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The Devil's Teeth: A True Story of Obsession…

The Devil's Teeth: A True Story of Obsession and Survival Among America's… (2005)

by Susan Casey

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A fascinating account of the Farallone Islands and the author's obsession with studying (or just seeing) the large sharks that frequent the waters around there. I think she was somewhat naive; but I probably would have done the same thing. ( )
  BookConcierge | Jan 25, 2016 |
These islands are an amazing and intersting place to read about. The writing is easy to read and the subject very interesting.

( )
  Jen.ODriscoll.Lemon | Jan 23, 2016 |
These islands are an amazing and intersting place to read about. The writing is easy to read and the subject very interesting.

( )
  Jen.ODriscoll.Lemon | Jan 23, 2016 |
Freaking AWESOME. Susan's experiences suck the reader right into the book, & the way she writes, you feel like you are right there with her. It's exciting, funny, makes you smile, makes you cringe, & makes you go ow WOW, I never knew that! This book was just COOL. It made me want to see them too! I was SO glad she included photos from the history of the islands, as well as color pics of the recent activity that she saw. They brought the book to vivid life ( )
  Lisa.Johnson.James | Apr 10, 2014 |
What an amazing book! The Devil's Teeth gives you a whole new point of view of not only these wonderful sharks, but also of the scientist who daily put their lives on the line to study these creatures. This book is so well written, you feel like you are right there with them on the boat, almost felt seasick even!! Access to these island's is not easily granted, but Susan Casey did an amazing job at sharing her insider access. A book that I will never forget! ( )
  CocacolaGirl | Mar 13, 2014 |
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Humanity is exalted not because we are so far above all living creatures, but because knowing them well elevates the very concept of life. [Edward O. Wilson]
Every angel is terrifying. [Rainer Maria Rilke]
To my family: Ron, Angela, Bob, and Bill, who taught me to love the wild things.
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The killing took place at dawn and as usual it was a decapitation, accomplished by a single vicious swipe.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0805080112, Paperback)

In a post-Jaws/Discovery Channel world, unearthing fresh data on great white sharks is a feat. So credit Susan Casey not just with finding and spotlighting two biologists who have done truly pioneering field research on the beasts but also with following them and their subjects into the heart of one of the most unnatural habitats on Earth: the Farallon Islands. Though just 30 miles due west of San Francisco, the Farallones--nicknamed the Devil's Teeth for their ragged appearance and raging inhospitality--are utterly alien, which may explain why each autumn, packs of great whites return to gorge on the seals and sea lions that gather there before returning to the Pacific and beyond. That Casey, via her biologist buddies Peter Pyle and Scot Anderson, can even report that sharks apparently follow migratory feeding patterns is a revelation. Throughout The Devil's Teeth, Casey makes clear that year upon year of observing the sharks have given Pyle and Anderson (and by extension, us) insights into shark behavior that are entirely new and too numerous to list. The otherworldly Farallon Islands, meanwhile, also dominate Casey's engaging tale as she charts their transformation from ultradangerous source of wild eggs in the 19th century to ultradangerous real-life shark lab and bird sanctuary today. Despite the plethora of factoids on offer, Casey's style is consistently digestible and very amusing. She also has a knack for putting things into perspective. Take this characteristic passage:
The Farallon great whites are largely unharassed. They might cross paths with the occasional boatload of day-trippers from San Francisco, but they're subjected to none of the behavior-altering coercion that nature's top predators regularly endure so that people can sit in the Winnebago... and get a look at them. This is important because despite their visibility at the Farallones, and despite the impressive truth that sharks are so old they predate trees, great whites have remained among the most mysterious of creatures."
By book's end, it's hard to know what's more captivating: The biologists' groundbreaking data, Casey's primer on the evolution of the Farallones, the islands' symbiotic relationships with the sharks, the gulls and sea lions they attract, or the outpost's resident ghosts. Frankly, it's a nice problem to have. --Kim Hughes

Getting to Know the Great White

It was a BBC documentary on great white sharks visiting California's Farallon Islands that turned Susan Casey from an editor of adventure and outdoors stories in such magazines as Outside to a journalist obsessed with an outdoors adventure of her own. In her Amazon.com interview, Casey recalls the fascinations and the follies of her time with the sharks in the Farallones and discusses everything from the ethics of adventure journalism to the stunning silence and size of nature's perfect predators. And in her answers to the Significant Seven (the seven questions we like to ask every author), she reveals her admiration for both Joseph Mitchell and Johnny Knoxville (once you've read her book, both choices seem appropriate).

The outer edge of the fearsome Maintop Bay, a spooky, boat-eating stretch of water that makes everyone uneasy. Not surprisingly, the sharks seem to love it. (Susan Casey)
An 18-foot shark investigates a 6-foot surfboard. (Peter Pyle)
A shark attack at the Farallones is not usually a subtle event. (Peter Pyle)
Scot Anderson (in orange) observes a feeding. Also in the boat are director Paul Atkins and cinematographer Peter Scoones of the BBC film crew that visited the Farallones in 1993 to film The Great White Shark. (Peter Pyle)
The Farallones researchers see some action from a shark named Bluntnose. (Peter Pyle)
An unquiet cove: Just Imagine (Casey's temporary home) at its moorage in Fisherman's Bay, 150 yards west of Tower Point and 200 yards east of Sugarloaf. (Susan Casey)

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:44 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Presents the author's firsthand account of her stay on the Farallon Islands--in the shark infested waters thirty miles west of San Francisco--and includes information on shark behavior and scientists who study them.

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