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Shark: Stories of Life and Death from the World's Most Dangerous Waters (Adrenaline) Paperback – May 8, 2002

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Last summer, the media fueled a shark attack scare when in fact the number of incidents was below average. This year seems primed to be the "Summer of the Shark Book," in which authors interested in the predatory fish capitalize on last summer's hype just in time for this summer's beach crowd. Shark is an anthology of excerpts from previously published books and articles, including Peter Benchley's Jaws, Eugenie Clark's Lady with a Spear, Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea, and Jean-Michel Cousteau's Cousteau's Great White Shark. The only apparent common thread is that the selections feature people being attacked by sharks or sharks being attacked by people. The fact that this is part of the "Adrenaline Book" series is a good clue as to the nature of this volume. Benchley's Shark Trouble is intended more as an argument against the hype than more fuel for it. The author's introduction emphasizes how much has been learned since he wrote Jaws in 1974 and that sharks, including the most fearsome ones, are in much more danger from humans than humans from sharks. A chapter called "The Summer of Hype" sets the record straight on last year's media hysteria. Other chapters discuss the real dangers of swimming in the ocean (e.g., tides, rips, and other currents) and how to avoid getting caught. Some personal shark anecdotes add excitement as well. Benchley's solid and informative book is recommended for public and school libraries, especially where there is an interest in the ocean and scuba diving. Shark is not recommended; libraries would do better to purchase the publications that it highlights, plus a few other classic shark books, such as Thomas H. Lineaweaver's The Natural History of the Shark. [John A. Musick and Beverly McMillan's The Shark Chronicles: A Scientist Tracks the Consummate Predator is coming in September from Holt. Ed.] Margaret A. Rioux, MBL/WHOI Lib., Woods Hole Oceanographic Inst., M.
- Margaret A. Rioux, MBL/WHOI Lib., Woods Hole Oceanographic Inst., MA
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Adventure fans with a special affection for sharp-toothed ocean dwellers will gobble up this collection of short pieces about sharks and the people who love them. The variety here is remarkable: there are essays, excerpts from nonfiction books, short stories, excerpts from novels, and even a poem (by James Dickey). Some of the pieces may be familiar: excerpts from Benchley's Jaws, for instance, or Matthiessen's Blue Meridian. Others are drawn from recently published books, including Michael Capuzzo's Close to Shore (2001) and Edward Marriott's Savage Shore (2000). But most are relatively unfamiliar: Peter Hathaway Capstick's look at "Nicaragua's dread freshwater shark"; an excerpt from J. Joaquin Fraxedas' 1993 novel, The Lonely Crossing of Juan Cabrera, about three Cubans trying to reach Florida alive; and Francois Poli's description of a very risky way to catch sharks (from his 1959 book, Sharks Are Caught at Night). We emerge from this exciting anthology with a deeper appreciation not only of sharks but also of the men and women who devote their lives to them. David Pitt
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Series: Adrenaline
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press (May 8, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1560253975
  • ISBN-13: 978-1560253976
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,981,687 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By HBMD on October 6, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you're looking for information about shark attacks, you will be disappointed.

This book contains a series of essay about sharks and diving, but none of them recount actual shark attacks.

If shark attacks are what you're looking for, try:

Shark Attacks: Their Causes and Avoidance

In Harm's Way: The Sinking of the U.S.S. Indianapolis and the Extraordinary Story of Its Survivors

Twelve Days of Terror: A Definitive Investigation of the 1916 New Jersey Shark Attacks
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Entwistle on July 1, 2002
Format: Paperback
Written by those who fear them, those who study them and those who hunt them - May lets you see the shark from many perspectives. It would have been easy to just compile as many accounts of gristly attacks as possible, but May had taken a higher road. Rodney Fox explains how an attack victim forces himself back into the surf, the model for Jaws' shark-hunter Quint tells how he got into the business. The book is not just about sharks, but about the people who try to share their world. And of course, just to make sure you stay on the beach this summer, there are some dramatic accounts of attacks - not all of which were survivable. The selections are well-chosen and pretty much closed-ended so you don't feel cheated, although the excerpt of Caldwell's solo Pacific crossing may have you searching for the rest of his story. This is light and interesting reading - fast paced - perfect for summer.
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Shark: Stories of Life and Death from the World's Most Dangerous Waters (Adrenaline)
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