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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
5.0 out of 5 stars A Surprising Delight May 28 2004
Format:Audio CD
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. Benchely, unlike some authors, reads his work with enthusiasm and skill, making it engaging from beginning to end. I came away with a much deeper respect for the sea and the creatures in it and a renewed sense of the importance of understanding the interconnectedness of all things. Besides the environmental importance of the book, it is full of fun and funny and even scary adventure stories. I highly recommend it.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing Aug. 22 2003
Format:Hardcover
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. I would say maybe 50% of this book is actually about sharks; the rest merely lists dangers of the ocean (rips, tides, etc.) and non-shark creatures to be feared. Useful and mildly interesting, but I wanted a *shark* book. Another irritant is Benchley's "man is the real threat" stance. While valid (and true), his position is presented with an incredibly heavy hand. Peter, that horse isn't getting any more dead, so lay off! It's not a good sign when I end up tossing a book on the floor and yelling "I get it." Overall, a massive disappointment.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Benchley's Act of Contrition Works! April 22 2003
Format:Hardcover
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. Having achieved shark fame through "Jaws", Mr. Benchley was subsequently invited over the next several years to come play in the sea with the fearsome critters by numerous people looking to hype their own shark agendas with an appearance by the creator of "Jaws". After many years of diving and rubbing shoulders with shark legends, actual sharks and researchers in the field of shark behavior, Peter Benchly writes this memoir to philosophically reflect on the experience of his personal shark odyssey while touching from time to time on the emerging scientific understanding of the shark. I found it to be an excellent read.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable listening, but... April 15 2003
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
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 could be a drawback also. There are some good personal anecdotes. I liked the story of Peter's swim (flight?) on the back of a Manta Ray, and the time he nearly got his family eaten by Hammerheads.
It should be said that the book seems a little disjointed at times, and there are chapters that actually have nothing to do with sharks, but instead talk about safety in the water and other sea creatures. The author takes a strong environmental attitude throughout with regard to shark conservation, and is critical of the bad press sharks get in the media (but Peter, didn't you.. er.. have just a little to do with that?)
A good book for light reading or listening, but don't expect too much in the way of serious information.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Tale of Frisky Sea Beasts Feb. 5 2003
Format:Hardcover
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
Format:Hardcover
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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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars So,me useful information, but a lot seems to be "filler"
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... Read more
Published on Jan. 7 2003 by Blaine Greenfield
3.0 out of 5 stars Just when you thought it was safe to read another shark book
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... Read more
Published on Sept. 30 2002 by GLENN WHELAN
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 Amazon Customer
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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