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Shark Trouble Paperback – June 10, 2003


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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

After three decades, Benchley is still talking about sharks.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

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.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (June 10, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812966333
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812966336
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,538,553 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Another thing wrong with the book is that a lot of it, doesn't even have to do with sharks.
Sesho
A somewhat lighthearted book in which Benchley recounts many diving experiences in which he or others encountered sharks or other potentially dangerous animals.
rb3
Highly recommended for the armchair adventurer: entertaining, engrossing, informative, well written.
Library director

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 15, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Peter Benchley makes a good, light, and accomplished reading of his own book. This is easily accessible and not bogged down with science, though depending on what you want, that could be a drawback also. There are some good personal anecdotes. I liked the story of Peter's swim (flight?) on the back of a Manta Ray, and the time he nearly got his family eaten by Hammerheads.
It should be said that the book seems a little disjointed at times, and there are chapters that actually have nothing to do with sharks, but instead talk about safety in the water and other sea creatures. The author takes a strong environmental attitude throughout with regard to shark conservation, and is critical of the bad press sharks get in the media (but Peter, didn't you.. er.. have just a little to do with that?)
A good book for light reading or listening, but don't expect too much in the way of serious information.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Nick Nalepa on February 4, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Peter Benchly, author of "Jaws", atones for his contributions to shark hysteria with the book "Shark Trouble". Benchly is an active scuba diver and was frequently sought after to participate in shark dives as a publicity event during the whole run of the "Jaws" phenomenon. So he has had many opportunities to see the infamous predators up close and personal. Benchly provides some light background on what is "known" about the shark (which is still quite little) and also shares his experiences with the dread fish of the deep from the various shark dives he has made over the years between "Jaws" and today. His themes are consistent throughout: respect for the shark, respect for its environment, and the need for awareness of the human contribution to any episode of "Shark Trouble". Despite the strength of the themes Benchly never preaches to the reader and I found the book to be an excellent read. This scuba diver and shark encounter veteran gives it a very strong four stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Samba Ker Man on October 29, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Yes, I know, scare sells. But the title of this book may deter an ocean enthusiast from picking it up. The book IS largely about sharks - attacks, top terrors, how to avoid encounters, etc. - but there is also useful information about swimming safely in the sea, as well as fascinating accounts of other sea life, such as orcas and mantas, that the author has been, shall we say, intimate with.

I read the book cover to cover and was most educated by and fascinated with the sections that did NOT deal with sharks. If you would like to be more informed about the real risks of sea life and swimming in the ocean, then this book is for you. You can even skip the shark stuff (so you won't get panicked) and learn practical skills for surviving rip currents, undertow, etc. I actually became less concerned about sharks after reading the book and more enlightened about the ocean in general.

Thanks to Benchley's "Jaws" I have since childhood felt spooked about going in the ocean. This book makes some amends for the paranoia "Jaws" inspired by presenting a more balanced view. Well, hey, after all, "Jaws" was fiction and this book is not. Thankfully the ocean is not as terrifying after all. But it, like any wilderness, still deserves plenty of respect. And Benchley has plenty of first-hand experience and writing talent to instill that in a reader.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Munyon on July 22, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I highly recommend this book for anyone who swims in the ocean, parents of children who will swim in the ocean (even for those who simply wade in) and for anyone who has trouble re-entering the ocean after reading and/or watching "JAWS."
Peter Benchley takes an almost apologetic tone in the first part (of three parts) of the book to first the general public and second to ocean and marine life scientists for writing a book (JAWS, 1974), that turned into a movie, that scared so many reader's/viewer's pants off to go into any body of water other than the family pool or bathtub. He also tells the very interesting story of how he came to write "JAWS".
Peter Benchley masterfully weaves his and family's many awe-inspiring as well as heart-pounding, real-life adventures in bodies of water all over the world (as well as the adventure of others) with lots of "how-to" and "you-can-use" information about the ocean, from her shores to her depths and all the life inbetween.
His point? Know and respect the ocean and life within, and she'll welcome you in; ignore her (warning) signs and she'll bite you (sometimes literally).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Blaine Greenfield on January 6, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Heard the taped version of SHARK TROUBLE, written and read
by Peter Benchley . . . this is a nonfiction book that tells you how to be safe in, on, under, and around the ocean . . . Benchley, author of JAWS, draws on more than three decades of
experience around sharks and other marine animals . . . there is
some useful information here, but a lot of it has seems to be
"filler" material; e.g., a short fiction piece on what would happen if every shark on the planet were to be killed . . . also, I'm not sure why he bothered to include a whole chapter on ocean swimming safety . . . overall, I came away with the felling that you have to be careful when in the ocean, in that there's a LOT of marine life that is potentially harmful to humans (though I'm not so sure that I had to keep hearing this over and over) . . . I further did come to accept Benchley's premise that we should redirect our research priorities and spend more money on looking at all the valuable resources in the water--and less on the much scarcer resources in outer space.
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