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The Devil's Teeth: A True Story of…
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The Devil's Teeth: A True Story of Obsession and Survival Among… (original 2005; edition 2006)

by Susan Casey

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6293427,824 (3.92)22
Journalist Casey first saw the great white sharks of the Farallon Islands, some longer than twenty feet, swirling around a small motorboat in a documentary. In a few months, Casey was being hoisted out of the early-winter swells on a crane, up a cliff face to the barren surface of Southeast Farallon Island, just 27 miles off the coast of San Francisco--dubbed by sailors in the 1850s the "devil's teeth." There she joined two biologists who bunk down during shark season each fall in the island's one habitable building, a 135-year-old house spackled with lichen and gull guano. Two days later, she got her first glimpse of the famous, terrifying jaws up close, and she was hooked.--From publisher description.… (more)
Member:tidepooltostars
Title:The Devil's Teeth: A True Story of Obsession and Survival Among America's Great White Sharks
Authors:Susan Casey
Info:Holt Paperbacks (2006), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 320 pages
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The Devil's Teeth: A True Story of Obsession and Survival Among America's Great White Sharks by Susan Casey (2005)

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Showing 1-5 of 34 (next | show all)
I really enjoyed this book and ended up going on my own Great White Shark dive at the Farallon islands, only to see a jellyfish after 8 hours on a boat and in and out of a cage :( Oh well, it's probably for the better. This is just an exciting place to be with a lot of interesting history, especially the large sharks. ( )
  TenkaraSmart | Jun 8, 2021 |
I agree almost word for word with a goodreads review written by Stephanie. I do not know Stephanie but I agree this book left me with mixed emotions. Deciding how to rate was difficult.

The Farallon Islands were described in detail during the first half of the book. Until this book, I hardly knew about the islands or the wildlife in that area. I was enthusiastic about the marine life I discovered. YouTube was always nearby as I spent more time lookng up sea creatures and more books.

The second half of the book was more about the author's obsession with getting to the island by any means possible. She did not seem to respect the researchers as professionals with notable degrees. She was pushy and unethical. What was ironic, Susan Casey did not disguise the researchers reactions to her behavior. She did not curb her ways despite their polite attempts to curb her ways.

Throughout her visits to the islands, the researchers were always nice to her. Perhaps that was the problem. Had they been grough, she may not have abused their kindness.

Learning that one of the researchers lost his job because of her negligence was gut wrenching. I am sure he has found other work but it seems the debacle that ensued could have been avoided. At least, if things happened the way Susan Casey wrote them... ( )
  godmotherx5 | Apr 5, 2018 |
First of all, what's with "America's" in the subtitle? Does it really matter where these sharks live *part* of their lives? Anyway. This is a journalist's tale of hanging out on the Farallon Islands with the shark and bird biologists there. It's bloody interesting, and it's a damn' shame she went about it so unscientifically and, more or less, ended up destroying the shark study program.

It made me want to go out and do biology in unpleasant conditions. ( )
  lipi | Dec 21, 2017 |
About thirty miles west of San Francisco lies a small cluster of rocky islands called the Farallones. They are mostly unremarkable except for the large population of sea birds (mostly hostile gulls) and - more interestingly - the large number of huge Great White sharks. And when magazine journalist Susan Casey saw a BBC documentary about the sharks and the islands, she finagled her way onto the highly controlled nature preserve. Seeing the sharks up close brought her under their spell, and she soon became obsessed - eventually with disastrous results (and Casey owns up to the errors in her judgment - sorta - which cost a friend their job).

Casey tries her best to explain and describe her newfound passion for these giant monsters, including telling us about her dreams of them. The writing is decent, although she way overuses metaphors in the telling (sometimes stringing as many as three together in a single thought). Still, the story is compelling and extremely interesting. I could hardly stop listening (to the audiobook) even while rolling my eyes at the writing or her regular descriptions of scientist's "chiseled" good looks or muscular arms. (In many ways, that kind of writing reminded me of Susan Orlean's _The Orchid Thief_, which I found positively dreadful, although I know plenty of readers absolutely loved it.) It's an entertaining book, but a bit too personal and memoir-ish in some ways. 3.5 stars ( )
  J.Green | Nov 22, 2016 |
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 |
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Epigraph
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
Dedication
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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Journalist Casey first saw the great white sharks of the Farallon Islands, some longer than twenty feet, swirling around a small motorboat in a documentary. In a few months, Casey was being hoisted out of the early-winter swells on a crane, up a cliff face to the barren surface of Southeast Farallon Island, just 27 miles off the coast of San Francisco--dubbed by sailors in the 1850s the "devil's teeth." There she joined two biologists who bunk down during shark season each fall in the island's one habitable building, a 135-year-old house spackled with lichen and gull guano. Two days later, she got her first glimpse of the famous, terrifying jaws up close, and she was hooked.--From publisher description.

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