Shark Trouble: True Stories About Sharks and the Sea by the author of Jaws Audio CD – Audiobook, Unabridged
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From Library Journal
After three decades, Benchley is still talking about sharks.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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.
Top Customer Reviews
Benchley is an extremely entertaining writer -- witty and intelligent -- and this book was a joy to read not just because the stories were incredible (I'm fascinated by sea creatures and would love to learn how to dive, so his stories appealed to me on a variety of levels), but because the author himself is so personable it felt like we were chatting over a cup of coffee somewhere. I greatly enjoyed this book and it would be a great one to recommend to interested adults and kids alike (I know some 8 year old shark lovers who would really get a kick out of it!). Highly recommended!
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.
The book contains very little actual reporting. Instead, Benchley mostly realtes his own experiences with sharks and other dangerous sea faring critters. He provides the reader with VERY little scientific information about sharks. More surprisingly, he relates almost no third person shark stories, other than those told to him by his by mysterious "friends" (who he seldom names). Instead, there is a chapter on ocean swimming safety, several in which Benchley lists (ad nauseam) every type of Marine life that is potentially harmful to humans, some "Jaws" anecdotes and a bizarre short fiction piece about what would happen if every shark on the planet were to be killed (say what???).
Given that the book is only 186 double-spaced pages to begin with, anyone with a real intrest in sharks will be sorely disappointed by the lack of real information provided. Needless to say, Benchley's lightweight effort was huge disappointment.
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by Peter Benchley . . . this is a nonfiction book that tells you how to be safe in, on, under, and around the ocean...Read more
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