Jaws

By Peter Benchley,

Book cover of Jaws

Book description

Peter Benchley's Jaws first appeared in 1974. As well as Steven Spielberg's film adaptation, the novel has sold over twenty million copies around the world, creating a legend that refuses to die.

It's never safe to go back in the water . . .

It was just another day in…

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Why read it?

5 authors picked Jaws as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Jaws is one of those extremely rare cases where the movie is actually better. (Can’t think of another one? Try The Godfather.)
It’s a perfectly fun suspense novel, but in the film version Spielberg conjures up by special effects magic (and the magic of Dreyfuss and Scheider’s performances) what Benchley in his novel comes close to but never quite lands: the absolutely terrifying feelings of knowing something is there—and getting closer—and closer—but you can’t actually see

From Ben's list on malevolent beasts.

This just must be one of the greatest contemporary novels ever written.

For me Benchley’s work is perfection. I hope that in one hundred years people look back on Jaws with the same appreciation that we have for Bronte’s Wuthering Heights, today. This is the only fiction novel I have ever read where I would – change nothing!

Spielberg did in the movie, the focus being ‘stop the shark’ but the book is so much more complex – the book is about human greed, and the shark, whilst centre stage is not the central focus. As a new writer this…

This fantastic story is another must-read, in my opinion, so add it to your list right now. As I am sure you know, it went on to be an equally terrifying movie directed by the same man who directed Jurassic Park, Steven Spielberg, and was one that launched his career. Sadly, I was too young to see the movie in the theatre and so experienced it first as a novel and then later on home video. As an aside, if I know a novel has a movie adaptation, I usually try to read the novel first to experience what the…

From Katie's list on man-eating monsters.

Known mostly from the popular Steven Spielberg film of the same name, the novel Jaws is likewise a classic that shouldn’t be missed. As animal attack stories go, it’d be hard to find a creature more terrifying than a great white shark. Described in thrilling and intense detail, Jaws pulls the reader in like a torn bag of chum. Although what really separates Jaws from the other garden-variety animal attack stories are the corrupt human characters whose negligence cause the shark menace to grow worse. Take the venal mayor whose mafia ties prevent him from closing the beaches. Or the…

From Drake's list on animal attacks.

It’s a novel, I know. Sheer fiction. But the way the plot unfolds, and hurtles towards disaster, couldn’t be more current. A scientist says there’s danger out there, the police chief wants to close the beaches to protect citizens, the mayor refuses in order to promote his voters and local interests. I don’t require my students to read the book, but I do play for them the scene in the movie (similar scenes are in the book) where the three argue and the mayor, who has the power, has his way. I tell the students that this is the scariest…

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