Close to Shore

Version: Abridged
Author: Michael Capuzzo
Narrator: Len Cariou
Genres: History, Mystery, Thriller & Horror
Publisher: Random House (Audio)
Published In: May 2001
# of Units: 5 CDs
Length: 6 hours
Ratings:
Tell Your Friends:

Overview

Four deaths. One maiming. One shark. . .

In mesmerizing detail, journalist Michael Capuzzo's CLOSE TO SHORE recounts the dramatic true story of a series of shark attacks that occurred along the New Jersey shore in July 1916 — resulting in the largest shark hunt in history, and the end of Americans' naivete about the dangers of the sea. Anchored by harrowing and graphic recreations of a rogue Great White Shark's attacks on five swimmers in two beach towns —as well as in a farming community eleven miles inland — the narrative examines the behavior of the ocean's greatest predator and the lives and worldview of pre-World War I Americans. The novelistic narrative evokes both the chilling specter of sharks and the rich historical backdrop of Gilded Age America, an era when Americans were just beginning to swim in the ocean, and the Jersey shore, thanks to the railroads, was coming into its own as a playground for America's new leisure class. Woven throughout is the theme of how these shark attacks metaphorically marked the end of an "innocent" age in America when a ship was considered unsinkable and a shark, experts believed, hadn't the jaw strength to hurt a man.

Based on in-depth archival research into accounts of the attacks from 1916 newspapers and science journals and existing interviews with victims' relatives as well as research and reporting on the social and cultural currents of the era and on what we have learned about sharks in the intervening decades, CLOSE TO SHORE paints vivid portraits of individuals ranging from tourists, local citizens and shore developers to scientists, shark experts and hunters. Capuzzo intersperses the spellbinding narrative with fascinating insights on shark behavior and on the evolving human-shark relationship, incorporating tales of shark attacks that occurred elsewhere and at other times to create a timeless account of our relationship with man's last natural predator.

Reviews (7)

Close to Shore

Written by nab6215 from Altoona, PA on November 5th, 2015

  • Book Rating: 5/5

If you look at my reading list you'll see I'm eclectic, but this is probably not one you'd think would be there. But it is New Jersey history and I like know as much as I can about my home state. A lot of weird things happen in New Jersey. Michael Capuzzo told the story from the timeline of the shark and the people the shark was about to encounter. It was a novel approach. The shark was more "confirmed" gone more by lack of attacks than by acceptance that he had been killed. I feel Mr. Capuzzo tried to tell an unbiased story. This allowed me to unravel how sharks got their differing reputations. It was also fun to see the genesis for the story of Jaws. I recommend the book.

Skip it

Written by Anonymous on January 5th, 2010

  • Book Rating: 1/5

I couldn't even make it through the first cd. The story kept jumping around and was difficult to follow.

close to shore

Written by Charles Chillingworth from Pasadena, CA on May 19th, 2008

  • Book Rating: 5/5

outstanding book; could not wait to get back in my car. Historical contextualization made a thrilling story all the more interesting.

Close to Shore

Written by Adam from New York, NY on October 30th, 2007

  • Book Rating: 4/5

Very exciting well read book. Great mixture of history and marine biology. I rooted for the shark.

White Shark

Written by DJG from Norwich, VT on March 15th, 2006

  • Book Rating: 5/5

This exciting thriller is very well written with information I did not know about 1910's. The writer leads the reader/listener in suspenseful journey as one sees the dangers and how they could have been prevented. I truly enjoyed the book and the hard copy of it is read by may of my friends.

Interesting Bit of History

Written by MLG on January 16th, 2006

  • Book Rating: 5/5

A very good book. For readers who like an interesting story, this is one of the best I've encountered. The author takes the known facts and makes reasonable conclusions, and really seems to have a flair for capturing the spirit of the early 20th Century.

Close to Shore

Written by David Cole from Oak Park, IL on February 19th, 2005

  • Book Rating: 4/5

Very interesting story, particularly if you have both an interest in Sharks and Jersey Shore geography

Author Details

Author Details

Capuzzo, Michael

Michael Capuzzo is the author of the "New York Times" bestseller "Close to Shore" and a former feature writer for the "Philadelphia Inquirer" and the "Miami Herald". His stories have appeared in "Esquire, Sports Illustrated", and "Life". He lives in the suburbs of Philadelphia.