This month Jaws was on my to-read list. It was not a disappointment.
I will say it was very different from the movie, so if you’ve seen the movie, this has entirely different layers and problems in it. Because I want to show the differences between the story and movie, I put possible spoilers between ⇒ ⇐. So when those show up you can keep reading on or highlight in between them to read a possible spoiler.
Jaws is set in the town of Amity. It is a peaceful seaside town that basically only exists year-round thanks to the “summer people” who visit during the warm months. Eventually, havoc starts to occur when people start mysteriously dying in the ocean. It is soon found out that a massive great white shark is causing these horrific deaths. The town works to get rid of this deadly nuisance while trying to keep the “summer people” and tourists visiting.
As I mentioned above the book is very different from the movie. The book worked more behind the characters instead of just focusing solely on killing the shark. I really enjoyed all the characters and their drama. ⇒The plot in the movie focuses more on fighting the shark. The book however obviously focuses on the shark, but there was more fighting and fear among the characters than what seemed to occur in the movie.⇐
The setting was great. You knew you were in a coastal town and it was written as if you knew everyone who lived there and were in on all the secrets.
The ending seemed kind of fast. The book works up to this climax of finally going out to kill the shark and when it does happens, it’s over in a chapter or two. This part just seemed very quick to me.
Sometimes I felt like the book focused on two characters a little more than necessary. ⇒This aspect was actually quite surprising to me. In the book, Martin Brody’s wife Ellen has an affair with Matt Hooper, the oceanographer. This affair is really what seemed to be what a majority of the book was about. While the shark was still the horror aspect of it, the drama and dislike that existed between Brody and Hooper is really what caused that atmosphere of uncertainty and suspense. Ellen was a major focus in the book, much more so than in the movie. ⇐ It was interesting, but that part of seemed to be what most of the book focused on.
Final Rating: 4/5 coffee mugs
Overall, this is a great book to read. The characters were well-developed and I enjoyed the tension that was added into it. It wasn’t just about the shark, but also about all the characters having to work together despite their dislikes for each other. However, don’t start reading this book thinking it’s going to be exactly like the movie. I highly recommend this read (just don’t read it while at the beach).