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'Jaws' Author Peter Benchley Dies at 65

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'Jaws' Author Peter Benchley Dies at 65

Old 02-12-06, 05:58 PM
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'Jaws' Author Peter Benchley Dies at 65

By HILLEL ITALIE, AP National Writer 34 minutes ago

NEW YORK - Peter Benchley, whose novel "Jaws" terrorized millions of swimmers even as the author himself became an advocate for the conservation of sharks, has died at age 65, his widow said Sunday.

Wendy Benchley, married to the author for 41 years, said he died Saturday night at their home in Princeton, N.J. The cause of death, she said, was idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a progressive and a fatal scarring of the lungs.

Thanks to Benchley's 1974 novel, and
Steven Spielberg's blockbuster movie of the same name, the simple act of ocean swimming became synonymous with fatal horror, of still water followed by ominous, pumping music, then teeth and blood and panic.

Old 02-13-06, 01:51 AM
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JAWS is on my all time favourites list. I was 13 at the time when I first read it and it sure made an impression. After reading the book I scoured the local library for books on sharks and became fascinated by them.

Only 65

Old 02-13-06, 04:07 AM
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Sorry to hear it. Jaws is a novel that has stayed with me for years. He will be missed.
Old 02-13-06, 08:16 AM
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Sad news - he was younger than I thought he was.

Also odd that I was thinking of him indirectly a few days ago. I saw the movie Into the Blue on Thursday and noticed the strong similarities to The Deep, which was based on one Benchley's novels, so it made me wonder what he thought of this newer movie.
Old 02-13-06, 08:32 AM
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Sad loss. RIP.
Old 02-13-06, 10:34 AM
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i really liked Jaws and The Island as a kid. coincidentally, my sister lived next to him for a couple of years in Princeton and said he was a nice enough fellow. RIP
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Count me as another one that became facinated about sharks and marine life because of Jaws. I saw a lecture he gave a few years back about shark conservation in NYC. He came across as a very kind man, signing books and taking many questions.

He will most certainly be missed.
Old 02-18-06, 09:59 AM
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I had picked up an old hardcover of Jaws a summer or two ago at a garage sale, and never got around to reading it. I finally pulled it off the shelf after reading this earlier this week and finished it up last night. I was very impressed with all the extra subtext that was missing from the movie, and it really helped the supernatural feel of the beast. I can appreciate the movie streamlining it for the screen, but this makes an excellent companion.

Also, I can't figure out what printing this is, it's got a black dust jacket, and there's no printing info inside. It's copyright 1974, and in fair shape. Any way to tell?

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