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[Reading] ➿ Jaws Author Peter Benchley –

Relentless Terror The Philadelphia InquirerThe Classic, Blockbuster Thriller Of Man Eating Terror That Inspired The Steven Spielberg Movie And Made Millions Of Beachgoers Afraid To Go Into The Water Experience The Thrill Of Helpless Horror Again Or For The First Time

10 thoughts on “Jaws

  1. says:

    Duuun dun duuun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun BOM BOM dun dun dun dun dun dun doo dedoo doo dedoo dede doo dede doo dededoo Has there ever been theme music used in a film effectively than for the 1975 blockbuster movie Jaws A movie so powerful that there are legions of people that have refused to go into the water EVER AGAIN after seeing that movie I m not a water person Growing up in the landlocked Midwest I prefer to be able to see the bottom of whatever body of water I happen to be in whether it be the lakebed, seabed, ocean floor, or bathtub floor Let s just say the chances of me ever being eaten by a shark is almost statistically impossible I like it that way The town of Amity is a summer town, most of the residents have to make enough money off the tourist trade in those few short months of fun in the sun to survive the winters In particular the 4th of July weekend is critical, a time when the town goes from 1000 people to 10,000 people practically overnight But unfortunately something deadly, something very hungry iswell Matt Verges s version of the Jaws Poster art At first, the woman thought she had snagged her leg on a rock or a piece of floating wood There was no initial pain, only one violent tug on her right leg She reached down to touch her foot, treading water with her left leg to keep her head up, feeling in the blackness with her left hand She could not find her foot She reached higher on her leg, and then she was overcome by a rush of nausea and dizziness Her groping fingers had found a nub of bone and tattered flesh She knew that the warm, pulsing flow over her fingers in the chill water was her own blood.Pain and panic struck together The woman threw her head back and screamed a guttural cry of terror Peter Benchley goes on to describe in graphic detail what the fish does on the next pass It actually made my blood run cold and has forever confirmed me in the validity of my own personal water rules I was surprised to discover that Peter Benchley has a literary heritage He is the grandson of Algonquin Round Table founder Robert Benchley They were a group of New York City writers that I ve already marked down for further research l r Art Samuels, Charles MacArthur, Harpo Marx, Dorothy Parker and Alexander Woollcott He developed the idea of a man eating shark terrorizing a community after reading of a fisherman catching a 4,550 pound great white shark off the coast of Long Island in 1964 He also drew some material from the tragic Jersey Shore shark attacks of 1916 The book stayed on the bestseller list for 44 weeks and inspired the highest grossing film of all time up to that point Peter Benchley and OMG it..itshim.Politics are at issue and the struggle between Sheriff Martin Brody and the town counsel becomes a tricky balance between commerce and public safety If the beaches close the town dies If the beaches are open and someone else dieswellthat is a chance they feel they have to take In the book Benchley has several subplots that further explain the special interests that are controlling the decisions made by the town counsel These subplots were not needed in the movie version Brody s wife Ellen also has a bigger role in the book She is dissatisfied with her life She married beneath her social set when she decided to tie herself to a police officer She is from the country club, tennis, sailing, and spending money on frivolous bobbles class, but she misses than the money and the clubs She misses her people When Matt Hooper comes to town, tall, handsome, dressed in an Izod shirt, and fashionable bell bottoms they went a slightly different direction in the movie she instantly feels comfortable with him The past like a bird long locked in a cage and suddenly released was flying at her, swirling around her head, showering her with longing It turns out Ellen even dated Matt s much older brother David and the memories of that time of her life flood her with thoughts she s never had before Her infatuation with Matt creates tension between her husband and the ichthyologist Brody suspects the worst, and with the shark in the water and the piranhas on the town counsel he doesn t need another distraction Czech Jaws PosterIn desperation they finally turn to a local fisherman and shark hunter Quint His rates are exorbitant and in the beginning he is doing it for the money, but as the fish continues to exhibit higher intelligence and even out foxes him a couple of times he becomes obsessive Killing the Great White becomes his quest Herman Melville please take a bow, Captain Ahab has just been reincarnated in a pop culture horror book The shark comes within a hair s breadth of winning It was interesting reading the book and seeing the movie in such a close time frame Benchley wrote the screenplay, and frankly did an excellent job cutting and slicing his book into a great movie Many believe that the film is better than the book With the great music by John Williams and the solid acting from Richard Dreyfuss, Roy Scheider, and Robert Shaw I will have to agree It was a book that turned out to be the perfect concept for the making of an iconic film I was also pleasantly surprised by how well the movie holds up We still jumped when we were supposed to, and turned away when the suspense became too much Ever since I took a book and film class in college I have loved, when possible, to read the book and then watch the movie I feel it completes the cycle of an idea Usually the book wins, but in this case Steven Spielberg took a wonderful idea and made it better As I mentioned the book has subplots not covered in the movie and knowing those subplots, I believe, actually enhanced my enjoyment of the film This is the third in what I hope will be a string of reviews exploring 1970s horror fiction The Shining was published in 1980 but was written and influenced by the 70s The very books my parents would not let me read, but now are helpless to stop me Insert Evil Laugh The Exorcist Review The Shining ReviewIf you wish to see of my most recent book and movie reviews, visit also have a Facebook blogger page at

  2. says:

    Well, I finally decided to read the book after watching the movie a million times growing up And it s a summery read I quite enjoyed it I wasn t sure it was going to be good, but I was wrong and I just might read the other books Here s the thing, just don t go in the water when you know people have been killed by a shark What the hell is wrong with people I wish I could have watched the movie again so I could see how much was different in the book Some of it I don t think even happened in the movie but I m not sure as I have lumped all the movies together in my head Lol The corrupt people are in the book not wanting to shut down the beach The town would never survive the winter if they don t make lots of money in the summer Who cares if some people get eaten Lets just cover it up Isn t that the way Then we get the ole boys out to try to kill a fish That didn t go over too good and it was sad for the most part But I still loved it If you want a really quick summer read, or a trip down memory lane, or a killer shark book, then here you go Fin See what I did there D

  3. says:

    Excellent book.First of all Peter Benchley s 1974 novel Jaws is darker and complicated than Spielberg s film And it was a magnificent motion picture, a work of art with few peers and a production that garnered Spielberg his first high accolades Benchley s novel, as are most books, almost by artistic default, is complex, with characterizations that are developed and interconnected, with a group dynamic that is as interesting as the surface story about a man eating shark that eats a town.That was my first, pleasant surprise in reading the novel I don t know what exactly I expected, maybe a slightly expounded storyline, a novelization of the surface film What I found was a rich, layered, elaborately detailed modern morality play More than that even, Benchley has created an allegory whereby the surface story of a shark attacking a village is represented as a conflict between Eastern elite monied people and the blue collar folks who work for a living in Amity the great white is as DNA programmed to attack and feed as the Izod wearing preppies who populated the town in the summer are to an entitled existence at the top of our socio economic food chain.More than a class struggle, a distinction between summer and winter people in an Atlantic ocean hamlet, Benchley makes subtle statements about the sharks among us, about those in our culture who reach out and take what they want, consequences and laws be damned, and those of the vast majority who follow rules and who have established expectations about what life has for them.There is always a bigger fish.Just as Robert Shaw s portrayal of Quint stole the show in Spielberg s classic, so too does Quint in Benchley s masterpiece The most obvious, but superficial comparison will be to Melville s Ahab both the larger than life, iron wielder of a harpoon, both seeking a white monster from the depths But contextually, Benchley has cast Quint closely with Conrad s Kurtz, London s Wolf Larson and Hemingway s white hunter all rolled into a metaphor for Benchley s alpha male Quint is the Nietzchean superman, the zenith predator of our society, pitted against the premier hunter from nature Benchley s description of Quint is too similar to Conrad s Kurtz to be coincidence and so Brody becomes Benchley s Marlow, our link to the primitive narrative, the chronicler of what has passed, and the bridge back to our world from the brief glimpse into atavistic shadows.In the end, this is an excellent book, a fascinating story that works on many different levels Like Bernard Malamud s The Natural is to the film of the same name and Philip K Dick s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep is to Bladerunner, Benchley s work is deeper and richer than Spielberg s film, and a fan of the film will want to read this to discover it s intricate and fundamental differences 2018 it is a testament to great literature that a reader recalls the work years later and this is a book about which I frequently think There is a scene of infidelity that has stayed with me Benchley is an extraordinary writer to create a work that resonates for years later.

  4. says:

    Relentless terror The Philadelphia Inquireri mean, obviously that s ridiculous this book isn t even remotely scary, but it s also not as bad as modern people claim obviously, opinions schmopinions, and i m not defending this as a hallmark of great literature or anything, but it has its charms most of those charms involve how it feels like a pre outrage time capsule, with its hysterical women and its faggots staging a nude dance party and the recurring exploits of a black gardener raping the neighborhood s white women who all refuse to press charges, leaving me unsure if benchley is insinuating that these are not rapes but consensual, shameful, interracial sex acts or that women are too afraid to press charges and i m hard pressed to decide which explanation is racist but bass weejuns and izod and neighbors borrowing cups of seconal, really what s not to love about this and that shark There was no conviction that what thrashed above was food, but food was not a concept of significance The fish was impelled to attack if what it swallowed was digestible, that was food if not, it would later be regurgitated.seriously, guys, there is a dead cat used as a weapon, even though it is ineffectual and probably meant to emphasize a point than to cause harm Brody hit Vaughan on the chest with the cat and let it fall to the floor.still, though still.and there are real estate schemes and mafia subplots and romantic entanglements and so many things that didn t make it into the film, like the lamentations of a woman feeling the sting of not getting any younger, losing her shiny sexxy feminine allure,A terrible, painful sadness clutched at Ellen More than ever before, she felt that her life the best part of it, at least, the part that was fresh and fun was behind her Recognizing the sensation made her feel guilty, for she read it as proof that she was an unsatisfactory mother, an unsatisfied wife She hated her life, and hated herself for hating it.MOAR SECONAL PLZand HOW is there not attention called to the best line in any book, anywhere, as quint yells at the great white himself I see your cock, you bastard cried Quinthow are there no t shirts made of this how did this not make it into the film how can a book containing that line receive fewer than five stars from any reviewer, anywhere jaws claps back, i eat your cock i am aware i did not myself give this book five stars i m not here to do math.i am just here to declare that this is a pretty fun book i read it in a single day, during all of the previous year s shark week reruns counting down to SHARK WEEK 2018, and my very low expectations of entertainment were met and SURPASSED there are some objectively terrible parts of the book, sure people behave unrealistically, it s written in a blunt, choppy manner, and that ending is suuuuper abrupt, but it s a breezy sharkromp that is nowhere near as campy offensive absurd as Guy N Smith s offerings.although this Four to midnight was the trouble shift, when the young studs from the Hamptons would flock to the Randy Bear and get involved in a fight or simply get so drunk that they became a menace on the roads when, very rarely, a couple of predators from Queens would lurk in the dark side streets and mug passerby suggesting that predators from queens lurk, very rarely or not, why it makes me want to go mug some passerbycome to my blog

  5. says:

    Today is the first full day of my Beach vacation Here is my view Today I finished reading Jaws and this is all I see So Maybe not the best timing Jaws is an easy and cheesy read I have seen the movie before and figured it would mainly be suspense But, there is a whole lot of melodrama and naughty romance, too Also, it is very dated and you can just feel the 70s oozing out of the dialogue.In some cases, the things I mentioned in my previous paragraph might be considered bad But, in this case I think they add to the charm, entertainment, and sometimes silliness of the book Combined, it is just a fun and easy getaway Like going to a Ripley s Believe It Or Not museum your are appalled, you are terrorized, you are scandalized, and all you want is Read it for a fun getaway if you want deep meaning, you will want to look elsewhere.

  6. says:

    Before I burn my copy of Jaws for kindling, to prepare a lovely batch of s s for my children on this last week of summer before school begins, I will pause briefly here to give you my review.Jaws the book inspired Jaws the movie, which inspired my wicked, decades long crush on Roy Scheider I was convinced we d be married someday The movie also terrorized millions of viewers and inspired fear of the ocean and the unnecessary killings of no one will ever know exactly how many sharks.The author himself, in an updated Introduction from 2005 a year before his death explains that I could never write Jaws today I could never demonize an animal, especially not an animal that is much older and much successful in its habitat than man is Apparently, he was so disheartened by the unfortunate outcome of his novel the unnecessary killings part , he devoted the later part of his life to marine conservation, writing, I d feel like an ingrate if I didn t give something back So, he redeemed himself Felt guilty, rather than cocky a feeling he must have been somewhat familiar with, given all of his slips, when he mentions his Harvard education and his extensive yachting in prior interviews , and he sought to remedy his inaccurate portrayal of the Great white shark.But, personally, I don t fault him for using his imagination to write a fantastical, fictional story That s what writers do That s their job.I fault him for how damn lousy his story is.Let s start here if you made two sock puppets, and put them on your hands and then had your two hands communicate with each other, using the same weird voice for each puppet, then you would have accurately summed up the dialogue in this story.I honestly haven t come across dialogue this brutal, this unbelievable, since Modoc The True Story of the Greatest Elephant That Ever Lived, and I still suffer PTSD from that novel Also, the characters ARE sock puppets Stinky sock puppets with button eyes and sweat stains that can not express themselves or feel or grow Frankly, they are not much than a pile of lint.And, when one character, Ellen Brody, finally breaks away from the pack of sock puppets and seems as though she might become three dimensional, she ends up in a scene where she whispers to a man that she is trying to seduce that her two sexual fantasies are get ready, ladies one, to be a prostitute, so she can have multiple partners and two, to be raped by a stranger, because she s pretty sure she d have an orgasm, if her life was threatened and she was taken against her will.Mr Benchley, I know you are dead, and I hope you re resting in peace, but I CRY FOUL, SIR I CRY FOUL Ain t no woman, no where, no how, unless she s been abused or had some type of psychological troubles has THESE FANTASIES, SIR I do believe these are YOUR FANTASIES, not hers, especially since you started chapter 2 with a patrolman reading a detective novel where the heroine is about to be raped by a motorcycle club, and he is practically licking his lips.What was wrong with you, Mr Benchley Also, enough with the obsession with a man s height, a man s weight, and the size of his genitalia Gag me with a harpoon already.I found myself just about shouting WHERE S THE DAMN SHARK WHERE S THE DAMN SHARK Could somebody CUE THE SHARK Three stars for the shark.

  7. says:

    3.5 stars rounded down You re gonna need a bigger boat That line was improvised by Roy Scheider on the day of shooting.Loved the movie, which is based on Peter Benchley s 1974 novel of the same name At first, I didn t favour either the movie or the book which is different to the film , but the further I got into the novel, the less I enjoyed it So, for me, at least, the movie was definitely superior I enjoyed reading the book, for the most part but couldn t get used to some of the characters patois, and some of the sentence structure didn t work for me It didn t flow as well as I would ve liked The Kindle edition has a few typos waman woman , gelling yelling , shift shirt , etc, so that was a bit annoying, as well A Great White Carcharodon Carcharias brings terror to Amity Island when a young woman Christine Watkins is killed after going skinny dipping in the early hours Her remains are found by Officer Leonard Hendricks, washed up on the beach, after Brody, Hendricks and her date, Tom, go searching for her Well, they find her What s left of her, anyway And they proceed to have a puking contest When Brody realises, she was killed by a shark he wants to close the beaches, but has opposition from just about everyone, or less He s on his own The towns economy is not doing so well, and with the beaches closed well, they need the summer tourists to bring in the revenue or the town will die The Mayor, Lawrence Larry Vaughan gives Brody an ultimatum open the beaches or lose your job So it becomes open season Then another victim is claimed by the shark, and he has no choice but to close the beaches, indefinitely, whether he has a job or not He eventually gets help from a fisherman, Quint, to hunt down and kill the shark, which is going to cost double the usual rate I didn t really care about Ellen Brody s infidelity with Hooper, which was going to be a subplot in the movie Thankfully, it was left out I did like Daisy Wicker, though She was quite funny, whilst conversing with Brody at the dinner party for Hooper Lee Marvin and Sterling Hayden were originally the first and second choices to play Matt Hooper in the film, but they turned it down and Richard Dreyfuss got the part.Anyway, all they have to do is turn the shark upside down, to cause it to go into tonic immobility a state of paralysis Some families of skilled Killer Whales hunt and eat Great Whites for their livers A female Orca was observed holding a Great White upside down for fifteen minutes in the waters around the Farrallon Islands, off the coast of California Although, both species have their advantages and disadvantages As for the film, it s the seventh highest grossing movie of all time in Canada and the US with an estimated 128, 078, 800 admissions The budget was 9 million and it took 470.7 million at the box office Nice payday It was the first movie to gross over 100 million at the box office highest grossing movie of all time at least, it was until Star Wars was released two years later Yeah, well, nothings forever The reason we don t get to see the shark much in the movie it didn t fully appear until 1 hr 21 mins into the movie , is because the mechanical shark Bruce rarely worked It was mainly non functional It s named after Spielberg s Lawyer, Bruce Ramer I wonder what he thought of that There was some real shark footage used in the movie, but it was used sparingly The fictional town of Amity was shot on location at Martha s Vineyard It took three days to shoot the opening scene A Martha s Vineyard fisherman, Craig Kingbury non actor appears in the movie as Ben Gardner Spielberg got the job of directing, because of his movie Duel.In conclusion I liked it for the most part, but my interest started to dwindle the further I got into the story and it finished, too abruptly Some scenes in the book were better than the movie, and vice versa Some of the deaths were different in the movie the way they played out, and the Killer Whale on the beach wasn t in the book Overall, I preferred the movie It had an excellent cast.

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  9. says:

    At first, the woman thought she had snagged her leg on a rock or a piece of floating wood There was no initial pain, only one violent tug on her right leg She reached down to touch her foot, treading water with her left leg to keep her head up, feeling in the blackness with her left hand She could not find her foot She reached higher on her leg, and then she was overcome by a rush of nausea and dizziness Her groping fingers had found a nub of bone and tattered flesh She knew that the warm, pulsing flow over her fingers in the chill water was her own blood Peter Benchley, JawsI have been told many, many times that I write long reviews That s my style, and I m sticking with it But I m willing to experiment Accordingly, I decided to try a little writing exercise Instead of explaining myself, I m going the Twitter route No explanations Only conclusions So, without further ado, here is my four word review of Jaws Just watch the movie Helpful Not really Okay Let s try this I will do a two sentence review though it will also have only four words Less talk More chomp Still here All right, I have a few things to add First, I have to say upfront that discussing Peter Benchley s novel is impossible without reference to Steven Spielberg s film This is one of the rare instances where the old chestnut about the book being better than the movie is completely wrong It s not simply a matter of the book being terrible and the movie being great It s a matter of the movie being one of the greatest of all time, and making the book seem terrible by comparison Thus, I constantly had to remind myself to judge Benchley s work as literature, rather than engage in a one sided comparative analysis Second, with that said, I will still probably refer to Spielberg s all time classic than a couple times Jaws is a novel I ve read twice before The first time I was way, way too young to fully grasp what I was reading I am referring, of course, to some of the most horribly written sex scenes this side of early Ken Follett The second time I read it, I was a bit savvier, able to comprehend if not enjoy what I was reading, and definitely appreciated the awful sex scenes probably too much, if we re being honest This, my third read through, came about after watching the film for the roughly millionth time in my life Afterwards, I pulled my battered paperback off the shelf and decided to test my earlier recollections At 278 pages, it is a small time investment, and it s summery setting allowed me to pretend that warmer weather was coming, even as alternating snow rain showers dampened my hopes The most striking thing about Jaws is how its premise is absolutely perfect Quaint ocean side village, dependent on summer tourism dollars, is terrorized by a killer Great White Shark A cop, a marine biologist, and an obsessed fisherman go out to stop it A solid gold story Early on, Benchley capitalizes on this, to wonderful effect His novel starts with an irresistible fish hook The great fish moved silently through the night water, propelled by short sweeps of its crescent tail Within the first few pages there is a graphic and terrifying attack Benchley immediately had me on the line, and all he had to do was reel me in You are probably wondering, at this point, whether I will stop using the cheap fishing metaphors The answer is yes Not because you re asking, but because I ran out.And then Benchley utterly screws things up Instead of honing in on what works, instead of tightly focusing on the central conflict of man versus nature, Benchley drifts away with the tide This should have been Moby Dick, but with a Shark Instead, it s Moby Dick, but with a Shark, and a shading of The Godfather, and a bit of half baked Updike Among the film s many achievements is its near flawless pacing The shark attacks The denizens of Amity aren t sure it s a shark, so they keep swimming The shark attacks again The town responds by killing a different shark The shark returns a third time, reminding everyone of the danger And so on and so forth All the film s conflicts are drawn from the mostly unseen menace beneath the waves The tension continues to rise as this shark, circling the island, draws tight an invisible noose, until our heroes must leave land and confront the beast on its own turf Benchley has no use for this pared down albeit highly effectual narrative arc Instead, after the initial onslaught, the storyline sort of wanders away Chief Brody, Amity s top cop, starts to lose the thread of his case Instead of worrying incessantly about the shark, he becomes preoccupied by Mayor Larry Vaughn, and Vaughn s secretive business dealings Meanwhile, Brody s wife, Ellen, is having a hell of a life crisis Born wealthy, she went slumming to marry Brody, and now, three kids later, she is starting to regret her decision When young Woods Hole oceanographer Matt Hooper a trust funder himself comes to town, Ellen s eyes start to wander This is not really a spoiler, but of an irrelevant aside view spoiler The hardest thing about reconciling book with film is the fact that Richard Dreyfuss played Hooper in the movie Book Hooper and Movie Hooper are light years apart Yet I couldn t create a Book Hooper in my mind, so I just used Dreyfuss The results are and I m not exaggerating quite horrifying If you ve read the book, you know what I m talking about If you haven t read the book, I dare you to while imagining Richard Dreyfuss hide spoiler

  10. says:

    Find all of my reviews at Stars That fish is a beauty It s the kind of thing that makes you believe in a god It shows you what nature can do when she sets her mind to it I m getting ready to write a sharky review Alright Now that THAT is done, let s get to the sad state of affairs which is my reaction to the novel Jaws I m not going to spend a lot of time on this review mainly because I m bummed out I was sure I would love this book and held out until the most magical of all weeks in order to read it and give it the praise I m sure it would deserve Ummmm, yeah Well, that didn t work out, but after finding some inspiration from my buddies Hooper and Quint I did manage to finish this one and only cried for a little while.At the end of the day Jaws is a fish story Plain and simple That s all anyone really cares about and, really, that s all it should have been about Things started off with a real bang with descriptions of the shark itself and its thought process while perusing the ocean for a late night snack It was delicious Sadly, the magic didn t last long and the waters were almost instantaneously muddied hyuck hyuck Affairs, mafia side plots, yada yada yada We care about the shark eating people, plain and simple No one gives a shit about horrible Ellen Brody But now that I ve brought up that bitch character, let me elaborate I didn t like movie version Ellen Brody, but I absolutely DESPISED book version I didn t want to hear about how much she hated the life she chose for herself by settling with Brody and I REALLY didn t enjoy hearing about her rape fantasies while she was attempting horribly, I might add to seduce Hooper And Hooper WTF HOOPER You made Mitchell want to get stabby stabby, and y all know we can t risk another investigation involving Mitchell shenanigans Jaws was a 2 Star read, but it s getting a Star bump for the ending which is probably the one thing most other people didn t like At the end of the day I have nothing left to say except for thank you Thank you, Steven Spielberg for really taking the ol shoe shine kit to this turd of a book and creating something magical Thank you for giving us one of the most quotable quotes of all time Thank you for giving Quint s story even depth view spoiler with the U.S.S Indianapolis tie in rather than just his own personal charter being victim of an attack hide spoiler