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Peter Benchley Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Jaws (1974) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Deep (1976) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Island (1979) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Girl of the Sea of Cortez (1982) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Q Clearance (1986) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Rummies aka Lush (1989) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Beast (1991) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
White Shark aka Peter Benchley's Creature (1994) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Ocean Planet (1995) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Shark Trouble (2002) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Shark! (2002) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Shark Life (2005) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Peter Benchley was an American author of mystery and thriller novels best known as the author of Jaws and co-wrote the novel subsequent film adaptation alongside Carl Gottlieb. Several of the author’s novels were adapted into movies include, The Island, The Deep, White Shark, and Beast. Later in life, the author came to regret writing such thriller which he felt increased fear and caused unnecessary culls of sharks as predators in the ocean ecosystem. This led him to become an active advocate for marine conservation.

Peter was the son of Marjorie and Nathaniel Benchley. Nat Benchley, his younger brother, is an actor and a writer. Peter was an alumnus of Harvard University, Allen-Stevenson School, and Phillips Exeter Academy. Immediately after graduating from college in 1961, the author traveled across the globe for one year. The experience is narrated in his first book, Time and a Ticket published in 1964. After his return to America, the author spent half a year in the Marine Corps and worked as a reporter for The Washington Post.

By 1971, Peter took several freelance jobs to support his wife and children. It’s during this time when he declared making a final attempt as a writer that his agent arranged meetings with several publishers. Jaws was released in 1974 and became a bestseller for 44 weeks. According to Steven Spielberg, the man who directed the film version of the novel stated that he initially found many characters unsympathetic and wanted the shark to win. The film adaptation of Jaws starred Richard Dreyfuss, Roy Scheider, and Robert Shaw and was released in the summer of 1975 which was considered as the graveyard season for movies. The film was positively received and grossed over $500 million worldwide.

The Island published in 1979 is a story of the descendants of 17th-century pirates who reign terror in the Caribbean and are the source of Bermuda Triangle Mystery. Peter Benchley wrote the screenplay for the film adaptation. The film starred Michael Caine and David Warner but failed when it premiered in 1980.

Jaws

In the bestselling novel Jaws by Peter Benchley, we are introduced to a small summer town known as Amity. In this town, people have to make money from tourist trade and of course in the few months when the sun is shining bright. The fourth of July is particular a crucial month when the town’s population skyrockets from just 1000 people to 10,000 people in just 24 hours. But unfortunately something deadly and hungry, something that lives in the deep waters is visiting the small town.

Peter Benchley describes in graphic details what this fish does on the next pass. Politics fuel this story and readers get to see the struggles between the town council and Sheriff Martin Brody as the debate about public safety and commerce heats up. If the local town beach is closed down, the town dies with it, but if the beaches are open, then someone must die, and that is a chance that the council feels they have to take.

The author has also created subplots that explain in detail the special interest that controls the decision making of the town council. However, these subplots are not included in the movie version of the book.

Sheriff Brody’s wife Ellen plays a bigger role in the narrative. She is not contented with her life, and she feels that she married below her social class when she decided to get married to a police officer. She is from the country club, sailing, tennis and spending money on luxurious things, but she misses more than just clubs and money. She misses her people.

When Matt Hooper returns to town, Brody’s wife instantly feels comfortable with him. It turns out that Ellen dated Matt’s elder brother David and the memories of that time still flood her even today. Ellen’s obsession with Matt creates tension between her husband and Matt. Brody conjectures the worst, and with the shark in the water and piranha on the town council, he does not need any other distraction.

In desperation to finally put an end to the fish menace, the town counsel turn to a local fisherman named Quint. His rates are incredibly high, and at first, he is doing it for the money, but as the fish continues to show higher intelligence and even foxes him severally, he becomes obsessive. Killing the shark becomes his quest.

The Deep

A couple honeymooning dives off the coast of Bermuda when they discover a shipwreck and a small vial that will forever change their lives. When the two return to their hotel room with the glass vial, a mysterious man approaches them claiming that the glass vial is rare to find but they refuse claiming that they need to find out what is in the vial before they can sell it to anyone.

A man who doesn’t even exist hires them to find more of these vials, and the couple soon discovers that the vials contain pure morphine. This only marks the start of their adventure as the couple work with the local light housekeeper to find as many of these vials before they land into the wrong hands.

The Island

Two men and a boy are lazing out during one of the hottest hours of the Caribbean day when they discover a cameo that seems to be drifting. They maneuver their boat alongside the cameo, and one of the men reaches out to pull back the tarpaulin, and the reveals whatever it contains and the reader get a jolting shock which reminds them of those first few pages of the bestselling novel, Jaws.

This begins one of the many strange marine incidents that over the years have held different explanations. New York reporter Blair Maynard is shocked by the variety of explanations, but it is not until he arrives to the place where silence reigns and realizes that he is on to something extremely extraordinary.
He lands on the strangest island in the West Indies, and his investigation becomes even more intriguing with each discovery he makes.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Peter Benchley