My husband and I loved the book -- it was full of fascinating information regarding both the era and sharks. If you don't like history, you won't like the book -- he spends a lot of time setting the scene before the first shark attack.
There is alot of emphasis on the American society's mindset in an era where polio was just becoming a baffling reality, "bathing" in the ocean was a new pastime, U-boats were making the news, and no one believed sharks to be man-eaters. Then, the first shark attack documented in American history occurs and this book becomes more frightening the further into it you read. I learned things about sharks that I did not know, as well. For example, the word shark is derived from a German word meaning "villain". You can easily see the parallels to Peter Benchley's "Jaws" and it only makes it more frightening that this is a true story!
This is the true story of the shark attacks in 1916. What stands out the most is that these attacks took place not only in salt water, but in fresh water. Sharks don't attack humans by 'mistake' as so many experts would have you believe. They attack because they are *hungry*.
Not what I expected - A LOT of background about the life and times of early 1900's - interesting historical stuff (especially if you are from the Jersey Coast), but I really wanted to read about the actual shark attacks . . . which don't happen until almost 1/3 of the book is already read . . . kind of slow . . . glad I read it, but not a "keeper" for me by any means . . .
This children's adaptation of Close to Shoreis little different from the original novel by Capuzio except, of course, there were more pictures through-out the book to make it more appealing to young readers.
A very good book in either form.
Very interesting book about shark attacks occurring in the New York,New Jersey coastline areas in the early 20th century. A great insight into how people at the time viewed sharks,and how little they knew about them. Fans of historical fiction would find this interesting,also
Combining rich historical detail and a harrowing, pulse-pounding narrative, Close to Shore brilliantly recreates the summer of 1916, when a rogue great white shark attacked swimmers along the New Jersey shore, triggering mass hysteria and lanching the most extensive shark hunt in history.
After having read the advanced reader's excerpt, the completed version was a bit disappointing. (I know, I know, one is not supposed to compare the book with an advanced reader's copy.) Nonetheless, it was a very good book. It just would have been a lot better if the editor had not butchered it. The original version was so much more detailed, providing a vivid portrayal of Victorian life, which the final version only hinted at.
The book is, in a way, a biography of a rogue shark. But it also includes fascinating facts about sharks in general; their cannibalistic tendencies, their strong sense of smell, the sandpaper-like texture of their skin & the fact that it can retain enough salt to temporarily survive in freshwater, their methods of attack not only on animals & humans, but on boats as well.
Equally interesting are the misconceptions the Victorians had about sharks. It is difficult to comprehend that at that time people did not believe that the great white was a man-eater at all, & blamed the attacks on orca. Moreover, how tragic that at that time they did not have the medical knowledge to deal with shark attacks.