don't Get Bitten by "Shark Trouble"
Peter Benchley's "Shark Trouble" is a pretty flimsy non-fiction book. The author of "Jaws," who became a hugely successful by using a shark to scare the wits... Read more
Published on Aug. 7 2002 by Brian D. Rubendall
5.0 out of 5 stars A MUST READ for all who swim in the ocean
I highly recommend this book for anyone who swims in the ocean, parents of children who will swim in the ocean (even for those who simply wade in) and for anyone who has trouble... Read more
Published on July 22 2002 by Matthew Munyon
5.0 out of 5 stars Super book!
Highly recommended for the armchair adventurer: entertaining, engrossing, informative, well written. Read more
Published on July 14 2002 by Library director
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