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Kun uutinen noiden kahden erittäin merikelpoisen veneen katoamisesta sattuu Blais Maynardin silmiin, hän ei lehtimiehenä suostu enää uskomaan ”sattumaan” eikä ”luonnollisiin selityksiin”. Sillä hän saa selville, että sekä jumalien että ihmisten hylkimien Caicos-saarten vesillä on vuoden aikana kadonnut jäljettömiin 610 venettä mukanaan 2000 ihmistä. Mutta kun Maynard 12-vuo Kun uutinen noiden kahden erittäin merikelpoisen veneen katoamisesta sattuu Blais Maynardin silmiin, hän ei lehtimiehenä suostu enää uskomaan ”sattumaan” eikä ”luonnollisiin selityksiin”. Sillä hän saa selville, että sekä jumalien että ihmisten hylkimien Caicos-saarten vesillä on vuoden aikana kadonnut jäljettömiin 610 venettä mukanaan 2000 ihmistä. Mutta kun Maynard 12-vuotiaan poikansa kanssa viattomasti alkaneen viikonloppumatkan päätteeksi törmää ongelman ratkaisuun, hän kiroaa sen päivän, jolloin ryhtyi tutkimaan veneiden katoamista. Sillä hänellä itsellään on hyvin vähän elinaikaa jäljellä eikä Justin enää ole hänen poikansa vaan veren makuun päässyt tappaja. Yli 300 vuotta sitten liikkeelle vyörähtänyt tapahtumaketju on temmannut heidät syöveriin, josta ei näytä olevan poispääsyä. ”Saari” on ehkä Peter Benchleyn pelottavin kirja. Saari kätkee suojiinsa kalman makuisen perinteen, jonka rinnalla tappajahain teot alkavat muistuttaa viatonta leikkiä.


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Kun uutinen noiden kahden erittäin merikelpoisen veneen katoamisesta sattuu Blais Maynardin silmiin, hän ei lehtimiehenä suostu enää uskomaan ”sattumaan” eikä ”luonnollisiin selityksiin”. Sillä hän saa selville, että sekä jumalien että ihmisten hylkimien Caicos-saarten vesillä on vuoden aikana kadonnut jäljettömiin 610 venettä mukanaan 2000 ihmistä. Mutta kun Maynard 12-vuo Kun uutinen noiden kahden erittäin merikelpoisen veneen katoamisesta sattuu Blais Maynardin silmiin, hän ei lehtimiehenä suostu enää uskomaan ”sattumaan” eikä ”luonnollisiin selityksiin”. Sillä hän saa selville, että sekä jumalien että ihmisten hylkimien Caicos-saarten vesillä on vuoden aikana kadonnut jäljettömiin 610 venettä mukanaan 2000 ihmistä. Mutta kun Maynard 12-vuotiaan poikansa kanssa viattomasti alkaneen viikonloppumatkan päätteeksi törmää ongelman ratkaisuun, hän kiroaa sen päivän, jolloin ryhtyi tutkimaan veneiden katoamista. Sillä hänellä itsellään on hyvin vähän elinaikaa jäljellä eikä Justin enää ole hänen poikansa vaan veren makuun päässyt tappaja. Yli 300 vuotta sitten liikkeelle vyörähtänyt tapahtumaketju on temmannut heidät syöveriin, josta ei näytä olevan poispääsyä. ”Saari” on ehkä Peter Benchleyn pelottavin kirja. Saari kätkee suojiinsa kalman makuisen perinteen, jonka rinnalla tappajahain teot alkavat muistuttaa viatonta leikkiä.

30 review for Saari

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jeffrey Keeten

    ”One boat has been disappearing every other day for three years. That’s how it averages out, like the population clock downtown: every so often, bingo!, roll over another one. Tell you the truth, I don’t think anybody’s ever going to know what happened to those boats. Not to all of them...not to half of them.” Reporter Blair Maynard smells a story, a big story. Hundreds of boats have disappeared in the same section of the Bahamas along with their two thousand plus passengers, and mysteriously, no ”One boat has been disappearing every other day for three years. That’s how it averages out, like the population clock downtown: every so often, bingo!, roll over another one. Tell you the truth, I don’t think anybody’s ever going to know what happened to those boats. Not to all of them...not to half of them.” Reporter Blair Maynard smells a story, a big story. Hundreds of boats have disappeared in the same section of the Bahamas along with their two thousand plus passengers, and mysteriously, no one seems to be alarmed. Misadventure? That’s a lot of misadventure. The mysteries of the sea sometimes never reveal themselves. The ocean is vast and unpredictable, and sometimes even a veteran crew disappears without a trace. This feels different though. This doesn’t feel like a Bermuda Triangle. This feels like something methodical, something man-designed rather than a freakishness of nature. Under the pretense of a vacation with his twelve year old son Justin, he ventures out into this mysterious zone to find out the truth. They disappear without a trace. To the world, that is true, but they are very much alive, trapped in a world that existed a couple of hundred years ago. They’ve fallen into pages that would fit better between the covers of Treasure Island. Maynard soon finds himself at odds with his son and in a desperate battle for survival. His life isn’t worth the value of a bottle of rum, and he will have to dig deep within himself to find the feral, mental toughness to save Justin and himself. I chuckled at one point when Peter Benchley alludes to Jacqueline Bisset and her wet t-shirt, which of course is in the movie version of his book The Deep. There is a movie version of The Island as well, starring Michael Caine. I’ve not watched it yet, but intend to watch it eventually. The book is certainly not as compelling as his signature work…Jaws, but there are some thrilling scenes that certainly grabbed me as Maynard grappled with situations requiring a lizard brain that his life as a reporter had never activated. ”A hand clawed at his eyes, fingers probing to uproot his eyeballs. He stopped one hand, then the other, then felt teeth fasten on the skin of his cheek and tear away. He released a hand and punched at the biting mouth, and the hand he released drove a pointed fingernail deep into his ear. His brain shrieked: Overboard!” If you have ever fancied the life of a pirate, Benchley might disabuse you of those desires. Their lives were brutal, with harsh penalties for any infraction of the arbitrary rules, and certainly the scurvy bastards that Maynard and his son encounter are indicative of the unpredictable and untrustworthy men you’d be sharing the life with. I’ve now read the first three novels that Benchley wrote. He only wrote eight. I will most likely venture forth with the rest eventually. These novels from the 1970s and 1980s are time capsules of the era before computers were readily available and before people were glued to cell phones. The lives of people back then seem more meaningful, less passive, as they are more engaged with the world around them than the world displayed in the pixels of the glass and plastic of Chinese-made time-wasters. We have more knowledge at our fingertips than we’ve ever had before, but somehow we individually seem to know less. For those who enjoy an escape to the world before it became enslaved by technology, these Benchley books are a breath of fresh air from a past that is quickly receding in the rearview mirror, never to be experienced again except for in the pages of books, old movies, and the songs that make memories come alive again. If you wish to see more of my most recent book and movie reviews, visit http://www.jeffreykeeten.com I also have a Facebook blogger page at:https://www.facebook.com/JeffreyKeeten and an Instagram account https://www.instagram.com/jeffreykeeten/

  2. 4 out of 5

    Supratim

    POTBOILER!! – The best word to describe the book. I come across the book in a second hand book store and the name of the writer – Peter Benchley, the man who wrote Jaws, made me buy this novel. The story starts with a mysterious man killing people in a boat. Of course, the killing continues – “the bodies keep piling” as the blurbs of pulp fiction thrillers like to proclaim. Now enters Blair Maynard, a writer for a newsweekly. He is a clichéd character in many respects – wife left him with their onl POTBOILER!! – The best word to describe the book. I come across the book in a second hand book store and the name of the writer – Peter Benchley, the man who wrote Jaws, made me buy this novel. The story starts with a mysterious man killing people in a boat. Of course, the killing continues – “the bodies keep piling” as the blurbs of pulp fiction thrillers like to proclaim. Now enters Blair Maynard, a writer for a newsweekly. He is a clichéd character in many respects – wife left him with their only son, he suffers from the usual symptoms of post-separation grief such as indulgence in the bottle and sex and there is some tension in work as well. The author says that Maynard is a lover of history because he is dissatisfied with the present. By the way, Maynard’s beautiful assistant is a sadomasochist. Anyways, Maynard comes across the Coast Guard statistics that around 610 boats had disappeared in the Caribbean, Bahamas and Gulf Coast areas in the past three years with a loss of at least 2000 lives. This piece of information piques our protagonist’s interest and against the advice/order of his superior sets off to investigate. Oh! He takes his son along with him too, without informing his estranged wife. The author had made an effort at fleshing out Maynard’s character. His love for his gun-crazy minor son is probably the best thing about him. Then we have plenty of action, murders and some sex in the story. I don’t want to go into the specifics but would say that the author resorted to every trick to write a pulp fiction potboiler – murderous criminals, Maynard being made to live as a catamite to a woman, the brainwashing of a young impressionable mind and whatnot. This book was written to provide some cheap entertainment and that it did to some extent – parts of it dragged and I believe the author should have tried to come up with a better ending. I am not sure about the availability of this book, but if you like the author or enjoy this kind of 1970s thrillers, then you might want to check it out. I would mention that better thrillers are available in the market. The edition I have mentions that the novel would be adapted into a movie starring Michael Caine. I checked IMDB and found that the movie has a rating of 5.3 only.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Adam Howe

    Benchley’s maritime thrillers haven’t dated well, so I was surprised how much I enjoyed this one. The premise is batshit crazy – a magazine reporter takes his young son to the Bahamas to investigate a spate of disappearing boats…only to be abducted by the descendents of 17th century pirates. Entertaining though it was, I couldn’t help wondering what a writer like Ketchum or King might’ve done with it. You might’ve seen the film adaptation? Michael Caine (as the reporter) raking down pirates with Benchley’s maritime thrillers haven’t dated well, so I was surprised how much I enjoyed this one. The premise is batshit crazy – a magazine reporter takes his young son to the Bahamas to investigate a spate of disappearing boats…only to be abducted by the descendents of 17th century pirates. Entertaining though it was, I couldn’t help wondering what a writer like Ketchum or King might’ve done with it. You might’ve seen the film adaptation? Michael Caine (as the reporter) raking down pirates with an Uzi: “You’re a bunch of arseholes playing Long John fucking Silver!” Classic.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    MUCH better than Jaws, but still filled with high-school fantasy sex scenes. The sexuality is much easier to *ahem* swallow in this novel, as it fits a little bit better with the concept as a whole. Pirates, baby, who are still living as if it was the 18th century, marauding away until they finally bite off more than their toothless maws can chew. Skip Jaws for the movie, but definitely read this one.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Dickison

    The first half of this book is excellent, the second half is gut-wrenchingly awful. Writer tried to find why many boats have gone missing in a particular area for no known reasons. After the writer and his son get to the island the story becomes pure horror with sadistic murders and other violent garbage. The ending is very abrupt and leaves myriad parts of the tale unanswered. Only recommended to people who like pirates and lots of rum.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Don

    It's like the author just up and ended the book ... I mean like right in the middle of the action just wraps up, and I use the term wraps up very loosely here, the book in one page answering none of the questions or finishing any of the story lines. It's like the author just up and ended the book ... I mean like right in the middle of the action just wraps up, and I use the term wraps up very loosely here, the book in one page answering none of the questions or finishing any of the story lines.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Beauregard Shagnasty

    Enjoyable romp. This is pretty much a sea-going version of what in the film world is known as a "backwoods brutality" story. Instead of inbred hillbilly cannibals it features pirates tormenting the representatives of civilized society. Enjoyable romp. This is pretty much a sea-going version of what in the film world is known as a "backwoods brutality" story. Instead of inbred hillbilly cannibals it features pirates tormenting the representatives of civilized society.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Stephen

    I liked this crazy little half-forgotten book by Benchley. Modern day pirates descended from the originals, still clinging to their strange ideals of testing strength through battle at a moments notice. Reminded me of a biker gang. These scurvy sailors hide in the dark corners of paradise where tourists do not trek (exactly where that would be today, I have no idea), and occasionally these sea dogs steal a little ship, kill the adult occupants, plunder its booty, and keep the kids to replenish t I liked this crazy little half-forgotten book by Benchley. Modern day pirates descended from the originals, still clinging to their strange ideals of testing strength through battle at a moments notice. Reminded me of a biker gang. These scurvy sailors hide in the dark corners of paradise where tourists do not trek (exactly where that would be today, I have no idea), and occasionally these sea dogs steal a little ship, kill the adult occupants, plunder its booty, and keep the kids to replenish their numbers. Often the losses are blamed on the Bermuda Triangle, inexperienced weekend sailors, or people who trash their own boat for the insurance money. It's whacked, but no wackier than all those hundreds of bullshit novels out there expecting you to believe in ex-marine U.S. Senators who single-handedly go out and kill Bin Laden. There have been little kill cult cul-de-sacs in history, and this one was very, very, very close to being believable. There were a few too many antiquated nautical terms, but that only shows he did his homework.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Gale Bailey

    Terrible! Until this book, I had always enjoyed Benchley, but not this one!! Too much needless violence, and the ending leaves you hanging! Unless you like books about buccanneers, I cannot reccomend this book.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    I have never before been much interested in Pirate stories but found myself really intrigued by this book. I really enjoyed reading it but the ending left me feeling kind of jipped. It ends really suddenly and leaves a lot unanswered. I felt like there should be a sequel or something lol.

  11. 4 out of 5

    itchy

    yo ho ho and a bottle of rum

  12. 4 out of 5

    Newly Wardell

    Pirate tales can be amazing. Peter Benchley is a salty sea bard with a passion for the pen. First of all, this is real pirates. If you are looking for a tale about pretend ugly pretty Johnny Depp type pirates, look else where. These are desperate "men" with a bottle of rum throat slitting pirates and it is a father and son story too. I mean this is all yo ho ho and a bottle of rum like pirates. twenty word synopsis: 610 boats go missing, reporter on almost whim goes to find out why. Lost civiliz Pirate tales can be amazing. Peter Benchley is a salty sea bard with a passion for the pen. First of all, this is real pirates. If you are looking for a tale about pretend ugly pretty Johnny Depp type pirates, look else where. These are desperate "men" with a bottle of rum throat slitting pirates and it is a father and son story too. I mean this is all yo ho ho and a bottle of rum like pirates. twenty word synopsis: 610 boats go missing, reporter on almost whim goes to find out why. Lost civilization still clawing at life. Thats it. That's all I can say without giving the best book I've read in 2018 away. Peter Benchley it took me forever to find you but you are a force. Dont expect a great ending because Benchley grudgingly gives a happy ending and I like it like that. The ending is to say the least abrupt but this book is a page turner so I was totally okay with that.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Leslie

    This was the frist, "Big" book, that I ever read. I can't really remember to much about the story. Some of the other reviewers, have commented on sex scences, but for the life of me, I don't remember any. But, I do remember liking the book. This was the frist, "Big" book, that I ever read. I can't really remember to much about the story. Some of the other reviewers, have commented on sex scences, but for the life of me, I don't remember any. But, I do remember liking the book.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Lew Wagerly

    Part lord of the flies, part pirates of the Caribbean written by the genius behind jaws. I wont say much more than that. Theres also a movie i guess but i myself hAve not seen it, could be good since while reading this i kept thinking to myself how well this would translate into film.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Brian

    Not to be confused with a "great American novel"...but this novel by the author of "JAWS" was pretty darn good! When a magazine writer who is having a "who am I?" phase of life discovers that hundreds of vessels and thousands of people have gone missing near the Turks and Caicos islands over the last several hundred years he takes his twelve year old son on an adventure. Not the best parenting moment, Maynard! This novel stands on its own as a suspenseful thriller....but you may not want to take Not to be confused with a "great American novel"...but this novel by the author of "JAWS" was pretty darn good! When a magazine writer who is having a "who am I?" phase of life discovers that hundreds of vessels and thousands of people have gone missing near the Turks and Caicos islands over the last several hundred years he takes his twelve year old son on an adventure. Not the best parenting moment, Maynard! This novel stands on its own as a suspenseful thriller....but you may not want to take it on your next cruise...

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kara Jorges

    Maynard is a frustrated journalist who gave up on writing anything important and settled into his life as a magazine writer, churning out assignments but enjoying some freelance work. One day, he stumbles across an amazing statistic: boats are disappearing in the Caicos Islands area of the Caribbean at a steady rate in numbers too high not to beg for an explanation. His editor, though not as excited about it as Maynard, gives him enough encouragement for Maynard to impulsively take a trip, dragg Maynard is a frustrated journalist who gave up on writing anything important and settled into his life as a magazine writer, churning out assignments but enjoying some freelance work. One day, he stumbles across an amazing statistic: boats are disappearing in the Caicos Islands area of the Caribbean at a steady rate in numbers too high not to beg for an explanation. His editor, though not as excited about it as Maynard, gives him enough encouragement for Maynard to impulsively take a trip, dragging his 12-year-old son Justin along for the ride. The Caicos are rather remote, and Maynard only manages to get there by hiring a drunken pilot who crashes his plane on landing. Left with time on his hands, Maynard coerces a friendly, retired professor into renting him a boat so he and his son can go fishing, then ignores the professor’s warnings about areas to stay away from, and soon finds out firsthand just exactly why all those boats have gone missing. He finds himself in a hidden island society governed by a harsh set of rules. The islanders welcome his young son into their midst, but Maynard is on borrowed time. He knows he has to escape and remove his impressionable son from the clutches of the islanders before they turn him into someone he doesn’t recognize, but his attempts all fail, and it seems hopeless. Even worse, it isn’t long before Justin seems to forget him and allies himself with the brutal islanders. Though this book put forth an interesting concept, when it was all said and done, there were too many inconsistencies in the plot for me to truly enjoy it. The idea of a society hidden away from the rest of the world for over 300 years was an interesting one, as well as the history concocted for it, but the characters did not ring true. Justin went from a cowering wimp who did nothing to defend himself or his father from an attack at the outset, to a murderer well on his way to leadership in a matter of days. Maynard was also too passive and his doomed escape attempts got annoying. A number of other angles in the plot were also contrived in a way that simply was not believable. I generally find Peter Benchley to be a very engaging writer, but not this time out. Perhaps his publisher rushed this one along, because it is not as well-woven as anything else he has written.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Brandon

    I've read plenty of books where they've found dinosaurs, dragons, samurai, and even medieval knights, but here we have the lost tribe of bonifide golden-aged-style pirates from the Spanish Main. Gotta love a good pirate story, especially when you can throw in a deck mounted .50 caliber machine gun. I will also say, the plot itself worked out a bit different than I was anticipating going into the book. In doing so, Benchley gave a vivid look into the inner workings of their little timeless pirate I've read plenty of books where they've found dinosaurs, dragons, samurai, and even medieval knights, but here we have the lost tribe of bonifide golden-aged-style pirates from the Spanish Main. Gotta love a good pirate story, especially when you can throw in a deck mounted .50 caliber machine gun. I will also say, the plot itself worked out a bit different than I was anticipating going into the book. In doing so, Benchley gave a vivid look into the inner workings of their little timeless pirate community. As a fan of Benchley's others works, Jaws being an obvious one, I was pleased that he pulled off non-monster from the deep story the way he did. On a last note: I read a few reviews from people talking about how the book was sexually explicit and all this other stuff.... no, not really. There may be some outdated and even outright fucked up practices mentioned, but there's not even a real sex scene in the whole book. I'm guessing those reviews are just from the same type of people who've only ever read sanitized history books. Either way, they missed the point that Benchley wasn't glorifying those practices, only being historically realistic.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Barron Dalton

    Although this book seemed outrageously unlikely in a few spots it nevertheless was a rollicking good concept and tale. I give this book an additional star (from 3 to 4) because I like the dust jacket art work that the hard cover first edition has. This book was released in 1979 so, it is also a nice trip back in time for me, having grown up in the 70's. I may read this book again in the future, as I am a big Benchley fan. Although this book seemed outrageously unlikely in a few spots it nevertheless was a rollicking good concept and tale. I give this book an additional star (from 3 to 4) because I like the dust jacket art work that the hard cover first edition has. This book was released in 1979 so, it is also a nice trip back in time for me, having grown up in the 70's. I may read this book again in the future, as I am a big Benchley fan.

  19. 4 out of 5

    William

    Read when published so the characters in my mind were developed from Benchley's great writing. NIGHTMARE! HELPLESS! Read when published so the characters in my mind were developed from Benchley's great writing. NIGHTMARE! HELPLESS!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    An amazingly campy, terrible, enjoyable beach read. After the success of Jaws, Benchley decided he could write just about anything and get it published, so he did. This potboiler is about a New York magazine editor who decides to investigate boats missing near the islands of Turks and Caicos. Once there, he runs afoul of the descendants of Carribean pirates who kidnap him and his son. (None of this is as exciting as it sounds.) The boy becomes apprentice to the head pirate while the magazine edi An amazingly campy, terrible, enjoyable beach read. After the success of Jaws, Benchley decided he could write just about anything and get it published, so he did. This potboiler is about a New York magazine editor who decides to investigate boats missing near the islands of Turks and Caicos. Once there, he runs afoul of the descendants of Carribean pirates who kidnap him and his son. (None of this is as exciting as it sounds.) The boy becomes apprentice to the head pirate while the magazine editor is sold to a desperate she-pirate for the purposes of fathering her child. (It is not as erotic as it sounds, and I know it does not sound erotic at all.) Benchley's plotting is kind of absurd - why go to such great lengths to have a New York Magazine editor be the hero? Why not a Miami Coast Guard recruit, or a Key West beach-comber? How are the Pirates able to operate so invisibly for hundreds of years? Why have a journalist/she-pirate romance that is not at all romantic? Anyway, none of this matters. As much as it gave me cheap thrills to hate read it, I know I will forget it soon enough. You might as well forget it exists as well. (Oh, there's also a movie starring Michael Caine. You can forget about that, too: https://youtu.be/TS6zbGPPL18)

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jeff

    If you love the sea and all the things Caribbean, then this book is for you. It helped my love for pirates grow into an obsession. Great book.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Samantha Greenya

    5 solely as a thriller, 1 as a story told. While Benchley's ability to capture the reader's attention and keep him thirsting, wondering what will come next, his story-telling abilities are lacking. It seems as if the book's only purpose is to provide ephemeral entertainment, not to tell an actual story. The reader is more interested in supporting characters (such as Whitey and Windsor) than the flat, uninteresting excuses for main characters. The central problem of the story is delved into way too 5 solely as a thriller, 1 as a story told. While Benchley's ability to capture the reader's attention and keep him thirsting, wondering what will come next, his story-telling abilities are lacking. It seems as if the book's only purpose is to provide ephemeral entertainment, not to tell an actual story. The reader is more interested in supporting characters (such as Whitey and Windsor) than the flat, uninteresting excuses for main characters. The central problem of the story is delved into way too quickly. We are hardly introduced to the characters, we are told only of Blair's occupation and divorce with child. The book seems to have been cut short, like the author was given a page limit. He does not develop his characters and as soon as a sloppy resolution was reached, the book ended. There seems to be no true resolution because we do not see how these events effect the characters' lives. Benchley concentrates only on the events and not the people who experience them, like a topical news story of a freak-accident. The author also uses blatant foreshadowing which also makes the book seem severely truncated. The first idea he hears about where the missing boats went (besides the obvious) he believes as truth with little to no questioning. Additionally, these unsuccessful modern day buccaneers were obviously not successful enough to count for much of a percentage of the missing boats. During the time Maynard spent in the colony, the buccaneers seemed to attack, on average, one boat every three weeks. This would mean they would bring down roughly 17 boats a year. It is likely that they might not have even reached this number considering how unsuccessful they had been at the time that Maynard had arrived. Either way, these 17 or so missing boats a year does not make a dent in the 600 that went missing. They are certainly not a substantial enough amount to be investigated. As the people themselves mention, they are "phantoms" because no one misses 17 or so missing boats at sea. Boats vanish all the time, why should anyone believe these boats didn't just vanish like the others? Benchley seems to believe that 12-year old's are stupid. He makes Justin seem as if he is roughly as smart as a 6 year old. At one point, he makes a comment that he knows that they're "not in the US" or something to that effect. A child of 12 should have a certain knowledge of geology beyond that they live in the United States, especially if that child attends an expensive private school in New York. This book seemed to have one specific target audience: 30+ men. The author continuously uses confusing gun and sailing jargon that would only enhance the story to those who are particularly experienced in those categories. He does not bother to explain any of these meaningless-to-most terms as if he is saying, "if you do not know what this means, you are ignorant and do not deserve to understand what's going on, anyway." Even though the book was a train wreck as a novel, Benchley's talent for creating a gripping thriller is amazing. In the more action-focused parts of the story, the reader can not tear away. Not only does he keep your attention, but he creates many unforeseen twists and turns that one would never have thought of if the author hadn't mentioned them. This is most likely why this book and Jaws were so successful. In movies, the general public is looking for a quick thrill. They do not want to care about the characters, they want throw-away characters who can die without the audience feeling a thing. They don't want to be stuck in the theater for an hour developing a connection with complex characters only to have them die within the next hour or two. For that reason, this book is eaten up by the general public but not by those who are looking for more than simply a scare in a book.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan Forisha

    I love pirates, so I was pretty pumped for this one. It starts out strong and Benchley's great with dialogue so things flowed pretty well, but then for some reason our protagonist is hopping a plane to Miami with his son, and then they're buying a gun before they board progressively sketchier means of transportation to get to some island he hasn't even heard of before. Why the gun when he didn't feel he had anything to worry about yet? Why bring his son? Why not stop and think about anything? So I love pirates, so I was pretty pumped for this one. It starts out strong and Benchley's great with dialogue so things flowed pretty well, but then for some reason our protagonist is hopping a plane to Miami with his son, and then they're buying a gun before they board progressively sketchier means of transportation to get to some island he hasn't even heard of before. Why the gun when he didn't feel he had anything to worry about yet? Why bring his son? Why not stop and think about anything? So then they're on an island of marooned pirates that have somehow been thriving for 300 years. The part that really bugged me was the fact that 612 boats have gone missing in this area, and no one but our protagonist seems to care. That's a LOT of boats, and I simply don't buy that everyone would chalk it up to natural occurrences or seafaring idiocy. The ending was quite rushed and felt like a bit of a copout, and overall anytime violence happened, the gore seemed very over the top. All in all, I wanted to love this book and just almost did before it took a turn so implausibly dumb that even I, a guy reading a book about legit pirates being pirates in the modern world, couldn't take it.

  24. 4 out of 5

    David Merrill

    I have to admit, I enjoyed this book a lot more than I expected to. I was pretty much in the mood for something like this when I picked it up, a fast moving thriller. I was expecting to give it 4 stars through most of it, but as I got to the end, it fell off the rails. this book was in desperate need of a different ending. There will be spoilers past this point in my review, in case you want to stop here. I think it was at the point where Manuel "helps" Maynard and Justin "escape" things become I have to admit, I enjoyed this book a lot more than I expected to. I was pretty much in the mood for something like this when I picked it up, a fast moving thriller. I was expecting to give it 4 stars through most of it, but as I got to the end, it fell off the rails. this book was in desperate need of a different ending. There will be spoilers past this point in my review, in case you want to stop here. I think it was at the point where Manuel "helps" Maynard and Justin "escape" things become impossible. There's no way Manuel could have rigged the boat to sink. It would have been better had Maynard just decided to return for Justin. At least I could have accepted that. It only gets worse from there as the pirates trick there way onto the Coast Guard vessel. We even have a set up like in Jaws when they make sure to point out the explosive nature of the air tanks. Did anyone NOT realize the tank would be involved in the killing of the shark? Here it's the sailor cleaning the mounted machine gun. You had to know it would be used in some way. I'm not sure what would have made a better ending, but it's hard to imagine one could come up with a worse one than this. I decided to watch the movie after I read the book. In this case Benchley also wrote the screenplay. I'm not sure whose decision it was to change the ending for the movie, but it was a really good call. While it still had some of the same problems, some were eliminated. As I was watching the end, I came up with what would have been a much better closing scene. In the movie Justin ends up tied up by the last surviving pirate. His father fights the pirate and wins. He walks over to Justin. Eventually he hugs him and unites him. Instead it would have been better if he'd looked into his sons eyes and asked, "What's your name?" Because it would have been entirely possible if he answered with his pirate name, he might have tried to kill his father once free. If he answered Justin, his father would have known it was safe to free him.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jeremy

    Found this while cleaning out a house and thought I'd give it a shot. I remembered a little misogyny in Jaws, but in this book it drips with it right out of the gate. Didn't get very far. Found this while cleaning out a house and thought I'd give it a shot. I remembered a little misogyny in Jaws, but in this book it drips with it right out of the gate. Didn't get very far.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Lesley

    Peter Benchley has a great deal of knowledge about the high seas and the dangers that sailors encounter. He weaves this knowledge seamlessly into this story of a young boy and his father as they go on an adventure to find out why more than 600 ships had disappeared over the past year (an actual fact that had lead him to the idea of this book). I felt I learned a few things from this book and I was entertained along the way. I'd say that's a pretty good deal and would recommend this book. It's al Peter Benchley has a great deal of knowledge about the high seas and the dangers that sailors encounter. He weaves this knowledge seamlessly into this story of a young boy and his father as they go on an adventure to find out why more than 600 ships had disappeared over the past year (an actual fact that had lead him to the idea of this book). I felt I learned a few things from this book and I was entertained along the way. I'd say that's a pretty good deal and would recommend this book. It's always fun to read stuff that was written during your childhood (this is early seventies), and relive how people got along without computers and cell phones and because I lived through those years I can fill in the blanks and relate to how things were then.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Micah Konyha

    Peter Benchley is best known for his book Jaws. The Island shows he is not a one hit wonder. The intrigue and mystery in this book was fun. The ending was unexpected and fun.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Greg Zimmermann

    I gave this * because it is truly a piece of trash, but this is still nostalgically the best piece of trash I’ve ever read. Pure, ridiculous, schlocky trash. Give it a whirl anyhow.

  29. 4 out of 5

    K.J. Shadmand

    A thought-provoking foray into the lives, social structure and moral code of buccaneers and their 20th century descendants isn’t enough to compensate for the disjointed and sometimes dull narrative arc, underdeveloped characters and pointless scatological humour. Worth reading, if only for the fact that Benchley was so knowledgeable about the oceans, sailing, and the realities of life both at sea and on board ocean-faring vessels. Some of the descriptions of the waters and its rich life hint at A thought-provoking foray into the lives, social structure and moral code of buccaneers and their 20th century descendants isn’t enough to compensate for the disjointed and sometimes dull narrative arc, underdeveloped characters and pointless scatological humour. Worth reading, if only for the fact that Benchley was so knowledgeable about the oceans, sailing, and the realities of life both at sea and on board ocean-faring vessels. Some of the descriptions of the waters and its rich life hint at what might have been this author’s greatest talent, but then one gets sidetracked into piratical history and anthropology. This is fair enough, but I had been hoping for something more preternatural, something more hard-hitting. Even so, The Island is quite learned and very easy reading. Good for taking on holiday to the tropics, but only for the strong-hearted!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Laraine

    3 - 3 1/2 stars. I've had this book for years and decided to reread it. From the man who brought you "Jaws", Benchley writes a good little thriller that is a fast read. Blair Maynard is a single dad who works as a magazine writer. Looking for something new to write about, he discovers that in one area of the Caribbean, hundreds of boats and people have been disappearing for years without anyone taking any action about it. With his 12 year old son Justin in tow, he sets out to try to discover wha 3 - 3 1/2 stars. I've had this book for years and decided to reread it. From the man who brought you "Jaws", Benchley writes a good little thriller that is a fast read. Blair Maynard is a single dad who works as a magazine writer. Looking for something new to write about, he discovers that in one area of the Caribbean, hundreds of boats and people have been disappearing for years without anyone taking any action about it. With his 12 year old son Justin in tow, he sets out to try to discover what is causing this and ends up flying to a remote island in the Turks and Caicos following some leads. But when he gets there, he finds out what is causing the mysterious disappearances and gets more than he bargains for. A not bad little thriller.

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