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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
3.0 out of 5 stars OK
I like the author and have read several of his other books. He writes clearly and plainly, and the books are effortless to read, and enjoyable. His research is excellent and his locations are unique and exotic. His characters draw empathy and he keeps the plot simple, yet enthralling. It's a good read.
Published on Nov. 21 2002 by Anibal Lopes


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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 Beast should have gone big screen!, Feb. 18 2002
This review is from: Beast (Mass Market Paperback)
The TV version dosn't do the book justest!
Very scary book Benchely is truly the best.
I truly hope he writes more stories about monsters of the deep!
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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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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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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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3.0 out of 5 stars OK, Nov. 21 2002
By 
Anibal Lopes (RALEIGH, NC) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Beast (Hardcover)
I like the author and have read several of his other books. He writes clearly and plainly, and the books are effortless to read, and enjoyable. His research is excellent and his locations are unique and exotic. His characters draw empathy and he keeps the plot simple, yet enthralling. It's a good read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Benchley pulls another monster from the deep blue sea., April 16 2001
By 
Chadwick H. Saxelid "Bookworm" (Concord, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Beast (Mass Market Paperback)
Beast is a simply superb stream lined thriller of a monster novel. The nearly mythical giant squid, now starving from over population, a situation caused in part by man's hunting the squid's predators to near extinction, rises to the surface and begins to hunt man just off the coast of the Bermuda islands. Benchley keeps the plot moving so fast that you can forgive him for simply rewriting Jaws as a better novel (Benchley even throws in a joke or two about his previous sea creature chiller). If you have only seen the horrendously bad mini-series adaptation then you are missing out on a real treat of a book. Highly recommended.
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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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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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4.0 out of 5 stars A Beast of a book, Dec 14 1999
By 
Oliver Usher (London, England.) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Beast (Mass Market Paperback)
Just as good as Jaws. The same thing only very different. Peter realy does fill you in so well about Bermuda, you can almost smell it. The pace of the book is driven by the hunter's lust to kill, the scientist's desire for knowledge and the reluctant hero who is forced to comply. If you saw the movie you must read the book. Although you could see it all on film the book lets you feel it. A real ripsnorter.
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Beast
Beast by Peter Benchley (Audio Cassette - July 20 1991)
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