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Jaws Hardcover – May 31 2005

3.7 out of 5 stars 108 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Random House (May 31 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400064562
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400064564
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 2.4 x 21.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 399 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars 108 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #60,222 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

Review

“A tightly written, tautly paced study of terror [that] makes us tingle.”—The Washington Post
 
“Powerful . . . [Benchley’s] story grabs you at once.”—The New York Times Book Review
 
“Relentless terror . . . You’d better steel yourself for this one. It isn’t a tale for the faint of heart.”—The Philadelphia Inquirer
 
“Pure engrossment from the very opening . . . a fine story told with style, class, and a splendid feeling for suspense.”—Chicago Sun-Times


From the Trade Paperback edition.

About the Author

Peter Benchley began his career as a novelist in 1974 with the publication of Jaws, which was made into a hugely successful film. His other books include The Deep, The Island, The Girl of the Sea of Cortez, “Q” Clearance, Rummies, Beast, White Shark, and Shark Trouble. He was also a speechwriter for President Lyndon Johnson and a journalist for such magazines as Newsweek and National Geographic. Benchley died in 2006. For more information, please visit www.peterbenchley.com.


From the Trade Paperback edition.


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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jeffrey Swystun TOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on Nov. 27 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
My older brother took me to the movie "Jaws" in 1975 when I was ten years old. My fingers had to be pried off the arm rests at the end of it - I was scared, engrossed and could not even think about eating candy during it. I have probably seen the movie twenty times since and can quote the dialogue. So I was a little nervous picking up the book thirty-five years later for fear of it impacting the movie.

But there are significant differences between the movie and the novel that make reading it fun. The main characters are entirely different than the movie and there is more detail in the plot that the movie could not honor so you will not envision Scheider, Shaw and Dreyfuss as you read it. The novel is a bit cheesy now and some of the character interplay unnecessary but worth reading.

I would recommend Close to Shore: A True Story of Terror in an Age of Innocence, a non-fiction book by journalist Michael Capuzzo, about the Jersey Shore shark attacks of 1916 that influenced Benchley's novel.
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Format: Audio CD
Whoever saw this as a movie was a visionary. A bare female swimmer gets betten in half, then a boy on a raft. The reader is along for the first attacks. The town mayor is affraid the news will cause people to not come to the resort town and spend $.

A third person almost gets it. Then a fisherman sent to get the shark dissappears. A shark guy (Hooper) is brought in. Turmns out he was friends with the Police Chief's wife so they hook-up.

Eventually the Police Chief gets a shark hunter and the three of them go out to get the shark and behave like the three stooges.

They go out again and one-by-one get chomped. Swearing along the way. The audio reader does a fine job.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read the book as a teenager before seeing the movie. They're very hard to compare. In the book, I liked the scientific input, as well as Hooper's discussion about the possibility of mega-sharks millions of years old surviving still in the deepest, most unfathomable parts of the ocean. I was enthralled all the way through.
What I didn't like: The characters in the book all seemed kind of sad (even before the shark came along!). None were particularly heroic, except maybe Hooper when he got in the underwater cage. Quint was just plain bizarre rather than crusty and eccentric as in the movie. Brody was a bit of a loser. Ellen was simply pathetic - Remember that dinner party she decides to give to re-live her days as one of the elite of the island? That was painful to read; it was just plain sad.
Ellen and Hooper's short-lived fling was stilted and, even as an inexperienced teenager, a lot of it struck me false. I actually wondered if Benchley himself had had much experience with women to draw on for this part of the book.
Anyhow, I'd recommend the book because there are some interesting facts about sharks and it gets into the heads (for their last few moments of life) of the people being attacked in a way that makes your blood go cold. The shark's demise was anti-climactic, though probably more realistic than the movie's dramatic explosion.
(And to the person below who referred to Hooper as a 'weasly jew college boy?' Nice. Real nice. Just what everyone needs.)
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
"Jaws" is one of my favorite movies, and like many people, I like to read the book associated with a movie. Many times I find that the changes made during transitioning from a book to the movie version are unwise, unncessary or just plain stupid (one of the best examples of this that I can think of is "The Talented Mr. Ripley"). "Jaws," on the other hand, is the perfect counter-example. Most of the changes that were made in the movie vs. the book were an improvment, and in many cases, a big improvement. However, I will credit Benchley for this - had their been no book, there would have been no movie. (Also note that, in later years, Benchley distanced himself from the position this book takes on sharks, and he now views them from a more reasoned, conservationist perspective).
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
By far the most interesting piece of this book is shark. The shark attacks and the investigations afterwards are the glue that hold this otherwise pulpy chick-lit-esque book together. Unfortunately the book strays from the shark for the middle of the book and there are some excrusiatingly boring chapters about dinner parties, thoughts about love affairs, etc. There's one chapter in particular where Mrs. Brody stops at every single restroom she can (about one per every five pages) to a) change her underwear, b) powder herself and c) put powder in her shoes. YAWN. The chapter is so bad that it's almost funny.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I saw this movie as a child, and I still get enraptured when I see it, such a well down show. I finally obtained a 1974 copy of the book and read it just recently. WOW! Is it ever true that the book is better than the movie! So much is explained, and the ending is so different. Peter's ability to get into the mind and soul of the character makes it more than just another thriller, it makes one to read again and again. I'm glad he did the screenplay because it was more true to the book than it would have been, although so much can't be seen in a movie that can be described in a book.
The relationship between the chief's wife and Hooper was unexpected and very realistic. The graphic detail was (astoundingly) better described than the movie could ever help to show, as well as the victims' fears and feelings before death. Talk about type-casting in the movie with Matt Hooper played by none other than Richard Dreyfuss and Quint as Robert Shaw! This book is one readers of any age will love and remember, as well as pass along to their own children. Peter Benchley is a genius!
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