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Shark Trouble

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  370 ratings  ·  45 reviews
Master storyteller Peter Benchley combines high adventure with practical information in Shark Trouble, a book that is at once a thriller and a valuable guide to being safe in, on, under, and around the sea. The bestselling author of Jaws, The Deep, and other works draws on more than three decades of experience to share information about sharks and other marine animals.

Paperback, 224 pages
Published June 10th 2003 by Ballantine Books (first published January 1st 2002)
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Tagged by Joseph M. ChironHELP!  A Bear is Eating Me! by Mykle HansenThe Road by Cormac McCarthyIt Lives in The Basement by Sahara FoleyThe Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris
Best Books about Being Eaten
49th out of 86 books — 156 voters
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Shark Week
5th out of 8 books — 1 voter

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Community Reviews

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Rating: 3.5

"The first rule of sharks," he said, "is this: forget all the laws about sharks."

This book was not one I was anticipating reading, but caught my eye (this one I found in the aquarium gift shop - imagine that). Sharks terrify me. I grew up watching Shark Week with my brothers, but I swear all I can remember out of those nights of interesting videos, stories, facts are the videos of the shark attacks and interviews with the survivors.

I liked this book because its written by the author
So the library made a cute little 'Shark Week!' shelf and my son picked this one out to read. I swiped it when he wasn't looking and am glad I did.

Benchley wrote 'Jaws' almost on a lark; he literally cranked the book out to make a paycheck to support his young family. We all know what happened next. 'Shark Trouble' was written later in life after Benchley worked with many marine experts and had years of diving experience under his belt. While he admits to not being a shark expert despite his yea
Jennifer Entwistle
This is Benchley's "apology book" for Jaws and if you are a fan of the movie or book, this was a good read. He certainly has a way of keeping you interested in a book that mostly consists of non-fiction and information. I did enjoy this book, as a diver, one who has had many encounters with sharks, and I person who still feels the respectful dread of the animals.

I did have a few issues with the book. First of all, for someone who got to dive in so many amazing experiences, Benchley scared me al
Steve Chaput
This was a perfect book to hear read by the author. Benchley talks about his history of swimming with sharks and other creatures of the sea, plus how the reaction to his book and the film made of it changed his life. It's a personal story of his encounters and also a discussion of the importance of preserving the oceans for our future.

Growing up in Connecticut, we were only a few miles from Long Island Sound so my parents often brought us to the beaches of Connecticut and Rhode Island. Long befo
Aug 07, 2015 Taylor added it
Let me start off with saying that I do not enjoy non-fiction books. This book was picked by being the shortest book on the shelf at my local library, and it had a picture of a shark (one of my favorite animals) on the cover. However, once I started reading the book, I realized just how much it had to offer. From the author of the book Jaws, i expected greatness. I received a full knowledge of not only sharks, but the deep blue ocean that covers about 60% of our dearly beloved Earth. Benchley bro ...more
Kathy Jackson
Mar 16, 2012 Kathy Jackson rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
OK, so I have always loved this book – this must be my eighth or ninth time reading it. I bought it for Nook so my son could read it. I hope he does. Benchley adds humor along with wonderful facts about the ocean and sharks in general.

Having written Jaws – the book/movie that raised shark terror throughout the world – Benchley decided he should get to know the truth about the magnificent Great White. His book sent fisherman out to slaughter the great beasts though there is little factual informa
Peter Benchley is the author of the creature-feature JAWS. It is the popularity of this book and others that got him involved with American Sportsman (or something to that order). They invited him to scuba/cage dive with great whites. It is Benchley's life experiences and friends written here with great anecdotal sense. Seeing as I got this from the library near science/animal/non-fiction books, I was expecting more facts than ancdotal stories. This is why I rated it a 3. I think it the title Sh ...more
"You're gonna need a bigger boat." ~Chief Brody; Jaws

This book was written by the same author that wrote the book Jaws which led to the blockbuster classic film of the same name. Benchley knows that his book and the movie caused a lot of misconceptions and misguided fears of sharks. This book was his way to make amends to the sharks.

There were definitely things I liked and disliked about the book:

The good stuff:
As the author mentions, all boys love dinosaurs, sharks, or both. It's so true; th
It was a very enlightening read and I was just in absolute awe of all of Peter Benchley's amazing underwater adventures. He has truly had some incredible experiences..and he became a better man because of them.
I loved how much he stressed that "Jaws" was just a story and how he has come to respect and admire sharks after he had close interactions with them. They are not mindless killers, but in fact play an absolutely crucial role in the health and balance of the world's oceans. And if sharks ar
I actually enjoyed this book more than Benchley's fiction. His fiction seems forced and indulgent, and not nearly as nerdy-science-fact-laden as the film adaptations of his works. In Benchley's last book, I think he actually found the niche he was made for in his love of the ocean and all of it's mysterious fascination without the frills and chills of fiction; the ocean is a beautiful, unforgiving, intoxicating, and often inexplicable world that this book captures the nature of perfectly. While ...more
Sarah Rose
I found this book to be a bit embellished when it came to recounting Benchley's shark adventures. I was particularly irritated when he told a story of a tiger shark attempting to eat and adult sea turtle. He repeatedly described how the turtle tucked his head and "legs" inside its shell to hide from the shark, and bobbed on the surface. If you've ever seen a sea turtle, you would understand that it's unable to tuck its head and flippers inside of it's shell, since they have highly specialized fl ...more
Before I checked this out of the library I read the intro to make sure it wasn't about drumming up terror or demonizing sharks, since I have no idea what Peter Benchley has done since Jaws, but it is decidedly not like that. He points out that the "shark attacks!!!1!!" media frenzy in 2001 was ridiculous and uncalled for since there were actually fewer attacks that summer than previous years.

ETA: This is a quick and satisfying read. Peter Benchley talks about his own dangerous encounters (never
In this book are some of the most amazing tales I've ever heard. Benchley narrates his life-long love of the ocean and all the adventures he's had with it. He also tells briefly of his early days of journalism and writing and how that lead him to write Jaws. Most of the book deals with his life after Jaws, since the book launched a career for him as an ocean adventurer. TV shows and documentaries wanted him in the water in front of the camera, and the stories that stem from this are just incredi ...more
I was totally absorbed by this book, contrary to what my suspicion was going into it. Benchley's fictional works are, in my opinion, not really worth reading, but for some reason he is a lot more open, funny, and honest in his non-fiction work. In Shark Trouble, he tells some hilarious and scary stories about encounters with sharks, rays, barracudas, and other aquatic creatures. He also speaks passionately about conservation and gives some tips for people like me about how to enjoy the ocean saf ...more
loved it, Peter Benchley made me, as many others in the world, fascinated by sharks, great whites and otherwise. Steven Spieberg's movie version of Jaws first introduced me to the thought of man eating sharks, and I couldn't get enough. When I reached the reading ability to read the novel, I was hooked (no pun intended) and quickly became a fan of Benchley's, reading all his works. This non fiction work was captivating, his many encounters with dangerous creatures of the sea was astonishing. I e ...more
597.3 Subtitled "True Stories About Sharks and the Sea" - the author of "Jaws" relates anecdotes about his experience diving with sharks and other sea creatures and dispenses advice about avoiding unnecessary risk when venturing into the ocean.
Non-Fiction. Shark apologist and author of Jaws, Benchley talks about all the things in the ocean that can kill us (including the ocean itself), gives advice for ocean swimming and shark safety, and even goes into the origin of Jaws.

Light on science, depending mostly on anecdotes and personal experience, but personable and funny. It made me laugh several times, but also wonder aloud how Benchley had not yet managed to get himself eaten by sharks considering some of the stuff that's happened to h
John Wiswell
Jun 24, 2007 John Wiswell rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Beach-goers, swimmers, anyone who was scared out of the water by "Jaws"
A very interesting read about our misconceptions of the seas and oceans (as well as a fair representation of their true dangers) from the man who scared so many people away from them. After stressing safety and fair understanding of sea life (sharks in particular, of course), it becomes an environmentalist argument to better respect, protect and explore the waters of our planet. I had the pleasure of listening to this CD production, and the reading is quite pleasant, without being overbearingly ...more
Chi Dubinski
The author of "Jaws" and other books combines true stories of danger with sharks and scientific background about ocean life. He describes different types of sharks, shark behavior, and how to avoid an attack. This is reinforced by his stories of encounters with sharks, morays, and other creatures.He discusses how to develop a healthy respect for the sea and its inhabitants. Benchley does a good job of reading his book, and gets the listener involved in the exciting and terrifying encounters.
A quick and easy read. As the man most responsible for keeping people OUT of the water as a result of his book "Jaws", Benchley does a service to all by "un-demonizing" sharks, and how best to react around them in their enviroment.
Full of real life stories and experiences with sharks, (who knew writers could be so courageous?), this is a very interesting and absorbing read...especially if you are interested in sharks...or haven't been to the beach since 1975.
Linda Appelbaum
Here is what I learned from this interesting book: boy am I lucky to have been in the ocean and survived!! Also, the riches of the ocean are so vast and we have scarcely scratched the surface. We have much to learn and much to gain from learning more about this source of all life and something that is so vital to our very existance. And one more thing - sharks don't target people! We are not as much a delicacy as we think.

If you go in the ocean, read this book!
Shark Trouble: True Stories About Sharks and the Sea by Peter Benchley (Random House 2002)(597.3). Peter Benchley made a fortune from his book Jaws which taught us all that sharks are coldblooded merciless monsters who must be destroyed. As Benchley has aged and matured, he has learned that sharks are an important part of the ecosystem which must be protected. This book is Benchley on his tallest soapbox. My rating: 7/10, finished 2004.
Enjoying this one on audio in the car. Very exciting! The dangerous stories are thrilling, and benchley is a good reader. When he relates tales of being yanked towards the depths by an enormous tuna in the 1970s, you fear for his life, despite knowing that he is still alive and telling you the story! Swears and sexual situations clued us in that this can't be the book of his that's on this year's MCBA list. Whoops!
Chris Schaefer
Eye opening. The creator of the movie, Jaws, states that what he created was a mythical monster. He even states that sharks are not as dangerous to humans as we think they are. It supports everything about how I feel and he tries to have people see sharks in a different light... They're awesome to swim with.

Fun fact: more people are bitten by New Yorkers in a year than by sharks worldwide. (New York State Health Dept.)
Holly Booms Walsh
Aug 19, 2007 Holly Booms Walsh rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: sea and shark fans, people who swim in the ocean
Shelves: nonfiction
This was an informative book about sharks, sea swimming safety, and the sea in general. The author wrote Jaws, and has spent his life researching sharks and other dangerous sea creatures that not a lot is know about. The book has great information on shark species, and an even better section on how to swim safely in the oceans (looking for dangers and signs of current and riptides and other non-shark dangers).
Peter Benchley apologizes for scaring everyone out of the water with "Jaws." This book, a collection of essays about sharks and shark attacks, allows Benchley to wax poetic about how endangered sharks are and how we as humans can protect ourselves from these creatures since we occasionally share the same ocean. Not a bad book (not nearly as bad as "Beast" or "White Shark") but not a great read, either.
Ryan Willox
I like Benchley, he has a familiar style that is engaging and I think that's important, especially with something like this. No-one likes to think they're being spoken down to.
This is slight, there's not much in it but it's a lot of fun, a quick read and it gets a bonus star for potentially life saving info about rip currents, drowning and not being eaten by sharks.
Some cool photos too!!
As much as I loved reading Jaws, I really enjoyed his spin on much of the fear that his works were in some part to blame for. Do yourself a favor next time Shark Week rolls around...skip the rerun episodes of the same footage we've all seen a million times and sit down with this book instead.
I loved this book because it offered some real practical advice not only on dealing with shark encounters, but also on basic ocean safety. It also provides a nice outlook on how sharks and humans can co-exist and how we must show the wild ocean some much-needed respect.
LOVED IT!!!! them. True them. Author of Jaws....Love him. To sum up....There's a whole lotta love for this book. Perhaps it's due to the medication I'm on but seriously, go read this one. It's short and could save your life one day. Chomp!
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Peter Bradford Benchley was an American author best known for writing the novel Jaws and co-writing the screenplay for its highly successful film adaptation. The success of the book led to many publishers commissioning books about mutant rats, rabid dogs and the like threatening communities. The subsequent film directed by Steven Spielberg and co-written by Benchley is generally acknowledged as th ...more
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