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Blue Meridian: The Search for the Great White Shark

3.7  ·  Rating Details ·  148 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
A classic work of nature and humanity, by renowned writer Peter Matthiessen (1927-2014), author of the National Book Award-winning The Snow Leopard and the new novel In Paradise
National Book Award-winning author Peter Matthiessen takes readers on an expedition to find the most dangerous predator on Earth—the legendary great white shark. On a trek that lasts 17 months and
Hardcover, 204 pages
Published January 1st 1971 by Random House (NY)
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Nov 18, 2008 Eric_W rated it really liked it
Peter Mathiessen' Blue Meridian: The Search for the Great White Shark provides as useful antidote to the excesses of both sides of the debate. Mathiessen is one of our great nature writers and an environmentalist from the days before it became fashionable. Peter Gimble invited him along on a trip to South African waters to see if they could get some film footage of great whites from the inside of free-floating aluminum cages. The plan was to follow whaling ships out of Durban who, after harpooni ...more
David Guy
Jun 25, 2015 David Guy rated it really liked it
As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’m a huge Peter Matthiessen fan, and when a recent featured author in the New York Times “By the Book” section said that he also was, and mentioned Blue Meridian in particular, I thought I’d better give it a look.

This book has the virtues of Matthiessen’s best non-fiction. It is superbly written, includes a great deal of arcane information (the man was a great researcher, or at least employed one), and it portrays a search for one of nature’s most magnificent
Jan 12, 2013 Allan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book had lay on my shelf for some time. This year being the 90th birthday of Stan Waterman, one of the books main protoganists, and the death this year of Ron Taylor, another major character in the book; I was prompted to finally crack it open. The book details the search for the mysterious Great White Shark by an expedition during the 1970's. The story is a true adventure, as very little was know about this animal during the time. The book is also a great representation of politics during ...more
Corinna Bechko
Mar 11, 2015 Corinna Bechko rated it really liked it
Peter Matthiessen is always readable and this book almost demands to be consumed quickly. Reading it now, several decades after it was written, is quite eye opening not only in terms of shark and marine conservation, but also in terms of dealing with places like South Africa which have changed a great deal. Well worth the time even for people who don't consider themselves hard core nature writing enthusiasts.
Oct 17, 2016 Jeff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found this book in a box from the Sault Ste Marie public library. This book is an interesting, highly informative page turner. Peter Matthiessen is an insightful, educational author. His graphic account (including post attack photographs) of Rodney Fox surviving a Great White shark attack on the Great Barrier Reef was bone chilling and horrific.
Mar 18, 2010 Barbara rated it it was amazing
Shelves: scuba-diving, science
Before Peter Benchley scared everyone out of the water with his 1974 novel "Jaws," Peter Matthiessen was writing eloquently about the Great White shark, the apex predator of the oceans. The film "Blue Water, White Death" was based on this book. His writing, along with the journals kept by diver Valerie Taylor, make this a must-have book for anyone interested in marine biology.
Jackie Daggers
May 21, 2012 Jackie Daggers rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, re-read
Matthiessen did such an amazing job of keeping me hooked in while reading. I took this book down in one day. This was the book that sent me on my initial life plan to study sharks (which ultimately lead to me finding sea turtle medicine, but whatever).
David Ward
Blue Meridian: The Search For the Great White Shark by Peter Matthiessen (Random House 1971) (597.3). The incomparable Peter Matthiessen takes his readers on a search across many months and many seas in search of a fearsome predator. My rating: 7/10, finished 1979.
Jun 30, 2008 Tom rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: natural-history
A good enough story of expedition chasing after great white sharks, but rather pedestrian and narrow in focus compared to M's classic The Snow Leopard.
Dawn Stricker
Feb 21, 2016 Dawn Stricker rated it really liked it
Now I just want to go see them again. I will have to try and find the movie. The book is a perfect snapshot of the time.
Tomek rated it liked it
Jul 16, 2011
Michael Kott
Michael Kott rated it it was amazing
Nov 27, 2016
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Jan 13, 2013
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Apr 14, 2014
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Justin Mahaffie rated it it was ok
Nov 30, 2014
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Oct 18, 2012
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Jan 25, 2013
Tom Baker
Tom Baker rated it it was amazing
Feb 10, 2014
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Apr 25, 2016
Dec 27, 2008 Charles rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Pretty good, but nowhere close to his masterpiece, "The Snow Leopard"
Joe rated it really liked it
Aug 12, 2012
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Peter Matthiessen is the author of more than thirty books and the only writer to win the National Book Award for both non-fiction (The Snow Leopard, in two categories, in 1979 and 1980) and fiction (Shadow Country, in 2008). A co-founder of The Paris Review and a world-renowned naturalist, explorer and activist, he died in April 2014.
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