Avid listener on my daily commute!
...I agree with previous reviewer John from Lafayette that the book is "unintentionally fascinating" nonetheless for the window it provides the reader into 1974-75 American society. It will make you grateful for how far we've come! Sure, racism and sexism are very, very far from over as I write this, in 2016. But at least no aspiring novelist today could hope to publish a work of fiction in which women are portrayed as either whores (who "just want to be serviced") or "dykes," and in which there are not just one but MULTIPLE references to the spectre of "a black man going around raping white women" (all of whom are so ashamed that "not one will come forward to testify") and women whose fantasies include "being raped by a black man." There's also a hefty dose of elitism here; the wealthy, well-educated white people who flock to the beaches in summer are said to be literally smarter (they "would score in the top ten percent of all mankind" if their "IQ's were to be tested en masse") than their less well-off townie counterparts. The modern reader will shudder with horror long before the shark (which as we can see now, in retrospect, constituted the least of Amity's problems) begins terrorizing young children and senior citizens at the beach.
But there are still lots of reasons to enjoy the story. The peek back into my childhood was fascinating; while the Brodys were clearly way "squarer" than my folks, and with way more rigidly defined gender roles, one or two of their dinner guests felt familiar, as did the casual (some might say obsessive) talk of "eating grass" and swinging. If you, too, remember the '70's with some nostalgia, recalling when TVs were "television sets," when it would be considered hilarious to quote commercials at dinner parties ("I can't believe I ate the whole thing!"), when a man who got angry was said to "blow his stack," and when gazpacho, Volkswagen Bugs, marinated meats, macrame, extramarital sex, and lesbianism were considered new and noteworthy, you may well love it. I also noticed new things in the story on this reading, namely the interesting similarities between Hooper and the shark. This Hooper is nowhere close to the adorable little styrofoam cup-crushing Richard Dreyfus character in the film. Even as he makes love to a woman, he stares straight ahead at the wall, senselessly thrusting long beyond the point of satisfaction, eyes unseeing. The woman literally has to remind him she is also present. By the time THIS Hooper gets "et," to use Quint's term, you'll be totally rooting for the shark to turn him into a tasty snack. Same with arrogant anti-environmentalist, beer swilling, gun-toting, dolphin-killing Quint.
Bechdel test: A dismal fail, I believe; Ellen does talk to Mrs. Whatsername at the post office, but I think that conversation is about Brody. OF COURSE.
Commuting 2 hours a day to and from work allows me the pleasure of listening to many books where I would otherwise not have time to read
The movie was better than the book. Kudos to Peter Benchley for bringing us this wonderful story. However, for the first time in my life I'd have to say that the movie was better than the book. Nothing more.
College Student that loves to listen to audio books!!!
No. The movie was much better and more interesting than the book. Watch the movie instead.
It was so focused on Brody's wife Ellen it seemed like. I didn't quite get it.
Definitely the shark scenes when they are out on the boat trying to kill it.
Brody because he is the main character and he is the POV of the story.
Like I said this is one of those extremely rare cases where the movie was better than the novel. For the most part it was truly enjoyable but the ending was abrupt and so anti-climatic I couldnt get over it (I can really see why it was changed for the film). The narrator does a pretty good job, he even sounds alot like Chief Brody from the actual film. One area where he doesnt do well though is his female voices, this is a common problem with male narrators trying to capture female inflections but with this narrator it was really coming across as sounding like David Spades "gap girl" voice from old episodes of SNL and it became distracting.
Overall I'd say give it a listen, I mean afterall its JAWS.
Near the end, we see an unexpected ''personality'' in the fish.
There is a weird sort of parallel to Moby Dick here. The characters were real, and you get to know them better than in the film. I do remember that the first few lines were pretty hokey.'' It was a dark and stormy night'' kind of thing , but I have to say I was pleasantly surprised.
In my experience books are always better then the movies; Jaws is not an exception. If I was not afraid to go into the water, I am now. :) Unfortunately the shark is not the only predator in this book. Some of the people are as well; human nature can be just as savage as the killing machine (the shark). I enjoyed this book.
I loved this movie in my teens and have always wanted to read the book but never got round to it. Then it came to audio and I was sold!!
Having recently re-watched the movie it was fun to compare both. Now I think this is the first time in my life that I have ever said that the movie was better than the book, *gasp*!! But in this case it is! The movie has more action and suspense (never mind the horrible graphics!! ;) ) and just has a more scary feel, whereas this is more story than shark action.
Saying that, this is still a book that everyone needs to read. It's one that won't loose it's appeal and everyone will enjoy, though it is fun to go back to an era without mobile phones and Google!! Lol.
Erik Steele did a good job with the narration, though I did want him to inject a little more tenseness into his tone when dealing with the shark!
Maybe this book would have been a fun read, if you have not seen the movie, but I have and am reviewing it based on previous experience.
I still think this book could have raised itself up if it had well developed characters or a writing style that conveyed a sense of suspense. But it does not have a protagonist you end up caring much about. And the writing style is dull edged.
It became painful to listen to shortly into the story. Narration was dry. If you have seen the movie, I'd suggest skipping this one.
My first audio and I really enjoyed it. Narrative was excellent and I loved all the extra information that the movie didn't have.