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The Island

3.31 of 5 stars 3.31  ·  rating details  ·  1,105 ratings  ·  60 reviews
Blair Maynard, a divorced journalist in New York City, decides to write a story about the unexplained disappearance of yachts and other small boats in the Caribbean, hoping to debunk theories about the Bermuda Triangle. He has weekend custody of his preteen son Justin, and decides to mix a vacation with work, taking his son along. They fly from Miami to the Turks and Caico ...more
Published by Bantam (first published 1979)
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Nenia Campbell
You can read more reviews at my blog, The Armchair Librarian.

Never before have I read a book so badthat I actually felt compelledto finish it ... until now.


If this book were to be summed up with a single sentence, it would be: FUCK YEAH I'M A PIRATE - NOW BEND OVER.

You know a book is ballsy when it starts out with racism, threats of rape, violence, and gore. AND THIS IS JUST A SAMPLE.

It's like the author just up and ended the book ... I mean like right in the middle of the action just wraps up, and I use the term wraps up very loosely here, the book in one page answering none of the questions or finishing any of the story lines.
Kara Jorges
Maynard is a frustrated journalist who gave up on writing anything important and settled into his life as a magazine writer, churning out assignments but enjoying some freelance work. One day, he stumbles across an amazing statistic: boats are disappearing in the Caicos Islands area of the Caribbean at a steady rate in numbers too high not to beg for an explanation. His editor, though not as excited about it as Maynard, gives him enough encouragement for Maynard to impulsively take a trip, dragg ...more
I liked this crazy little half-forgotten book by Benchley. Modern day pirates descended from the originals, still clinging to their strange ideals of testing strength through battle at a moments notice. Reminded me of a biker gang.

These scurvy sailors hide in the dark corners of paradise where tourists do not trek (exactly where that would be today, I have no idea), and occasionally these sea dogs steal a little ship, kill the adult occupants, plunder its booty, and keep the kids to replenish t
MUCH better than Jaws, but still filled with high-school fantasy sex scenes. The sexuality is much easier to *ahem* swallow in this novel, as it fits a little bit better with the concept as a whole. Pirates, baby, who are still living as if it was the 18th century, marauding away until they finally bite off more than their toothless maws can chew.

Skip Jaws for the movie, but definitely read this one.
Mark R.

I read this back-to-back with Peter Benchley's "The Deep" while on a recent beach vacation. A person could do a lot worse than Benchley, as far as beach reads go.

"The Island" is just as vicious and exciting as I remembered from my first experience with it as a kid. The basic plot remained in my head (helped by the boring but mostly "faithful" film adaptation), along with a few moments that affected me as a child--notably the use of urine to counteract jellyfish wounds; the casual killing
Gale Bailey
Terrible! Until this book, I had always enjoyed Benchley, but not this one!! Too much needless violence, and the ending leaves you hanging! Unless you like books about buccanneers, I cannot reccomend this book.
رباب كساب
رواية جيدة شيقة في مجملها وبما تحتويه من عالم القرصنة والبحر لكن الترجمة السيئة أفسدتها لدرجة كبيرة جدا كما فعلت الأخطاء المطبعية والاملائية
S.W. Gordon
Not a terrible little book; not the best thing ever written. It's a quick read, flush with action but oh so "Hollywood." I agree with other reviewers that the book lacks a proper denouement and ends too abruptly. What does the protagonist do with his pirate concubine who is pregnant with his child? Does he help her integrate into society, share child custody or drop her like yesterday's trash? What impact does this experience have on his son? Kid's are pretty malleable but that kind of experienc ...more
Peter Benchley has a great deal of knowledge about the high seas and the dangers that sailors encounter. He weaves this knowledge seamlessly into this story of a young boy and his father as they go on an adventure to find out why more than 600 ships had disappeared over the past year (an actual fact that had lead him to the idea of this book). I felt I learned a few things from this book and I was entertained along the way. I'd say that's a pretty good deal and would recommend this book. It's al ...more
Peter Benchley has a great deal of knowledge about the high seas and the dangers that sailors encounter. He weaves this knowledge seamlessly into this story of a young boy and his father as they go on an adventure to find out why more than 600 ships had disappeared over the past year (an actual fact that had lead him to the idea of this book). I felt I learned a few things from this book and I was entertained along the way. I'd say that's a pretty good deal and would recommend this book. It's al ...more
Jasmine McAlpine
The island itself is a symbol of a primal world frozen in time. It exists before the fishing boat that opens the story. From the moment the violent man appears at sea, terror rules in the background. Presently, a social dialog develops from which the vulnerability of people and relationships becomes the foreground. The narrative is an unusual but engaging description of events that gets interrupted by brutality. The description is essentially one long transition to show the boredom of everyday ...more
Doctor Edward Diesel
Enjoyable romp. This is pretty much a sea-going version of what in the film world is known as a "backwoods brutality" story. Instead of inbred hillbilly cannibals it features pirates tormenting the representatives of civilized society.
Zeyad Zarzour
اختفاء مجموعة كبية من السفن في المحيط بجانب مثلث برمودا.. يسعى لاستكشاف هذا الحدث صحفي أمريكي مصطحبا ابنه معه.. مغامرة شيقة يأخذنا فيها بيتر إلى أعماق البحار ليحكي لنا أسطورة قديمة عن قراصنة الكاريبي.. فماذا ستكون النهاية.؟؟
The story seemed outlandish and unrealistic for the time period - 1970s or 1980s. Lots of violence with a very weak ending that did not tie up loose ends.
رفعت خالد
بداية القصة كانت متوسطة إلى مملة نوعا ما.. لكن الأحداث بدأت تتوالد وصار التشويق في تصاعد إلى أن بلغ الذروة، لتأتي النهاية قوية، على عكس أكثر القصص التي أجد نهاياتها دائما مخيبة لآمالي..
وبرأيي لم يصل (بيتر بنشلي)إلى هذه الاحترافية في حبك القصص وصناعةالتشويق إلا بعد قراءات مطولة في هذا اللون من الأدب بالذات.. أدب البحار وحكايات القراصنة. وكالعادة حوّل المخرجون هذه القصة الشهيرة إلى عمل سينمائي يحمل نفس الإسم..
يبدو أني سأقرؤ قصة أخرى لبنشلي هذا..
The first half drags, filled with uninteresting comments. The second has moments that are quite interesting, but the ending is in part confusing and mostly just boring. Justin, the son, is a character that I continue to not understand, and I'm honestly not interested.
David Ward
The Island by Peter Benchley (Doubleday and Co. 1971) (Fiction - Mystery). This is a tale about the Bermuda Triangle. A journalist is preparing to write about the disappearance of small watercraft in the Caribbean and planning to debunk the Bermuda Triangle angle. When he heads to the heart of the Caribbean, he finds the cause of the disappearances: a group of pirates, undiscovered since the 1600's, is still freebooting in the Triangle. True, it's a silly premise,'s a silly premise. My ...more
Compared to the extremely well written jaws or the the deep, Benchley's "the island" lacks any capability to capture me. I found myself after 50% of the book to only skip over he pages, to see if the action in the book would become interesting again.
Jeff Herman
This was a pretty good book and the author put some work into researching the topic which was the life of a group of pirates living on an island in the tropics. There is plenty of adventure and suspense as a father and his son try to escape the capture of the brutal inhabitants of this island. Benchley is the author of Jaws so he has a talent for writing about the ocean that is for sure.
I read jaws in elementary school, when I saw this book at the library. I wanted to see if the grown up me would like this book. I did, Peter Benchley spins a great story. I had to keep reading to find out what happens next. Good suspense story
This book was randomly pulled off the of wall at my summer house in the adirondacks and turned out to be by the same author who wrote jaws. The enema scene and castration of catamites by enraged whores was not quite what I was expecting when I started reading this book. See what happens when you just pick a book at random!!!!
Jaime Contreras
This book remains a puzzlement to me. Peter Benchley tackles the topic of modern pirates with much panache. The pirates are loathsome people who have no place in modern society. I found this novel entertaining but troubling because of the dark nature of most of the characters.
I have never before been much interested in Pirate stories but found myself really intrigued by this book. I really enjoyed reading it but the ending left me feeling kind of jipped. It ends really suddenly and leaves a lot unanswered. I felt like there should be a sequel or something lol.
carl  theaker

Another fun Benchley read at the beach book, though like Jaws
kept you out of the water, you probably won't want to go
sailing in the Carribbean, unless under military escort.

Author has a way of getting a scene in your head, gruesome
or scary, and it's tough to forget.

If you read once before you die.
You must read this book.
In risk of sounding totally cliched
it will change your perception on life.
It inspired me to start meditating, a habit which, yes, i have given up.
It really is quite an amazing book
Dennis Goshorn
This is a little known book by Peter Benchley. I became acquainted with it through the movie of the same title. It's a good tale about modern-day pirates and counter-culture societies. It ended kind of abruptly and I would have liked more "post-script."
This was the frist, "Big" book, that I ever read. I can't really remember to much about the story. Some of the other reviewers, have commented on sex scences, but for the life of me, I don't remember any.

But, I do remember liking the book.
A very interesting story, fast paced, filled with action and adventure.
The story deals with a journalist who is kidnapped and taken to an island occupied by Pirates, who have been inhabiting the island for 300 years.
Good book,clearly researched....but there were some things brought up that didn't tie to the rest of the story....the "Religious cult" - were they foreshadowing the group Maynard and his son encounter - who knows.....
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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
More about Peter Benchley...
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“Ninguna pelea tiene sentido, Justin. Si uno se ve abocado a una pelea, lo mejor que puede hacer es concluirla. Lo del "juego limpio" es asunto del contrario.” 0 likes
“Cuando don Marinero Bisoño sale de Miami rumbo a las Bahamas, a lo mejor con un atlas como carta de navegación -y le aseguro que algunos de esos idiotas lo hacen-, se convierte en un accidente en busca de un lugar donde ocurrir.” 0 likes
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