Do you think he heard that music?
February 12, 2006 4:10 PM   Subscribe

Peter Benchley is now sleeping with the fishes.
posted by mr_crash_davis (31 comments total)

 
Well, that sucks. I'm not a big fan of his later work (other than Beast, for its pure squidness), but Jaws was the book that first got me into writing fiction as a junior highschooler. Hell, most of what I wrote back then involved sea creatures of some sort (Mosasaurs, octopi, etc.). Here's to ya, Pete.

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posted by brundlefly at 4:22 PM on February 12, 2006


Sad news, albeit tactlessly presented.
posted by kaemaril at 4:29 PM on February 12, 2006


Jaws still ranks up there as one of my all time favorites, both the book and the movie.

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posted by HuronBob at 4:29 PM on February 12, 2006


. What kaemaril said. Cue the shark jokes.
posted by Smart Dalek at 4:30 PM on February 12, 2006


Cool post!
posted by alumshubby at 4:32 PM on February 12, 2006


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posted by squink at 4:36 PM on February 12, 2006


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posted by Busithoth at 4:37 PM on February 12, 2006


Jaws was a great book. All his other books I saw were just some form of scary ass sea critter being jaws. Still, there's something to be said for consistancy.

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posted by absalom at 4:46 PM on February 12, 2006


And after swimming with the sharks for so long. In 2000, Benchley had some interesting comments about them:
I could never have written Jaws today. That is not to say that I am apologising. I am not offering redress. I don't atone. It is just that 25 years on we know a lot more about sharks.

We don't just fear our predators. We are transfixed by them. Jaws taps into that fear. That's what has made it so successful.

Man has no right to extinguish any species. A shark is nature at its most perfect. It governs the rest of the food chain. Sharks survived whatever it was that wiped out the dinosaurs. They were around 400 million years ago. My fear has turned to respect.
Attitudes to Sharks
posted by cenoxo at 4:53 PM on February 12, 2006


We're gonna need a bigger boat.
posted by stenseng at 5:02 PM on February 12, 2006


"Show me the way to go home..."
posted by brundlefly at 5:06 PM on February 12, 2006


"I'm tired and I wanna go to bed...."
posted by keswick at 5:18 PM on February 12, 2006


Wasn't his last book some nut-case Global Warming is a fraud text?
posted by A189Nut at 5:26 PM on February 12, 2006


That would be Michael Crichton, not Peter Benchley.
posted by trey at 5:28 PM on February 12, 2006


"I had a little drink about an hour ago..."
posted by brundlefly at 5:45 PM on February 12, 2006


Peter Benchley is now sleeping with the fishes.

I thought that was Luca Brasi.
posted by kirkaracha at 5:58 PM on February 12, 2006


"Here's to swim'n with bow legged women..."

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posted by tkchrist at 6:01 PM on February 12, 2006


Ha! Indeed.
posted by brundlefly at 6:09 PM on February 12, 2006


absalom said 'Jaws was a great book. All his other books I saw were just some form of scary ass sea critter being jaws.'

Are you saying that, after Jaws, he jumped the shark.
posted by jack_mo at 6:11 PM on February 12, 2006


By the way, cenoxo, that pie graph is very encouraging to me. It needs to be better, but thank you.
posted by brundlefly at 6:11 PM on February 12, 2006


I'd say he isn't sleeping with the fishes, but is instead swimming with he sharks.

Benchley wrote one of my favorite bad books, turned into a great bad movie-- The Island.

Pirates!
posted by Astro Zombie at 6:12 PM on February 12, 2006


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posted by shmegegge at 6:30 PM on February 12, 2006


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posted by Staggering Jack at 7:51 PM on February 12, 2006


"Sleeping with the fishes" refers to drowning, doesn't it? Any author, and certainly the grandson of Robert Benchley, deserves a better send off than this poorly drawn pun.
posted by soiled cowboy at 8:21 PM on February 12, 2006


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posted by JeremyT at 8:36 PM on February 12, 2006


My family drove to florida shortly after I saw Jaws. I wouldn't put my feet in the footwell...because of sharks.

Good times.
posted by srboisvert at 3:05 AM on February 13, 2006


What happened?

Japanese submarine slammed two torpedoes into her side, Chief. We was comin' back from the island of Tinian to Leyte. We'd just delivered the bomb. The Hiroshima bomb. Eleven hundred men went into the water. Vessel went down in 12 minutes. Didn't see the first shark for about a half-hour. Tiger. 13-footer. You know how you know that in the water, Chief? You can tell by lookin' from the dorsal to the tail. What we didn't know, was that our bomb mission was so secret, no distress signal had been sent. They didn't even list us overdue for a week. Very first light, Chief, sharks come cruisin' by, so we formed ourselves into tight groups. It was sorta like you see in the calendars, you know the infantry squares in the old calendars like the Battle of Waterloo and the idea was the shark come to the nearest man, that man he starts poundin' and hollerin' and sometimes that shark he go away... but sometimes he wouldn't go away. Sometimes that shark looks right at ya. Right into your eyes. And the thing about a shark is he's got lifeless eyes. Black eyes. Like a doll's eyes. When he comes at ya, he doesn't even seem to be livin'... 'til he bites ya, and those black eyes roll over white and then... ah then you hear that terrible high-pitched screamin'. The ocean turns red, and despite all your poundin' and your hollerin' those sharks come in and... they rip you to pieces. You know by the end of that first dawn, lost a hundred men. I don't know how many sharks there were, maybe a thousand. I do know how many men, they averaged six an hour. Thursday mornin', Chief, I bumped into a friend of mine, Herbie Robinson from Cleveland. Baseball player. Boson's mate. I thought he was asleep. I reached over to wake him up. He bobbed up, down in the water, he was like a kinda top. Upended. Well, he'd been bitten in half below the waist. At noon on the fifth day, a Lockheed Ventura swung in low and he spotted us, a young pilot, lot younger than Mr. Hooper here, anyway he spotted us and a few hours later a big ol' fat PBY come down and started to pick us up. You know that was the time I was most frightened. Waitin' for my turn. I'll never put on a lifejacket again. So, eleven hundred men went into the water. 316 men come out, the sharks took the rest, June the 29th, 1945.
Anyway, we delivered the bomb.


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posted by CunningLinguist at 6:29 AM on February 13, 2006 [1 favorite]


The USS Indianapolis.
posted by cenoxo at 6:55 AM on February 13, 2006


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posted by SisterHavana at 8:21 AM on February 13, 2006


CunningL: you rock.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 1:17 PM on February 13, 2006


Actually Peter Benchley didn't write the Indianapolis monologue. IMDb credits three others for it: Howard Sackler, John Milius and Robert Shaw. I had thought that Milius wrote it alone, I'm not sure what Sackler and Shaw contributed.
posted by soiled cowboy at 6:30 PM on February 13, 2006


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