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Jaws

(Book #1 in the Jaws Series)

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Book Overview

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - The classic suspense novel of shark versus man, which was made into the blockbuster Steven Spielberg movie. The Jaws phenomenon changed popular culture and continues to... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

8 ratings

Jaws

Before Steven Spielberg made the classic horror thriller from 1975, Peter Benchley wrote 'Jaws'. Published in 1974, the story of several people off Amity Island, New York, who are attacked by a Great White Shark, caused mass panic in the American beaches, as Police Chief Martin Brody, shark expert Matt Hooper, and Quint, battle the beast. There's several differences between the book and the movie. Hooper is more romantically involved with Ellen Brody, and the politics during the summer season, is pronounced, but that aside, Benchley's novel of action, and suspense, is a masterpiece in sea terror.

Seen the movie many times, now read the book

This is one of the ten best books that I’ve read in my lifetime, i originally read this book in 1975, after the movie was originally released but prior to my seeing it. The movie was great but the book delves into many different things happening in the little town of Amity. The plot is exactly the same in book and film, shark comes in to feed on the bathers of Amity and three men go hunt it down but in the book there are many more sub plots and some unscrupulous activity by the characters. For any “Jaws” fan out there, take some time out and read the book, you’ll be surprised as to how well it’s written. Benchley hit a high note with this book. Highly recommended.

Got to love this. Vintage horror at its best 👍

Haven’t read since junior high. Fun to relive it.

WHERE IT ALL BEGAN ...

It's easy to look down our nose at this book today and say it's not great but to do so is to totally ignore the perspective of WHEN it was written. In the early 70s, Jaws was totally original, totally fresh. The point of view from the shark had never been done before and to see it was exhilirating. I agree with others who pooh-pooh this book for the cheap, soap opera-ish romance between Cooper and Brody's wife; even back then, this wasn't particularly well done, nor did it serve to advance the plot. That's why it was completely removed from the film version, so the movie could focus completely on how do we deal with the menacing shark. Still, Jaws was and always be one of the great thrillers of all time - both as a book and a movie. Peter Benchely was a master who, ironically, ended up dedicating his life to shark preservation after villifying them with this book. How sad to learn of his passing earlier this year. But everyone should read Jaws! Book lovers and movie lovers alike; it gives us all a great sense of where the truly great stories come from.

Pretty much a classic book that is different from the movie

I read this book over the winter break (actually I read it in a day while it rained outside) and I have to say that it was very entralling. Having seen the movie a dozen times over and never getting tired of it, I thought I'd check out the book because a friend told me that the book was different. How different? Well, let's just say that except for Quint (and even he's kind of different in the book) the main characters all seem very different from the characters in the movie. The Chief is not a NYC sophisticate, but is more of a former beat cop whose "dream" was to one day become chief of police in Amity. His wife is not as devoted as she is in the movie. Hooper the shark expert is also somewhat different and this book is interesting because the people are interesting, while the shark is sort of a looming natural threat like a hurricane or earthquake. The basic plot is similar as the washed up corpse of a girl is found on the beach, but then it totally veers off into a different story. And that's a good thing because it felt like I was reading an unpredictable book and not a retread of the movie. I probably would have stopped reading the book if it had been exactly the same as the movie because why bother if you know what's going to happen? I can see why this book was such a major blockbuster as it is quite fascinating to read. The knowledge about sharks does seem very dated (but then a quarter of a century will do that), but isn't that bad. I recommend this book because it is not like the movie in many ways and will surprise the reader and it's almost like a parallel world to the movie version which I appreciated.

Jaws!

I read this novel largely because I found it on a list of the all-time 10 best-selling fiction novels. Others on the list that I've gotten 'round to reading include "God's Little Acre", "Valley of the Dolls", "The Exorcist", "Jonathan Livingstone Seagull", and "The Carpetbaggers." Benchley's "Jaws" is the fastest-read thriller I've ever read. I would now have to rank it with "Jurassic Park" as one of my two favorite pure-entertainment novels. And I'm sure, over the years I will read it again, and again.... But there are enough interspersed thrills to keep this novel rolling. At 275 pages it is (by my slow reading skills) easily readable in a week, and many better readers than me could probably knock it out in a single day. The tone of the novel is darker and more cynical than the movie. Speilberg's film opts for wonder and adventure, whereas Benchley's original is more brooding and angry. And as other reviewers have noted many of the chief scenes in the movie are not in the book. Nonetheless, "Jaws" the novel does stand on its own. It is a terrific read! Highly entertaining. Complete. And I'd recommend it to anyone who likes a taut, fast-paced thriller. Stacey Cochran author of CLAWS: A Suspense Novel

Jaws!

I read this novel largely because I found it on a list of the all-time 10 best-selling fiction novels. Others on the list that I've gotten 'round to reading include "God's Little Acre", "Valley of the Dolls", "The Exorcist", "Jonathan Livingstone Seagull", and "The Carpetbaggers." Benchley's "Jaws" is the fastest-read thriller I've ever read. I would now have to rank it with "Jurassic Park" as one of my two favorite pure-entertainment novels. And I'm sure, over the years I will read it again, and again.... But there are enough interspersed thrills to keep this novel rolling. At 275 pages it is (by my slow reading skills) easily readable in a week, and many better readers than me could probably knock it out in a single day. The tone of the novel is darker and more cynical than the movie. Speilberg's film opts for wonder and adventure, whereas Benchley's original is more brooding and angry. And as other reviewers have noted many of the chief scenes in the movie are not in the book. Nonetheless, "Jaws" the novel does stand on its own. It is a terrific read! Highly entertaining. Complete. And I'd recommend it to anyone who likes a taut, fast-paced thriller. Stacey Cochran Author of CLAWS available for 80 cents

Thinking back....

Thinking back to about 10 years ago when I read the hardcover version of this book, I just picked up a copy at a sale for my daughters to read. I think that even though this book is about a 'big fish' that likes to dine on humans, it is a classic in that category if you know what I mean. I remember when this book first came out. People actually stopped going into the ocean after reading it because it was that convincing! Peter Benchley's imagination goes full blast in this tale of a police chief and his family who live on the Cape in Massachusetts. The story starts with a heart stopping attack of a girl who goes for a midnight swim then becomes our 'fish friends' first human meal. After that, you can't put the book down. We then read about the frustrating world of a Police Chief who is getting absolutely no help from the town committee and he has to deal with this massive beast roaming the town's waters. I usually wouldn't recommend a book with so much bloody content for a teenager but seeing as they've probably seen the movie version anyway, this is quite good reading which is why I grabbed it ten years after reading it myself for my two teenagers. Even though 'Jaws' has lost some of the clout as when it first came out, it's still a great book, well written and entertaining. So, even after ten years, I fully recommend this great book!

Jaws Mentions in Our Blog

Jaws in Books On the Big Screen
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Published by Ashly Moore Sheldon • December 09, 2021

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Jaws in The Book is (Almost) Always Better
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