With the 1974 publication of the novel Jaws and the release a year later of the film based on the book, an American cultural phenomenon was born. Today, the remarkable bestseller by Peter Benchley still towers as a thrilling classic of suspense, drama, and the eternal conflicts of man against nature ... and man against himself.
As the movie continues to broadcast all over the world, entire generations may know the Jaws story only through its cinematic rendition. Those unfamiliar with the literary forerunner are in for a wonderful surprise, for the novel contains many twists of plot and character that were omitted in the film. Peter Benchley's Jaws is an extraordinary experience of its own, a masterpiece as mesmerizing today as it was in 1974, when it first took us into the watery world of a creature designed by nature to kill ... and into the terror it brings from the silent darkness of the deep.
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About the Author
Peter Benchley (1940-2006) was an American author best known for writing the novel Jaws and cowriting 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 is generally acknowledged as the first summer blockbuster. Benchley also wrote The Deep and The Island, which were also adapted into films, and several other novels. A champion of conservation, he was a compelling author for shark fans and foes alike.
Erik Steele is a professional actor living in New York City, where he has worked both on and off Broadway and in film. He has toured with the prestigious Acting Company, performing Shakespeare and Sheridan in theaters from Atlanta to Anchorage. He holds an MFA in acting from New York University and a BA from Vassar College.
A tightly written, tautly paced study of terror...that still makes us tingle.-- "Washington Post"
A super-thriller! If you have any imagination at all, the book will give you the shivers.-- "New York Post"
Relentless terror.-- "Philadelphia Inquirer"
Pick up Jaws before midnight, read the first five pages, and I guarantee you'll be putting it down breathless and stunned as dawn is breaking the next day.-- "Daily Express (London)"
Benchley keeps it moving, fulfills all expectations...Jaws is lean, all sinew, everything directed toward a climax that is implanted on the retina from the very first sentence.-- "New York magazine"
Narrator Erik Steele delivers a solid performance that brings new layers to the familiar characters of Hooper and Brody. Steele's delivery has the characters speaking in a natural yet subtly terrified tone that seems to grant listeners access to the tale in a new way. Ultimately, the story is still as thrilling as ever...Erik Steele's performance heightens the tension, thereby increasing the payoff at the conclusion.-- "AudioFile"
An eminently successful combination of adventure story and moral fable...The narrative is tense and absorbing, the characterization excellent, and the climactic shark hunt as exciting a sea story as one could want.-- "Library Journal"
A small gem of suspense fiction...Erik Steele, a theater and film actor, chomps into Benchley's raw prose with appetite, enjoying every bite of gore and social observation. Making ample use of well-placed pauses and silences, Steele amplifies not only the suspense but Benchley's surprisingly well-honed characterizations.-- "Publishers Weekly (starred audio review) "
Benchley's writing is lean and efficient-this is his first novel, and also by far his best-and the story is a solid mixture of small-town politics, mystery, and outright terror.-- "Booklist"
Steele's reading makes this classic beast-tale new again.-- "Library Journal (audio review) "