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White Shark by Peter Benchley Review

Title: White Shark

Author: Peter Benchley

First published May 17, 1994

340 pages, Paperback

ISBN: 9780312955731 (ISBN10: 0312955731)

Rating: 3.54


In the depths of the Pacific Ocean, a deadly predator lurks, unknown to mankind. Marine biologist, Dr. Will Bennett, is studying the migration patterns of great white sharks when he discovers a creature that defies all science and explanation.

With its insatiable hunger and relentless pursuit of prey, the monster poses a threat not only to the ocean’s ecosystem but to everything Bennett holds dear. Drawing on his extensive knowledge of the sea, Peter Benchley crafts a heart-stopping thriller filled with suspense and terror.

White Shark will leave you breathless, questioning the unknown dangers that lie beneath the surface. Dive in at your own risk.

About the Author

Peter Bradford Benchley was a well-known American author who gained popularity for his novel Jaws, which was later adapted into a successful film. The book’s success led to an influx of similar books about dangerous animals threatening communities.

Benchley’s contribution to the screenplay of the Jaws film is considered a milestone in the history of summer blockbusters. He also wrote The Deep and The Island, which were also adapted into movies.

Benchley hailed from a family of writers. His father was Nathaniel Benchley, and his grandfather was Robert Benchley, the founder of the Algonquin Round Table.

His younger brother, Nat Benchley, is also an actor and writer. Peter Benchley attended Phillips Exeter Academy and Harvard University.

After completing his studies, Benchley worked as a reporter, an editor, and a speechwriter for the White House. He came up with the idea of a man-eating shark terrorizing a community after reading about a fisherman who caught a great white shark weighing 4,550 pounds off the coast of Long Island in 1964.

He also drew inspiration from the tragic Jersey Shore shark attacks of 1916.

Benchley’s second novel, The Deep, was moderately successful. It is about a couple on their honeymoon who discovers two sunken treasures on the Bermuda reefs – 17th-century Spanish gold and a fortune in World War Two-era morphine – and are subsequently targeted by a drug syndicate.

Benchley wrote the screenplay for the movie adaptation, which was released in 1977 and directed by Peter Yates. The movie starred Robert Shaw, Nick Nolte, and Jacqueline Bisset and was the second-highest-grossing release of 1977 after Star Wars.

Benchley’s novel, The Island, published in 1979, is about descendants of 17th-century pirates who terrorize pleasure craft in the Caribbean, leading to the Bermuda Triangle mystery. Benchley also wrote the screenplay for the movie adaptation, but the film starring Michael Caine and David Warner failed at the box office when released in 1980.

During the 1980s, Benchley wrote three novels that were not as successful as his previous works. However, Rummies, which was published in 1984, was his best-reviewed book and gained a cult following.

The novel shows Benchley’s growing interest in ecological issues and his future role as an advocate for the marine environment. Beast, published in 1991, is about a giant squid that threatens Bermuda.

The novel was later adapted into a TV movie titled The Beast.

Benchley’s last novel, White Shark, was published in 1994. The story is about a genetically engineered shark-human hybrid created by the Nazis, but it failed to achieve popularity or critical success.

Editoral Review

Peter Benchley’s “White Shark” is a thrilling novel that was first published on May 17, 1994. Benchley is an American author who is best known for his novel “Jaws,” which was later adapted into a blockbuster film.

Benchley is known for his ability to craft suspenseful stories that revolve around the ocean and its creatures.

“White Shark” is a novel that falls under the thriller genre, with elements of adventure, suspense, and horror. The story is set in the fictional town of Baja California, where a series of vicious shark attacks have left the community in fear.

The protagonist, Simon Chase, is a marine biologist who is brought in to investigate the attacks. He soon discovers that the culprit is a massive great white shark, and he must find a way to stop it before it kills again.

Benchley’s writing style is engaging, and he does an excellent job of creating a sense of tension and suspense throughout the novel. The plot is well-structured, with plenty of twists and turns to keep readers on the edge of their seats.

The characters are well-developed, with Simon Chase being a particularly compelling protagonist. His passion for marine biology and his determination to stop the shark make him a likable and relatable character.

One of the strengths of “White Shark” lies in its historical and cultural significance. The novel was written during a time when shark attacks were a topic of great concern, and Benchley’s portrayal of the fear and panic that grips the community is both realistic and poignant.

The novel also explores themes of human greed and the destructive impact of man on the environment, making it a timely and relevant read even today.

Overall, “White Shark” is a well-crafted novel that is sure to thrill readers who enjoy suspenseful stories. Benchley’s writing is engaging, and his characters are well-developed.

The novel’s historical and cultural significance also adds to its appeal. However, the novel’s pacing can be slow at times, and some readers may find the ending to be somewhat anticlimactic.

Despite its flaws, “White Shark” is a compelling read that is sure to leave readers with a sense of awe and respect for the power of the ocean. Fans of Benchley’s other works or readers who enjoy thrilling stories with environmental themes will undoubtedly enjoy this book.

Rating: 4/5