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(Jaws #1)

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  128,625 ratings  ·  3,294 reviews
"Relentless terror." —The Philadelphia Inquirer

The classic, blockbuster thriller of man-eating terror that inspired the Steven Spielberg movie and made millions of beachgoers afraid to go into the water. Experience the thrill of helpless horror again—or for the first time!
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published May 31st 2005 by Random House (first published May 6th 1974)
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Chris Alexander Yes. Brody's wife and Matt Hooper have an affair. It's utterly pointless and adds nothing to the story.
Yaaresse Then again (referring to previous answer) I and a bunch of my friends read it when we were 10-12 years old. Scared us half to death, which was the…moreThen again (referring to previous answer) I and a bunch of my friends read it when we were 10-12 years old. Scared us half to death, which was the whole point of reading it. As far as I know, none of us were scared for life, needed therapy, or became drug-addled psychopaths. The worst thing that happened was my cousin wouldn't go in the ocean for about two years.

Seriously, censoring kids reading only makes the censored material more attractive to them and them more determined to get their hands on it. (less)

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Average rating 3.97  · 
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 ·  128,625 ratings  ·  3,294 reviews

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Jeffrey Keeten
Mar 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, book-to-film
”Duuun dun
duuun dun
dun dun dun dun dun dun BOM BOM
dun dun dun dun dun dun
doo dedoo doo dedoo dede doo dede doo dededoo.”

 photo Jaws_zps3ebb9d32.jpg

Has there ever been theme music used in a film more effectively than for the 1975 blockbuster movie Jaws? A movie so powerful that there are legions of people that have refused to go into the water EVER AGAIN after seeing that movie. I’m not a water person. Growing up in the landlocked Midwest I prefer to be able to see the bottom of whatever body of water I happen to be
Oct 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
Excellent book.

First of all Peter Benchley’s 1974 novel Jaws is darker and more complicated than Spielberg’s film. And it was a magnificent motion picture, a work of art with few peers and a production that garnered Spielberg his first high accolades. Benchley’s novel, as are most books, almost by artistic default, is more complex, with characterizations that are developed and interconnected, with a group dynamic that is as interesting as the surface story about a man-eating shark that eats a
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
Well, I finally decided to read the book after watching the movie a million times growing up. And it's a summery read =) I quite enjoyed it. I wasn't sure it was going to be good, but I was wrong and I just might read the other books.

Here's the thing, just don't go in the water when you know people have been killed by a shark. What the hell is wrong with people?

I wish I could have watched the movie again so I could see how much was different in the book. Some of it I don't think even happened
Jul 20, 2015 rated it really liked it

"Relentless terror." - The Philadelphia Inquirer

i mean, obviously that’s ridiculous - this book isn’t even remotely scary, but it’s also not as bad as modern people claim. obviously, opinions/schmopinions, and i’m not defending this as a hallmark of great literature or anything, but it has its charms. most of those charms involve how it feels like a pre-outrage time capsule, with its “hysterical” women and its “faggots” staging a nude dance party and the recurring exploits of a “black gardener”
Oct 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Today is the first full day of my Beach vacation. Here is my view:

Today I finished reading Jaws and this is all I see:

So . . . Maybe not the best timing!

Jaws is an easy and cheesy read. I have seen the movie before and figured it would mainly be suspense. But, there is a whole lot of melodrama and naughty romance, too. Also, it is very dated and you can just feel the 70s oozing out of the dialogue.

In some cases, the things I mentioned in my previous paragraph might be considered bad. But, in
Mar 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror, gory, 2018
3.5 stars - rounded down.

"You're gonna need a bigger boat..."
That line was improvised by Roy Scheider on the day of shooting.

Loved the movie, which is based on Peter Benchley's 1974 novel of the same name. At first, I didn't favour either the movie or the book (which is different to the film), but the further I got into the novel, the less I enjoyed it. So, for me, at least, the movie was definitely superior. I enjoyed reading the book, for the most part - but couldn't get used to some of the
Before I burn my copy of Jaws for kindling, to prepare a lovely batch of s'mores for my children on this last week of summer before school begins, I will pause briefly here to give you my review.

Jaws the book inspired Jaws the movie, which inspired my wicked, decades-long crush on Roy Scheider (I was convinced we'd be married someday). The movie also terrorized millions of viewers and inspired fear of the ocean and the unnecessary killings of no-one-will-ever-know-exactly-how-many sharks.

“At first, the woman thought she had snagged her leg on a rock or a piece of floating wood. There was no initial pain, only one violent tug on her right leg. She reached down to touch her foot, treading water with her left leg to keep her head up, feeling in the blackness with her left hand. She could not find her foot. She reached higher on her leg, and then she was overcome by a rush of nausea and dizziness. Her groping fingers had found a nub of bone and tattered flesh. She knew that the ...more
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

2.5 Stars

“That fish is a beauty. It’s the kind of thing that makes you believe in a god. It shows you what nature can do when she sets her mind to it.”

Houston commercial photography

I’m getting ready to write a sharky review . . . .

Houston commercial photography

Alright. Now that THAT is done, let’s get to the sad state of affairs which is my reaction to the novel Jaws. I’m not going to spend a lot of time on this review – mainly because I’m bummed out. I was sure I would love this book
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
First I want to thank Steven Spielberg for ruining the fun with swimming in lakes as a child. because of course there could be sharks in Sweden. Second, I want to thank him for letting Ellen Brody be a background character in the movie so the movie wasn't ruined by that F*****g bitch.

Jaws is one of my favorite movies. So it's kind of strange it has taken me this long to read the book. I remember that my brother had the book and I was curious about it, but I just never read it. I
Nov 13, 2017 rated it liked it
The best part about the book was the one time when the Great White Shark leaped from the ocean and shouted: Don't Hate The Player, Hate The Game!

Okay, that might not have happened.

Jaws tells the story of the people who live in Amity, a small seaside resort town which depends on summer tourists for its income. The town got a comparatively peaceful community, helmed by a gregarious mayor, a working-class police chief and a resourceful editor of the local newspaper. The town is having a hard
Fabian {Councillor}
Who doesn't know the famous Spielberg movie with a shark as the big bad guy who wreaks terror on an entire town, with three men going on a mission to kill the shark before he kills even more people?

Just one year before the release of the movie, Peter Benchley's novel Jaws was published which the movie was adapted from. (Personal confession here: I never watched the movie, so there was nothing I could compare the events in the novel with. I practically went into it blank apart from the knowledge
In 1974 Peter Benchley’s Jaws became a major bestseller and also paved the way for the first summer blockbuster in the history of cinema.
Both the novel and the movie scared the hell out of people. And some would never go swimming in the sea ever again.

Unfortunately it also made shark hunting a popular sport and the great white shark nowadays is considered as vulnerable.
It’s up for discussion how much of that is actually down to Benchley’s novel and I don’t really want to get into this. Because
Mogsy (MMOGC)
3.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

A whole generation was scared off from swimming in the ocean by the Spielberg film based on this book. Embarrassingly, I have to say my own reaction was even more extreme. It was the early 90s and I must have been about 7 when I watched Jaws for the first time on VHS, and for an entire week I refused baths because I was terrified little great whites were going to pour out of the faucets and eat my face. I was an
Tea Jovanović
I was young (in my teens) and foolish enough to watch the movie based on this book while on vacation on an island... You don't have to ask me if I skipped going to sea for few days... :)
Alex ☣ Deranged KittyCat ☣
3.5 stars


Jaws was such a pleasant surprise for me. I always loved the movie, and the novel is so much more than just your average monster book.

I was completely amazed by the characters' depth, and how utterly unlikeable most of them are. Ellen Brody is some sort of modern Emma Bovary, while Harper is a jackass.
Not to mention the mayor who got involved with the wrong kind of people. And because of that, he is willing to let innocent people die for profit.


I like the omniscient point of view.
Paul Nelson
May 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015-books-read
Jaws or 'the fish' as he prefers to be known is one big ass, mean motherfucking, rip toothed, man eating great white shark whose sole job is to harass the swimmers at Amity beach to the point where no-one dare go in the water and the livelihood of everyone in the town is severely under threat.

So what makes him perfectly qualified for this role, well he's got big fucking teeth, swims like a torpedo and has developed a taste for reading swimmers, boats and fishermen. Reading, Woah, autocorrect
Ahmad Sharabiani
Jaws, Peter Benchley
Jaws is a 1974 novel by American writer Peter Benchley. It tells the story of a great white shark that preys upon a small resort town and the voyage of three men trying to kill it. The novel grows out of Benchley's interest in shark attacks after he learned about the exploits of shark fisherman Frank Mundus in 1964. Doubleday commissioned him to write the novel in 1971, a period when Benchley struggled as a freelance journalist.
تاریخ نخستین خوانش: ماه دسامبر سال 1997 میلادی
Leo .
Sep 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ellen Gail

Peter Benchley writes a mediocre, or average at best, shark story that is fondly remembered by most thanks to Stephen Spielberg. The book is okay, mostly sharky fun weighed down by drama at times, but it can't hold a candle to the greatest shark movie ever made.

So. Truth time. As a small child, think four or five years old, I had a very real fear of being eaten by a shark. We didn't live near water. I was too small to swim and I felt totally safe in the tub. No, these sharks were cartoon
Jaws is the tale of a marriage on the edge of failure. Chief Brody, head of the Amity police, is married to Ellen. They've three kids. He's a native of the area; one of the poor boys who spent his days on the beaches while the rich folks came down to vacation from the big cities. She's from one of those big cities, from one of those rich families, and since she married Chief Brody she's been an outsider amongst the natives and outsider amongst the tourists. She belongs nowhere and feels herself ...more
Andrew Breslin
Mar 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
Reviewing a book that was made into a movie over 30 years ago and which almost everyone has seen already seems a little pointless. On the other hand I don’t need to post a spoiler alert. If you are somehow unaware of the plot of Jaws, then it doesn’t matter if I give it away, because--I’m sorry to be the one to tell you this--you have Alzheimer’s disease. Yes, it’s a shame. There there.

But even if you already know exactly what is going to happen, this is still a thrilling, chilling read. You
Jonathan Janz
Nov 20, 2017 rated it it was ok
I get no pleasure from writing negative reviews. I have no problem with others who rip books to shreds, but maybe because I'm a teacher and see in an author a former child now working tirelessly to pursue a lifelong dream, I feel a little guilty criticizing others too harshly.

So please know that I dread saying this, but...

JAWS isn't a very good book.

I take that back--it's a wildly uneven book. Peter Benchley absolutely nailed the shark attack scenes; I mean that sincerely. The moments leading
Joseph Spuckler
Oct 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
I remember reading this back in the mid-70s when the movie came out. I have seen the movies several times since and had forgotten how different the book was from the movie. Brody in the book still seems a bit like Roy Scheider. The others except for Quint seem to be very different. The shark is the main character in the film but in the book, it is the complex relationship between island lifer Brody, his (former) socialite wife, and a younger man named Hooper. There are several underlying themes ...more
“There's nothing in the sea this fish would fear. Other fish run from bigger things. That's their instinct. But this fish doesn't run from anything. He doesn't fear.”
― Peter Benchley, Jaws

I am not going to do a full review on such a great classic like this. But a few thoughts:

When this first came out I was but a slip of a tiny child and already reading. Jaws was huge around town. Everyone wanted to read it. My mom would not let me have a copy of it. I could not understand why. I BEGGED her.
Oct 04, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club
Starts well enough for you to think it’s going to be great. It’s not. It’s just ok. Time hasn’t been kind to this book and I think Spielberg, when directing the film, has done well in leaving out some parts of the story, not because they’re the worst ones but because they’re just pointless fillers written down on a failed attempt to add some humanity to the characters.
Joe Valdez
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*
“There's nothing in the sea this fish would fear. Other fish run from bigger things. That's their instinct. But this fish doesn't run from anything. He doesn't fear.”

I read Jaws when I was teenager, and of course I’d already seen the movie countless times. I remember finding it a dry, dull story that couldn't touch the movie. Based on this year’s re-read, I still find the movie better, but the book has earned new brownie points. When I was younger, some of the intricacies of the marriage subplot
avery (avereads)
Aug 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

"There's nothing in the sea this fish would fear. Other fish run from bigger things. That's their instinct. But this fish doesn't run from anything. He doesn't fear."

Just like (I think almost every human on this planet) I love the movie Jaws. It's terrifying and targets the great fear of the unknown. What's underneath me in the water? Could a monster be swimming up to me? Is something that menacing truly alive? The novel and the book share the same aspects of dread and fear that made Jaws
Feb 12, 2009 rated it it was ok
I went to the Monterey Bay aquarium for a teachers symposium where they generously gave us a lot of their discarded educational materials and clearance items from the gift shop that hadn't been sold in a long time. Among those items were stacks and stacks of Jaws. They didn't care what we did with them so I took a whole stack and passed them out as prizes at a church social before I had read this book.

What I learned from this book is to never pass out any book at a church social before reading
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2020 Reading Chal...: This topic has been closed to new comments. Jaws 10 25 Nov 02, 2019 11:44AM  
Classic Trash: This topic has been closed to new comments. CHANGE IN AUGUST 2019 BOOK 12 19 Aug 23, 2019 08:53PM  
New Book 1 4 Aug 21, 2019 08:41AM  
Classic Trash: Jaws: Finished (Spoilers) 10 10 Aug 09, 2019 03:59PM  
Classic Trash: Jaws: In Progress (No Spoilers) 8 11 Aug 08, 2019 06:38AM  
The movie was definitely better 27 152 Mar 04, 2019 03:10PM  

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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 ...more

Other books in the series

Jaws (3 books)
  • Jaws 2
  • Jaws The Revenge
“There's nothing in the sea this fish would fear. Other fish run from bigger things. That's their instinct. But this fish doesn't run from anything. He doesn't fear.” 40 likes
“The past always seems better when you look back on it than it did at the time. And the present never looks as good as it will in the future.” 36 likes
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