- Author Peter Benchley
I absolutely loved this. I’ve seen the film, naturally, and was pondering watching it again but instead I set about reading the book. It’s split into three parts, each with their own journey - the first introducing the terror of the shark, the second navigating the politics of closing the beaches, and the third getting out on that fishing boat to try and dispatch the creature.
Each one is different but they have a common theme of the overriding threat and the difficult position police chief Brody is in. Save lives or risk the town’s livelihood! The characters, not just Brody, are given plenty of space to reveal their motivations - particularly helpful when you are reading about the people willing to risk people’s lives by opening the beaches early.
It’s one of those books that reads so easily that it’s almost like absorbing the story rather than reading it. There are a couple of gruesome moments, which you have to expect with a story about a man-eating shark, and it puts me off going into the sea just as much as the film did. I enjoyed it much better, though, so those things are absolutely worth it.