©2002 Peter Benchley; (P)2009 BBC Audiobooks America
I was fifteen when the movie was released, and I loved it then. I read the book shortly after seeing the movie, and I remember liking it. Thirty some-odd years later, I listened to the audiobook and loved it even more. The narration by Erik Steele was pitch perfect. I was transported back to the 70s, and it was a rollicking nostalgia trip. Peter Benchley definitely caught the spirit and attitudes of the time and somehow wove them into a story that is like Moby Dick meets Fear of Flying meets the Old Man and the Sea meets Godzilla! I am surprised that it took so long for this iconic piece of Americana to be published as an audiobook. My only regret is that I was unable to wait until beach season to give it a listen. It would be the perfect accompaniment for a long weekend by the ocean.
I saved this listen for the beach vacation so I might have enjoyed it even more because of that - just fun. I was very surprised how different the book is from the movie. I rented the movie after the listen and plot varies greatly. I prefer the book. Much more backstory. Movie is great for suspense but listen to the book for a real story. Excellent narrator - great listen.
Jaws reads like a cross between a Stephen King novel with a bit of Moby Dick thrown in. All in all, it wasn't too shabby. It sure wasn't serious literature by any stretch of the imagination, but it was worth a credit and the time spent listening to it. Sometimes you just want to be entertained!
Love a great book that stays with you long after you've finished it.
I had seen this movie years ago, but really found this book drew the best pictures in my mind. It is vividly written, although not a classic, it will forever be frightening. Author Peter Benchley does a fantastic job of describing the disturbing events caused by a massive shark, and how they tramatically effect the town people. Most attacks are not graphically described, if you are looking for that read Jaws 2. After being aquainted with Jaws who of us hasn't had a shudder run down their spine as something hits their leg in the murky ocean water???
I want to be the man my dog thinks I am!
I read this book many years ago and knew it differed from the movie, but I thought it would be fun to listen to the audiobook version. First off, yes - the movie is much better than the book - not because the book is awful, but rather because the movie is just so good and memorable. And it is true the dialogue Benchley's puts in his character's mouths is not particularly natural and there are many redundant sections throughout.
(Do note, however, that this book did spend 40 weeks on the NY Times Bestseller list and sold 20+ million copies, so someone certainly liked it!)
However, the book is unintentionally fascinating as a view into mid-1970's US society. I really enjoyed the watching the characters deal with life without cell phones, without microwaves, without the internet, all the while constantly drinking, smoking, dealing with class envy, latent sexism, racism, many references to the "War" (meaning WW II) and 70's era concepts of "swinging". I'm sure Benchley thought his characters were pretty progressive, but almost 40 years later the attitudes are very amusing.
Between the 70's society study and a reasonably good monster story you can definitely enjoy this book, just leave your memories of the movie at the door!
First read the book when it came out and read it more then once - great summertime read. At the time I was a young mom of three and vowed that my little ones would never swim in the ocean, of course, that vow was broken many times over. Decided that it would be a great summertime Audible book and I was right - love it - it is like visiting with an old friend - bringing back good memories. Also Erik does a great job.
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.
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.
you know exactly what to expect since you've probably seen the movie a dozen times but the thing was a blockbuster that still plays well for a reason... its a great shark story. the book is also different enough from the movie that it feels fresh.
Thanks for adding Jaws it took sometime since I asked. Better late then never. I loved the book way more then the movie.And I'm real grateful you added it.I give this book 9 out of 10.
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