Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Jaws” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


(Jaws #1)

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  146,154 ratings  ·  4,073 reviews
Here is Peter Benchley's classic suspense novel of shark versus man, which was made into the blockbuster Steven Spielberg movie. The "Jaws" phenomenon changed popular culture and continues to inspire a growing interest in sharks and the oceans today.
When Peter Benchley wrote "Jaws" in the early 1970s, he meticulously researched all available data about shark behavior. Ove
ebook, 336 pages
Published November 1st 2012 by Not Avail (first published May 6th 1974)
More Details... Edit Details

Win a Copy of This Book

  • Jaws by Peter Benchley

    Release date: Aug 06, 2013
    Enter for the chance to win one of 20 free copies of the classic suspense novel Jaws!

    Format: Print book

    Giveaway ends in: a

    Availability: 20 copies available, 5655 people requesting

    Giveaway dates: Jul 01 - Jul 31, 2021

    Countries available: U.S.

  • Friend Reviews

    To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

    Reader Q&A

    To ask other readers questions about Jaws, please sign up.
    Popular Answered Questions
    Chris Alexander
    This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
    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 who…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)
    This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

    Community Reviews

    Showing 1-30
    Average rating 3.97  · 
    Rating details
     ·  146,154 ratings  ·  4,073 reviews

    More filters
    Sort order
    Start your review of Jaws
    Jeffrey Keeten
    Mar 01, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: book-to-film, horror
    ”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 b
    Oct 05, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    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 to
    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 thi
    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  ·  review of another edition

    "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”
    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.

    The aut
    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 ch
    “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 warm ...more
    Chelsea Humphrey
    I'm not really sure how to rate this one, but I really enjoyed it! Definitely want to rewatch the movie now. ...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 b
    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
    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 remem
    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
    Nov 13, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
    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
    Jeffrey Caston
    Apr 17, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: reminisce, best-ever
    This most recent time was my third time reading Jaws. I loved it then and I love this book still, despite a few petty issues I have with the story.

    The first time I read it was when I was maybe twelve when I had to coax the parents and the school librarian to let me check it out from the restricted section of the library. At that point, I have this vague recollection of my 12 year old self emphatically thinking "WHY ISN'T THE SHARK EATING MORE PEOPLE!!!!" But I started having a love-hate-fear re
    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 especial
    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. Thi
    Jonathan Janz
    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
    Lee  (the Book Butcher)
    The book behind the blockbuster movie. Book follows it pretty well but i give Spielberg a lot of credit for the cultural phenomenon known as Jaws. Just found out my wife has "boycotted" the movie because of it ill fated effects on shark populations. You can imagine how awkward it was when i told her i was listening to Jaws. I had no idea she boycotted it!

    I liked Martin Brody's character and thought him a well done common person hero! the author also does a good job with the location describing
    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... :) ...more
    Paul Nelson
    May 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    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 er
    Watched Jaws when I was a kid, I'm forever damaged 😂. Jaws narrated by Erik Steele is exceptionally good. So exciting - every chapter, every character, everything about this book (maybe not the little shark part).
    Love. This. Book.
    I'm ready for Shark Week!!
    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  ·  review of another edition
    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
    Mar 12, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Jaws the movie,was the first of Hollywood's summer blockbusters. I remember it playing it for a good long while,over and over in Pakistani cinemas.

    A small seaside resort community is terrorized by a man eating shark. The shark has to be hunted down and the question is whether or not the beach should be declared off limits to all visitors. But if that is done,the resort's economy would collapse.

    The book has its share of subplots including marital infidelity,which were omitted in the movie.

    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 sha
    Andrew Breslin
    Mar 13, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    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 sh
    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
    Stephen Franks
    Apr 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: peter-benchley
    I read this book way back before the movie was released (around 1976..?) and remember thinking 'this would make a great film'...Unfortunately, the film was given the Hollywood make-over and ended up teaching at least one generation that sharks represent only evil. Shame because the book is far richer than that and there is so much more written about the relationships between the policeman, his wife and the marine biologist. It was a seriously good read back then and this appearance on GR is a re ...more
    Jammin Jenny
    I love this story, and the book is very different from the movie in terms of Ellen Brody's and Matt Hooper's characters. The shark also causes a bit more death in the book than in the movie. But both are equally excellent in my opinion.

    ETA: I like Ellen Brody again. She married "beneath her class" but I believe she really does love Martin Brody - she just had some self-esteem issues and a desire to relive some of her youth.
    « previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
    topics  posts  views  last activity   
    Read the Movie: July 2021- 8 12 Jul 08, 2021 02:46PM  
    Read the Movie: should we reopen this group? 9 21 Jun 30, 2021 08:34AM  
    SCPL Teens: Jaws (novel) 1 3 Feb 15, 2021 10:17AM  
    Play Book Tag: Jaws - Peter Benchley - 4 Stars 5 13 Mar 21, 2020 11:06AM  
    2021 Reading Chal...: This topic has been closed to new comments. Jaws 10 26 Nov 02, 2019 11:44AM  
    New Book 1 8 Aug 21, 2019 08:41AM  
    Classic Trash: Jaws: Finished (Spoilers) 10 12 Aug 09, 2019 03:59PM  

    Readers also enjoyed

    • The Amityville Horror
    • The Omen
    • The Exorcist
    • The Amityville Horror II
    • Carrie
    • The Silence of the Lambs  (Hannibal Lecter, #2)
    • It
    • Jurassic Park (Jurassic Park, #1)
    • Rosemary's Baby (Rosemary's Baby, #1)
    • Thinner
    • The Shining
    • Psycho (Psycho #1)
    • Misery
    • Flowers in the Attic (Dollanganger, #1)
    • The Lost World (Jurassic Park #2)
    • Carrie / 'Salem's Lot / The Shining
    • Cujo
    • Damien: Omen II
    See similar books…
    See top shelves…
    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 th ...more

    Other books in the series

    Jaws (3 books)
    • Jaws 2
    • Jaws The Revenge

    Articles featuring this book

    "Horror fiction has traditionally dealt in taboo.… It makes monsters of household pets and begs our affection for psychos. It...
    580 likes · 764 comments
    “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.” 40 likes
    More quotes…