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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lacks Bite? BEAST is lean, entertaining reading experience!
If anyone is going to write a worthwhile rip-off of Peter Benchley's classic thriller JAWS, it might as well be Peter Benchley, and I promise you, he has.
A novel about a giant squid chowing down on the Burmuda ocean-going population isn't exactly high literature, but by that token, neither was JAWS. If you have read and appreciated JAWS, then you should also love...
Published on June 19 2003 by Greg Hirst

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars A Showmanship of Ego?
When at first I relaxed in my recliner with a cup of Oolong tea fully prepared to enjoy one of Peter Benchley's novels I never suspected that the opposite could ever be true. After all, this is the same man that wrote "JAWS", right? But before long the unexpected ego trip Benchley echoes quite profusely in "BEAST" tends to sneak up on a person and...
Published on July 7 1999


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lacks Bite? BEAST is lean, entertaining reading experience!, June 19 2003
By 
Greg Hirst (Casper, WY USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Beast (Hardcover)
If anyone is going to write a worthwhile rip-off of Peter Benchley's classic thriller JAWS, it might as well be Peter Benchley, and I promise you, he has.
A novel about a giant squid chowing down on the Burmuda ocean-going population isn't exactly high literature, but by that token, neither was JAWS. If you have read and appreciated JAWS, then you should also love BEAST, unless you are a stickler for originality. But the fact is this, while nothing will ever touch JAWS, BEAST (at least in its book version) is the best thing-in-water thriller since 1975, and I write as of 2003. (The TV miniseries itself is every bit as good as JAWS 2, for that matter)
This book covers all the basic cliches (attack on boats, scuba divers, beachgoers, non-human victims, the close-call that no one realizes how close it was, and final boat confrontation), some of which were totally origial as 1993. But Benchley does them as well as any author ever has. His style is taut and unique, always full of tension.
Benchley doesn't skimp the human department either. And as far as this kind of fiction goes, his human relatoins are near-perfect. The mood of BEAST, like JAWS, is tense and moody; characters tend to be on the down-and-out side of life, unhappy with things and people, but still easy to identify and sympathize with. The sour, grim moods add tension and urgency to the plot-progressing moments between attack sequences, which probably aren't that impressive nowadays, but hardly boring.
This is a return to familiar terrirtory for Benchley, and it's better than the pulpy, 70's and 80's ocean thrillers he was writing, which are even more gritty and sour, but without the characters and excitement. BEAST'S tense writing style and characters also make for some pretty amusing dialogue.
I respect everyone's opinion, but I recommend that you ignore the negative reviews and pick this up (there's no reason for this to be out of print). JAWS, BEAST, and THE GIRL OF THE SEA OF CORTEZ are THE Benchley novels to get. Even if you have originality problems, if you liked JAWS, you should dig BEAST. I'd be honestly surprsied if you didn't.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AN EXCELLENT BOOK BAR NONE ONE OF BENCHLEY'S BEST., Jan. 22 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Beast (Mass Market Paperback)
I found BEAST to be one of the most entertaning books that I have read in a long while. For instance there are believable characters in this book such as WHIP DARLING who you feel you can rally around unlike some other books I have read. Also there is'nt any boring town subplots either which would take the focus off of why this GIANT SQUID has caused all this havoc on the ocean. How big is this GIANT SQUID I won't say but you'll be amazed that's for sure I felt that this was the best book I have read since MEG by STEVE ALTEN you can see my review of MEG if you'd like too as well. So all in all don't miss reading BEAST by PETER BENCHLEY or you'll regret it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Beast, March 3 2001
By 
This review is from: Beast (Hardcover)
I was never much of a reader, but this book would not let go of me. I read this book in 3 nights. I just couldn't seem to put it down. Page after page, terror, horror, suspense. AAWWWW!! I was on the edge of by seat. I just couldn't stop turning the pages. I saw the TV movie of this book and it didn't do it justice. A must have for all you suspense\horror junkies. A definate read again book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Riveting!, Oct. 16 2000
By 
Fetus Frank (Broccoli Bob's Tower of Tumors) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Beast (Mass Market Paperback)
A rewrite of Jaws? An understatement. BEAST is a bold book with a beast of immense proportions. No dumb subplots to slow you down. Just a bigger, more facinating creature and more scenes of action and terror, and the victims die in pairs. Whip Darling is a more controlled and acessible character than Brody, and his story will suit you nicely. Benchley is at full pace for his classic cynicism and quick, tense moments between people. The humor in the dialogue also soars, and unfortunatly this is his last book that doesn't deliver a series of cheesy lines. All this human material hangs in perfect balance with the BEAST, as it stalks the Bermuda waters. The final sea quest is great and doesn't linger like the Jaws one did. In the end you get a book about a huge squid and The people it affects. It also doens't waste as much time with environmental junk like WHITE SHARK did. So grab the book and read it to the fullest because. . . "It's not everyday you get to sniff an randy squid"
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2.0 out of 5 stars A Showmanship of Ego?, July 7 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Beast (Mass Market Paperback)
When at first I relaxed in my recliner with a cup of Oolong tea fully prepared to enjoy one of Peter Benchley's novels I never suspected that the opposite could ever be true. After all, this is the same man that wrote "JAWS", right? But before long the unexpected ego trip Benchley echoes quite profusely in "BEAST" tends to sneak up on a person and bite them sorely in the rear. "BEAST"... How precisely does one describe it in one word or less besides just plain beastly? Easy - BORING! When Benchley isn't raving on inside his own novel about the immense success of his OTHER novel "JAWS" (which tends to be a LOT), he seems to be prompting us with unbelievably thin characters to go BUY it! "BEAST" seems to me like another attempt to recapture what all the movie industry's "JAWS" sequels didn't. Excitement, tension, the feeling that some horribly ancient, malevolent creature was about to burst out and attack from under my closet door. Not only does Benchley continuously rant and rave about his previous successes enough to make anyone else's ego do a double take (which is highly distracting considering the plot of "BEAST" already makes it easy enough to be distracted. Simply look away every time you yawn.), but the setting for the novel placing it squarely inside, of all thoroughly combed frontiers by other authors, the Bermuda Triangle tends to make the entire book predictable and cliché. My advice? Do what Benchley evidently is coaching you to do from the very onset of "BEAST" and go read "JAWS", if you haven't seen it already. Not only will you have a much more entertaining time but you won't have to bear the annoyingly incessant boasting the author seems to do at the end of every page. True he has a right, but do we really need to be reminded of it constantly? I know that's not what I spent $5.99 for!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Another great ocean thriller from Benchley!, July 16 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: Beast (Hardcover)
In the tradition of "Jaws",
Peter Benchley writes another

deep-sea thriller in "Beast".

The balmy isle of Bermuda

becomes the feeding ground for a

horrific creature that makes the

Great White seem tame.
Benchley has a passion for

detail in his writings, letting

the reader become a part of the

story. His knack for character

development reveals itself in

the story's hero, Whip Darling,

who seems more

human than perhaps your next

door neighbor.
Possibly the author's most

valuable trait, though, is his

knowledge of life on, and under,

the sea. The trivial factoids

make the book seem almost

non-fiction and therefore, much

more terrible.
If you're in the mood for a

spine-tingling thriller with a

touch of reality, Peter Benchley

is for you, and "Beast" is one

of his best!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Another great ocean thriller from Benchley!, July 16 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: Beast (Hardcover)
In the tradition of "Jaws",
Peter Benchley writes another

deep-sea thriller in "Beast".

The balmy isle of Bermuda

becomes the feeding ground for a

horrific creature that makes the

Great White seem tame.
Benchley has a passion for

detail in his writings, letting

the reader become a part of the

story. His knack for character

development reveals itself in

the story's hero, Whip Darling,

who seems more

human than perhaps your next

door neighbor.
Perhaps the author's most

valuable trait, though, is his

knowledge of life on, and under,

the sea. The trivial factoids

make the book seem almost

non-fiction and therefore, much

more terrible.
If you're in the mood for a

spine-tingling thriller with a

touch of reality, Peter Benchley

is for you, and "Beast" is one

of his best!
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5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Summer Read!, July 4 2000
By 
Scott Sloan (Vacaville, Ca.) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Beast (Mass Market Paperback)
Peter Benchley is the king of "beach novels", and BEAST is no exception. Yes all of Benchley's books have been compared to JAWS, and how he just keeps writing the same thing over, and over. Well if the formula works. Why change it? BEAST is compelling, and filled with rich, strong characters that move the story along quickly. Whip Darling the novel's hero is an excellent "everyman" hero, and the Beast is just plain scary! Benchley's vivid descriptions of scenes in the book has always been his strongest point in my opinion. Through Benchley's writing the reader can really get a sense of what is happening in key scenes, and some of these scenes are terrifying, indeed. After JAWS, and BEAST. I am surprised that i even go in the water anymore! From the opening scene to the final, and surprising climax BEAST satisfys, and entertains.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars beast-- best book i've read( by benchley), Nov. 5 2001
By 
kermit (grandview, missouri United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Beast (Audio Cassette)
What can I say? The story is smilar to jaws(ocean creature as problem) but has its own edge. Benchley uses the facts of the time to write a powerful novel abou a killer giant squid. Also, he has it in fished out waters, caused by trap fisherman. This basicaly says the squid has little to eat but whales and people.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Beast, Dec 13 1999
By 
Pat Bell (U.S., Minnesota) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Beast (Mass Market Paperback)
The Beast is a good book I thought. It is a story about a huge squid from prehistoric days. The squid takes down a fishing boat and kills every one in the boat. This causes people to panic in the small fishing town. Time passes and they figure out what it might be they decide to send out a team of hunter to bring the creature in. The hunters succeed and bring in the giagantic squid. Later they find out it was just a young squid. (Similar to Jaws) The fisherman hang the squid on one of the docks in the channel. Later that night the oldest squid and take the dead body. After this the towns is very scared and sends out a hunting crew after the man eating squid. That is where I will stop telling you the story. I thought the book was very descriptive and well written, but it was kind of long and predictable. It reminds me of Jaws by Peter Benchley.
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Beast
Beast by Peter Benchley (Audio Cassette - July 20 1991)
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