Reader Review: Reviewer note: My review copy was an uncorrected bound proof and may not match final published ebook. I am a huge fan of sharks. I have been since childhood, and even today I have an entire shelf dedicated to shark figurines and toys. So it was with great excitement that I began to dig into the pages of Juliet Eilperin's Demon Fish. Demon Fish is less a traditional book on sharks than it is a study into how humans have interacted with them throughout history. Or, at least, that is how the book is marketed. Unfortunately, Demon Fish is bedeviled by a poorly executed delivery that spends more time wagging a damning finger than offering significant insight. The book opens with a fascinating study into Shark Calling, an ancient custom still practiced in Papua New Guinea. Like many island cultures introduced to Christianity by missionaries, the people of Papua New Guinea have almost seamlessly blended their ancient rites with their adopted Christian beliefs. We are introduced to Karasimbe, one of the most respected shark callers of his generation. And through him we see a glimpse into a forgotten past when sharks were spiritual brethren with humanity. But after this strong beginning, the book begins to retread familiar territory. Eilperin rehashes the tale of how the movie Jaws changed how people viewed sharks. She repeatedly works her way back to condemnation of China's obsession for shark fin soup. She points her accusing finger at world environmental bodies that refuse to take a stand to protect sharks. Instead of an original exploration of how humans and sharks have interacted over the centuries, we are given a repackaging of stuff that has already been done. If you have ever watched Shark Week on the Discovery Channel, 80% of this book is old news to you. There are a few amusing antidotes. In particular, her narrative regarding the conversations concerning sharks that came up while she was a reporter on John McCain's Straight Talk Express during the 2008 election cycle. But though amusing, it really doesn't add much to the book. And this is the ultimate problem. Eilperin is a charming conversationalist, but not an eloquent journalist. At times, the book feels like you are talking to a very friendly but somewhat flighty friend who can't seem to stay focused long enough to get to the point. And when she does regain focus, it is to tell you something she already said. If you are new to the world of sharks and the dangers they face from humans, Demon Fish is a good launching point. Eilperin's writing style is clear and accessible to even the most casual reader. But for those who have longstanding interest in these amazing creatures, the book does little to add to what we already know.
A group of traders huddles around a pile of dried shark fins on a gleaming white floor in Hong Kong. A Papua New Guinean elder shoves off in his hand-carved canoe, ready to summon a shark with ancient magic. A scientist finds a rare shark in Indonesia and forges a deal with villagers so it and other species can survive.
In this eye-opening adventure that spans the globe, Juliet Eilperin investigates the fascinating ways different individuals and cultures relate to the ocean’s top predator. Along the way, she reminds us why, after millions of years, sharks remain among nature’s most awe-inspiring creatures.
From Belize to South Africa, from Shanghai to Bimini, we see that sharks are still the object of an obsession that may eventually lead to their extinction. This is why movie stars and professional athletes go shark hunting in Miami and why shark’s fin soup remains a coveted status symbol in China. Yet we also see glimpses of how people and sharks can exist alongside one another: surfers tolerating their presence off Cape Town and ecotourists swimming with sharks that locals in the YucatÁn no longer have to hunt.
With a reporter’s instinct for a good story and a scientist’s curiosity, Eilperin offers us an up-close understanding of these extraordinary, mysterious creatures in the most entertaining and illuminating shark encounter you’re likely to find outside a steel cage.
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|Title of eBook: Demon Fish|
|Release Date: 06-14-2011|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group|
This eBook download is available in the following formats:
|Parent title||Demon Fish|
|Devices||Samsung Tablet, Apple Ipad & Iphone, Barnes & Noble Nook, Kobo eReader, Aluratek Libre, Iliad, Nokia, Blackberry, Hanlin|
|Note||ePub, short for electronic publication is one of our favorites and should be yours for a couple of reasons. ePub offers reflowable text giving you flexibility to manipulate how the content is presented. Moreover, lots of cool features are now being developed for the reader like advanced video and audio. ePub is now an industry standard, so all of the "non-propreitary" hardware manufacturers are now supporting it.|