Journalist Susan Casey was in her living room when she first glimpsed this strange place and its resident sharks, their dark fins swirling around a tiny boat in a documentary. These great whites were the alphas among alphas, the narrator said, some of them topping 18 feet in length, and each fall they congregated here off the northern California coast. That so many of these magnificent and elusive animals lived in the 415 area code, crisscrossing each other under the surface like jets stacked in a holding pattern, seemed stunningly improbable and irresistible. Casey knew she had to see them for herself.
Within a matter of months she was in a 17-foot Boston Whaler, being hoisted up a cliff to face onto the barren surface of Southeast Farallon Island, part of the group known to 19th-century sailors as the "Devil's Teeth". There she joined the two biologists who study the sharks, bunking down in the island's one habitable building, a haunted, 120-year-old house spackled with lichen and gull guano. Less than 48 hours later she had her first encounter with the famous, terrifying jaws and was instantly hooked. Curiosity yielded to obsession, and when the opportunity arose to return for a longer stay she jumped at it. But as Casey readied herself for shark season, she had no way of preparing for what she would find among the dangerous, forgotten islands.
The Devil's Teeth offers a rare glimpse into the lives of nature's most mysterious predators, and of those who follow them. Here is a vivid dispatch from an otherworldly outpost, a story of crossing the boundary between society and an untamed place where humans are neither wanted nor needed.
©2005 Susan Casey; (P)2005 Books on Tape, Inc.
Being a huge shark fan (DVR has stopped the rolled eyes during Shark Week from my wife), I thought this would be a great experience of the author learning about the sharks and guiding the reader through that learning. But it was more of her experience on the islands, while I do appreciate, just let me down. I wanted more shark knowledge, more notes of what the researchers did on the island about the sharks and I really didn't get that. So, to you reading this review, not bad, but it needed more for us Shark Fans.
I am an English teacher in China and can now read and write some Chinese.I have been to 13 countries on 4 continents.I am an avid audiophile
This is an excellent author ,and prior to this I read the book the Wave, about the ocean and the giant waves that sometimes swell in the murky depths.The ocean is a very powerful and sometimes deadly place.The author has a great style and although she is a great swimmer in her own right,she delivers a fresh perspective from a layman's point of view in both volumes.The thing that impressed me most was that even as much as we have studied many things extensively in this world the ocean and its creatures,the sharks in this case,are still not fully understood.Sharks live a long time and don't suffer from cancer.There isn't much money going into the research of these magnificent lions of the ocean.This particular area off the coast of San Fransisco is chock full of these wonders of nature.The study while on board a small yacht was very austere.The author often had trouble getting her land legs back after being tossed about in the rough seas.The island where the researchers studied the sharks was very remote despite its proximity to civilization.Very few people have been granted the privilege that Susan was granted and she describes the whole experience very clearly for those of us not as lucky as she was.
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