Lauryl'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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's review
Sep 29, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: journalism, books-about-the-sea
Recommended for: shark or ocean voyage enthusiasts, nature buffs
Read in July, 2008

I'm a pretty easy sell when it comes to books about:
1. sharks
2. The Sea
3. shipwrecks & other maritime disasters
4. non-fiction reportage

So, you'd think that I would have TOTALLY LOVED this book. And I didn't dislike it.

But, I dunno, it never really captured the flow for me, of a good story well told. Casey's adventures were certainly interesting to read about,
and the science was good, but it never really gelled into a piece of beautiful reporting. The main problem, and this might partially be blamed on circumstance, is that Casey's experience , or at least the way she wrote about it, mimicked life TOO well.

You get the sense, after a while, that Casey is trying to pitch the climax towards a particular encounter she is hoping to have with one of the "sisters", the extra large great white females that are known to congregate near the Farallon Islands, where the action of the book takes place. Unfortunately, her desire for this particular encounter seems to dull her enjoyment of all of the many encounters she DOES have with many of the smaller (read, 20 foot-long!) male whites.
The book is ostensibly about white sharks, but more time ends up getting spent on the logistics of living in a crummy sailboat anchored off the coast of an unforgiving island. Most unfortunately, the major action (which is still not shark related, btw) doesn't happen until about the last chapter of the book, right before Casey's tenure on the Farallones is up.

Not that this doesn't make on an interesting read, but somehow, the portent of the first few chapters comes to too little, and I couldn't help feeling disappointed that more time wasn't allotted to the sharks she was there to study.


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