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BookBrowse Reviews The Devil's Teeth by Susan Casey

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The Devil's Teeth

A True Story of Survival and Obsession Among America's Great White Sharks

by Susan Casey

The Devil's Teeth by Susan Casey X
The Devil's Teeth by Susan Casey
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  • First Published:
    Jun 2005, 304 pages

    Paperback:
    May 2006, 304 pages

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A vivid dispatch from an otherworldly outpost ruled by Great White Sharks. Adventure/Nature

From the book jacket: A journalist's obsession brings her to a remote island off the California coast, home to the world's most mysterious and fearsome predators - Great White Sharks - and the strange band of surfer-scientists who study them on the Southeast Farallon Islands. The Devil's Teeth is a vivid dispatch from an otherworldly outpost, a story of crossing the boundary between society and an untamed place where humans are neither wanted nor needed.

Comment: The Farallon Islands (dubbed by sailors in the 1850s the "devil's teeth") are composed of crumbling 89-million-year-old granite. Located just 27 miles off the coast of San Francisco, on the edge of the continental shelf, they are home to the largest population of Great Whites in the USA and are one of the most inhospitable places (for humans) in the world.

It's difficult to decide who is the most compelling contender for the role of "star" in Casey's book. Is it the sharks, the islands, or the surfer-scientists who choose to live their lives studying the sharks in this extraordinary place? Or perhaps it's the one remaining sea-urchin diver who still works the area, elbowing sharks out of the way as he goes about his business!
All in all, a gripping read (pun intended!) and highly recommended!

"Susan Casey could write about guppies, and I'd want to read her book. I devoured this book like a shark." - Mary Roach, author of Stiff.

This review was originally published in The BookBrowse Review in July 2005, and has been updated for the June 2006 edition. Click here to go to this issue.

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