RIP Peter Benchley

mosogama

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It was Peter Benchley's "Beast" that actually got me interested in Architeuthis, and squid in general. Apart from his "monster" books, Peter Benchley wrote some very good books, including "The Girl of the Sea of Cortez" (which was given to me at a young age by my Grandmother and got me interested in the ocean and all her creatures) and Rummies - quite a funny, political type fiction. The world has lost a good man. May he Rest in Peace. Cheers.
 

Toren

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Not to sidetrack the discussion, but I've been recently watching the Looney Tunes Golden Collections, which are great, and it's great to see the old animators and voice actors talking about their work on the commentaries and features. They're quite old, of course, and along with the fact that Chuck Jones and Mel Blanc and others have passed on, it really gets you thinking about mortality. A sad fact but thankfully we still have their cartoons to make us laugh.
 

cthulhu77

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Although his prose was somewhat...derivative, it is too bad that he died that way. I would much rather he was chewed up and swallowed by a few sharks, after the massive amount of shark killing that came about due to his book, "jaws".
He got off easy, in my opinion.
 

Graeme

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I've never read any of his work. 'Course I've seen the movie Jaws (and been on the ride:biggrin2:), and I think I know some of the differences between them. Is his work any good? I know this is a bit of a "whisky question" (meaning one person can't say what the best is since everyone's taste is obviously different:wink:) but what are his books like? Are they any good?

Roadkill Demon
 
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cthulhu77 said:
...I would much rather he was chewed up and swallowed by a few sharks, after the massive amount of shark killing that came about due to his book, "jaws".
He got off easy, in my opinion.
While that is true, he did try to make things better and did a lot later in his life to help sharks. I read a book by him last summer where he was defending sharks and I saw a movie where he talked about "jaws" and the controversy it caused and the importance of shark conservation. I think the public has to be blamed for the killing of sharks becuase they overreacted to a fiction novel.

Anyway RIP


Ben
 

mosogama

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Graeme said:
I've never read any of his work. 'Course I've seen the movie Jaws (and been on the ride:biggrin2:), and I think I know some of the differences between them. Is his work any good? I know this is a bit of a "whisky question" (meaning one person can't say what the best is since everyone's taste is obviously different:wink:) but what are his books like? Are they any good?

Roadkill Demon

I personally like his work. In my opinion, he was a good writer. I don't think Jaws or Beast were his best works at all, but, just the fact that so many people were terrified to go in the water after reading either of them, lets you know that he could certainly spin a yarn. Check out the two books I've mentioned previously and let me know what you think.
 

Graeme

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Cool! Will do! >makes mental note: Jaws and Beast<
Oh, and bmatson, I agree with your statement, mainly because considering the music I listen to, I've seen many cases of that; where where it's so easy for someone to lamp all the blame on the music or the bands, than to accept the responsibility themselves!

Graeme
 

monty

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this seems apropos

Reuter's reports shark attacks down ( on news of Benchley's demise?)

http://today.reuters.com/news/newsa...N13264787_RTRUKOC_0_US-ENVIRONMENT-SHARKS.xml

I don't know that it's fair to blame Benchley much for public hysteria -- although I don't like misinformation (and was bugged even more by that in the movie of "The Beast" ) I've also noticed that what the public does with information is often far lower quality than the original. A favorite example was that I read about "Generation X" in Time magazine and various places like that, and was invariably disgusted about how people saw it as reasonable to categorize people around my age similarly to (but generally more negatively than) "baby boomers" and how they seemed to love inventing labels and stereotypes. However, when I overcame my disgust and actually looked into Douglas Copeland's original "Generation X" book, I found that he was quite an interesting sort of "contemporary anthropologist" type, and his observations about cultural subgroups are usually interesting and spot-on. Unfortunately, journalists and the public generally miss most of that when they jargonify his stuff...

I suspect blaming Benchley for shark attitudes of the press and public is probably similar.
 

cthulhu77

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Hmmm. Really?
Actually, because he wrote one hell of a good book about a single shark, thousands of people decided that it would be a good idea to wipe out the larger sharks from the ocean.
Cash is king, I suppose. The book should never have been published, nor the the movie ever made. But what the heck, I guess more $$$ in your pocket, and your conscience means nothing, right? It's always someone else's fault...seems to be the prevailing opinion of the times.

Crap.

greg
 
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Yeah but the fact is it is fiction. How was Benchley supposed to know it would cause widespread panic. Do you think other fiction books shouldn't be published becuase they may cause controversy? It is too bad what happened to sharks from the writing of the book, but you can't blame Benchley or the publishers for making the it.

Ben
 

monty

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cthulhu77 said:
Hmmm. Really?
Actually, because he wrote one hell of a good book about a single shark, thousands of people decided that it would be a good idea to wipe out the larger sharks from the ocean.
Cash is king, I suppose. The book should never have been published, nor the the movie ever made. But what the heck, I guess more $$$ in your pocket, and your conscience means nothing, right? It's always someone else's fault...seems to be the prevailing opinion of the times.

Crap.

greg

Just because it's clear in retrospect that the book inspired the killing of the sharks doesn't mean it was at all obvious at the time he decided to write it that it would lead to that. And once the door was opened, I don't know that he could change it any...

I think you should be grumpy at sharkfin soup eaters as much as Benchley, myself....
 
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