Author: Peter Benchley
Page Count/Review Word Count: 288
I’m not exactly a super fan of Jaws and so while I’ve seen the movie, I don’t particularly remember it. I have it on good authority, though, that the book and the movie are totally different, and I can imagine that. Certainly none of it felt familiar while I was reading it.
Unfortunately it took me a while to get into the book and so I ended up reading it as my bedtime book. I also thought there were a few problems with the way that Benchley wrote about women which carried through not just in the words and actions of the characters but in the actual narrative voice itself.
But once you get past that and you settle yourself in for the fact that this is more of a small town drama than a Hollywood blockbuster, it’s pretty easy to get drawn into the story and the subsequent hunt for the shark. Sure, the ending was a little bit of an anti-climax, but that almost didn’t matter. That wasn’t really what the book is all about.
I think what Benchley did well here is similar to what Stephen King does well. Both authors are able to tap into the inherent fears we have as human beings and to write stories that tap directly into them. Although in all honesty, I wouldn’t say that Jaws is particularly scary. Suspenseful, but not scary. But if you like the movie and you’re a fan of suspenseful novels, it’s got to at least be worth checking out. Make of that what you will! As for me, it’s time to read something else.