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The Devil’s Teeth [Book Review]


I really wanted this book for Christmas, and my mom, being the sweet Santa she is, got it for me!  I started it 2 weeks ago and have finally finished it.  Here is my review.  Enjoy!

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Title:  The Devil’s Teeth: A True Story of Obsession and Survival Among America’s Great White Sharks

Author: Susan Casey

Synopsis: “Susan Casey was in her living room when she first saw the great white sharks of the Farallon Islands, their dark fins swirling around a small motorboat in a documentary. These sharks were the alphas among alphas, some longer than twenty feet, and there were too many to count; even more incredible, this congregation was taking place just twenty-seven miles off the coast of San Francisco.

In a matter of months, Casey was being hoisted out of the early-winter swells on a crane, up a cliff face to the barren surface of Southeast Farallon Island-dubbed by sailors in the 1850s the “devil’s teeth.” There she joined Scot Anderson and Peter Pyle, the two biologists who bunk down during shark season each fall in the island’s one habitable building, a haunted, 135-year-old house spackled with lichen and gull guano. Two days later, she got her first glimpse of the famous, terrifying jaws up close and she was instantly hooked; her fascination soon yielded to obsession-and an invitation to return for a full season. But as Casey readied herself for the eight-week stint, she had no way of preparing for what she would find among the dangerous, forgotten islands that have banished every campaign for civilization in the past two hundred years.”

ISBN: 0805080112

 The Devil's Teeth: A True Story of Obsession and Survival Among America's Great White Sharks

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 My Review:

Terror, bloodshed, and the author’s close and personal Great White shark contact: that was what I was expecting based on the synopsis from the back of the book.  However, what I read instead had really little to do with sharks.  Yes, the history and unknown lives of the Great White was interestingly detailed, and yes, tales of shark attacks were recalled, and finally yes, the author had some up-close-and-personal sightings of the mysterious Jaws, though I don’t think she even saw a Sister (read the book to know what a Sister is).  Instead, it seemed that her obsession was more with the mysterious Farollon Island, and its dedicated scientist-inhabitants, than with the sharks themselves.  And honestly, that was fine with me.

The Devil’s Teeth by Susan Casey was a book filled with history, characters only a non-fiction book could create, and an unlikely adventure.  The book, which was originally supposed to be just a magazine article, captured the accomplishments and trials of the people who dedicated their lives to the study of sharks and marine life on the Farollon Islands – a captivating place that seems could only be known from experiencing its wonder.

Susan Casey relates her time on the island, and with the people and creatures she meets, in an entertaining, often humorous, and fascinating way.  The beginning grabs your attention, the middle forces you to keep reading, and the ending leaves you wanting more of the sharks, the island, and the real-life characters.

If you enjoy adventure, history, and a glimpse into a world you will probably never experience for yourself, then The Devil’s Teeth is the book for you.  While I was hoping for more shark action than the book actually provided, I was still left with a sense of longing to be in the author’s position, and for the book to never end.  The Devil’s Teeth, by Susan Casey, is a must-read for those who want to escape into a completely realistic, yet far-off land. 

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Purchase it at Amazon.com here: The Devil’s Teeth

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*Note: The synopsis was taken from Goodreads.com.  The review above is written by me.  © Kalie Lyn 2011*

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About Palm Trees & Bare Feet

Travel. Animals. Writing. Photography. Books. Movies. Art. Creating. Dreaming. Thinking. Exploring. Adventure. Living.

3 responses »

  1. This is going on my to read list! Good review! 🙂

    Reply
  2. Pingback: Top Ten Tuesday: Book Covers | Palm Trees & Bare Feet

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