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Jaws Hardcover – May 31, 2005
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Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Talk about sharkbite. Ouch!
Making matters worse is that the book is very different from the movie, in many minor and a few major respects. People reading "Jaws" after seeing the movie may scratch their heads seeing the character Richard Dreyfuss played in the movie having a fling with Roy Scheider's wife, or how differently the final confrontation on the "Orca" turns out.
Steven Speilberg definitely improved upon it, but "Jaws" is still a good book, at times very much so. If you can set aside your memory of the movie and try to read this with fresh eyes, you will find yourself enjoying the book, and perhaps even feel, as I do, a little grateful it isn't just a novelization of what was on screen.
Speilberg had the best take on "Jaws" the novel when he said the characters in it are so unlikable he pulled for the shark. I think Benchley wanted exactly that effect. If so, he succeeds. The central character in the novel as in the film, Chief Brody, is lunkheaded if sympathetic. His wife, Ellen, feels shackled not because of the feminist urges then roiling the social scene but because she's a rich girl who married down and now has regrets about the Hampton cocktail soirees she passed up. The citizens of the town, named Amity perhaps ironically, are so cold-blooded they want the beaches kept open, shark or no, because otherwise they lose their summer trade. The mayor is in with the Mob.Read more ›
I agree with others who pooh-pooh this book for the cheap, soap opera-ish romance between Cooper and Brody's wife; even back then, this wasn't particularly well done, nor did it serve to advance the plot. That's why it was completely removed from the film version, so the movie could focus completely on how do we deal with the menacing shark.
Still, Jaws was and always be one of the great thrillers of all time - both as a book and a movie. Peter Benchely was a master who, ironically, ended up dedicating his life to shark preservation after villifying them with this book. How sad to learn of his passing earlier this year. But everyone should read Jaws! Book lovers and movie lovers alike; it gives us all a great sense of where the truly great stories come from.
Like the film adaptation, JAWS largely revolves around police chief Martin Brody. Brody is a good cop, doing his best to keep law and order, while at the same time making his hometown look as best as possible for the summer people whose tourism keeps the small seaside resort city of Amity, New York alive the rest of the year. A few weeks before the summer season begins, a young woman's body is found half-eaten on a beach. It's no mistake that the girl was eaten by a shark and though the incident was probably a one-time occurrence, Brody wants to close the beaches for a few days as a safety precaution. The elected officials of the city are completely against the idea, especially mayor Larry Vaughan. Believing the attack to be a fluke, the editor of the local newspaper and good friend of Chief Brody, Harry Meadows keeps the story quiet.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The novel JAWS was a suspenseful piece of work that kept the heart pumping and the pages turning. If the idea of a man eating shark isn’t scary enough already, Benchley’s style of... Read morePublished 1 day ago by Amazon Customer
The only thing that somewhat matches expectations of movie fans is the first chapter. All the character names are there but with a different story line. Read morePublished 1 day ago by H. E. Covey
I first read this book when I was a teenager and, of course, I loved it. Now, not so much. Reading this book again was an amusing trip down memory lane but I can't say I would... Read morePublished 2 days ago by PWH-50
Very different from the movie. I like the movie better, but I was not disappointed. I wanted more about the shark. I thought the characters were developed. Read morePublished 2 days ago by Plebius
This is the first time I can say that I prefer the movie to the book. The book, while a good read, has a lot of going on. There are a few too many sub-plots for my liking. Read morePublished 19 days ago by Rachel A Styles
But that is always the way of it...so much more to read and know about the town and th characters. I have probably watched the movie 20 times and was fascinated with the... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Chandra
This is a story that stands the test of time. It's a classic for a reason.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Great read. Jaws is my favorite movie and this book was certainly an enjoyable read. A lot different from the movie but I knew that going in. You wont want to put this one down.Published 1 month ago by Trainspotting
I remember when Jaws, the movie, was released. I was just six at the time and sat turned backwards the whole time at the drive in as my parents and aunt watched the movie. Read morePublished 1 month ago by C. France