Joanna's Reviews > The Devil's Teeth: A True Story of Obsession and Survival Among America's Great White Sharks

The Devil's Teeth by Susan Casey
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Oct 04, 10

Read from September 29 to October 04, 2010

This book really threw me for a loop, which is kind of weird for a book I think. I mean, it just stopped me in my tracks. For most of the book, I read along loving every minute of it. It's about these two scientists who study great white sharks off the Farallon Islands, (Farallon translating to Devil's Teeth - hence the title). The author goes and lives on the islands with the scientists to learn about the sharks and gather information for her book. The writing is amazing, the subject truly fascinating. I learned a lot about great whites and other sea-related things. The book was totally engrossing - I read lots of it aloud to my kids, who sat captivated. And then came the ending. I don't know what else to say, except that it I was more or less horrified by the ending. It left me seriously wondering about the author's scruples. So, it's a conundrum - probably one of the most well-written books I've ever read, but at what cost?
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message 1: by Nora (new)

Nora Alexander OK Joanna--throw me a bone
What Happened at the end?!?!?! At my current reading rate I will probably never get to this book.


Joanna OK - so the author is incredibly lucky to get a pass to go to the Farallon Islands so that she can gather information for her book. The Islands are super-restricted - generally, no one gets to go to them except the scientists and federal government people. But, the author gets really enthralled with the sharks and kind of finagles her way into getting to to come back a second time. The second trip still doesn't quench her thirst for shark experiences but when she applies for a third pass to the Islands, she is denied. Not willing to give up, she arranges, with the cooperation of at least one of the scientists, to borrow a big boat, anchor it off the Islands, and have the scientists come out and pick her up in their little boat when they go out to do shark stuff. The plan seems to work fine for a while, but alas, the weather turns nasty and fearing for her life as the anchored boat gets bashed about in the storm, she comes ashore (totally forbidden). While she is ashore waiting out the storm in the scientists' house, the borrowed boat comes loose and heads off into the great, blue yonder. She spends tens of thousands of dollars trying to locate the boat before telling the owner she has lost it. When the owner finds out, he is so mad that he publicizes the fact that she had been on the Islands without permission. This results in the lead scientist losing his job and the entire shark program on the Islands being shut down.

It struck me as nuts to write the book and profit off it when the means for being able to have written it (the shark program and the scientists) had been anhililated as a result of her actions. I was totally appalled. But then, it was a good book...


Nina Gayle I agree with you wholeheartedly.


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