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Man vs Shark
on 23 August 2016
First published in 1974 this is probably not the best book to read if you are on the beach and thinking of taking a dip. After all you just don’t know what could be out there, and those great white sharks are prone at times to take a bite out of someone, although we are far from being their preferred food. With only the Orca as its natural enemy this is a fish that is definitely to be feared.
Taking place at the fictional seaside town of Amity, on Long Island, things are hopefully brewing up to a good summer. In a place where the local inhabitants rely on outsiders to stay and spend their money over the warm months, anything that may keep them away is a disaster. And when a woman is seemingly killed by a shark, so the town’s worse fears could be realised, especially when the problem starts to escalate.
Although definitely a thrilling read this was a success on first publication, mainly helped by some neat marketing and then the release of the film. With political machinations as well as sexual tension and adultery this helps to balance the story out a bit, so we don’t end up with just a shark chase and so on. But it is the shark that always grabs your attention.
With the town getting in a hunting fisherman to go after the shark this does have some nice cat and mouse play between man and killing machine, and the suspense and audacity of the shark does give this that oomph that it needs, and that people enjoy.
In all this is always fun to read, and if you have never read it before then perhaps it is something to add to your list, but just don’t read it before you go for a swim in the sea.