Mike Carpenter's Reviews > Jaws

Jaws by Peter Benchley
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's review
Oct 23, 11

Read in October, 2011

Jaws has always been one of my favorite movies, and when we had to pick a book to read for an English project, the first thing that came to mind was the monetization of Jaws. It took about a week of searching, but I finally came across a second edition copy of the book from 1974 for only a $1.
Had I known how good this book would have been, I would have paid $50 for it. The book itself is phenomenal. It has a lot of suspense, a lot of bone chilling moments, and is one of those books that when you start reading the only way to stop is to finish the book.
The first three pages of the book will suck you in like a black hole. The beginning is so well written, and in such grizzly detail that it makes you feel like your right there watching this whole scene happen before your eyes, and even though you know exactly what is about to happen to this poor girl swimming out in the ocean, the suspense is still spine chillingly intense.
However, this book does have some weak points. Particularly in the latter part of the first act, and a majority of the second act. During that section of the book, the shark almost becomes background, and the story then focuses on two sub plots. One involving the Mayor of Amity, the town this book takes place in. And another involving Chief Brody’s wife, and Hooper, the marine-biologist. Mainly focusing on the latter. Though the book does slow down a bit, it is still a page turner none the less, just because of Peter Benchley’s excellent writing.
As for the third act, those were some of the most intense pages I have ever read in my life. Suspenseful doesn’t even begin to describe the third act of the book. I would go into more detail on the final act of the book, but that might spoil it for some people.
However, then there is the ending of the book…. The book just kind of well… ends. The normal plot line for a book is introduction, conflict, rising action, climax, resolution. This book switches the places of resolution and climax. Where for the most part all of the loose ends of the book are tied up right before the climax of the book. So when the climax ends, so does the book. Maybe Benchley intended for the reader to decide what happened after that, but it’s like there’s no reminiscing, no final thoughts or words, or anything like that. It just ends.

But I digress. This book is very good, and I highly recommend it. Though I did give the book five stars, a more conservative rating would probably be four or four and a half stars, since I’m probably being slightly bias towards the book, but once you consider the slow second half, and the abrupt ending, four and a half sounds much more accurate.

Still I highly recommend this book.

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