There have been hundreds of great white shark sightings along the Cape Cod coast this summer causing beaches to be closed with the inevitable comparisons to the film and book Jaws from the 1970s. While exploring the Wellfleet Flea Market on vacation last week, my traveling companions and I picked up a vintage copy of the book the movie was based on – Jaws by Peter Benchley. We took turns reading from the well-worn paperback and it was fun to read the original work and note the differences from the film while celebrating the brilliance of both the book and the film.

About Jaws by Peter Benchley:

“When Peter Benchley wrote Jaws in the early 1970s, he meticulously researched all available data about shark behavior. Over the ensuing decades, Benchley was actively engaged with scientists and filmmakers on expeditions around the world as they expanded their knowledge of sharks. Also, during this time, there was an unprecedented upswing in the number of sharks killed to make shark-fin soup, and Benchley worked with governments and nonprofits to sound the alarm for shark conservation. He encouraged each new generation of Jaws fans to enjoy his riveting tale and to channel their excitement into support and protection of these magnificent, prehistoric apex predators.”

After nearly 50 years, Jaws is still the ultimate beach read – still in print and still enough to make you think twice about going into the water.

Jaws by Peter Benchley is available from Amazon and other fine booksellers everywhere.