The Deep (1976)

I recently stumbled onto The Deep at a book fair, and picked it up. While just about everybody has seen the film Jaws, and its many sequels more times than we'd care to admit, I'm sure only a few have read the original novel. The Deep was the follow up novel to Jaws, although it is not a sequel at all.

The plot of The Deep focuses on a couple of newlyweds that are on their honeymoon to the island of Bermuda, always a popular destination. The husband, David Sanders, is looking for a little adventure, and his new bride, Gail, is not discouraging him enough. Taking advantage of the shipwreck diving, they decide to scuba dive on a sailboat that was lost a few decades ago. They bring up a curious glass ampule, and before too long they figure out contains a medical grade narcotic from a lost shipment during World War II. Apparently this wreck had been fabled among the Bermudians for years, but no one knew where it was, and if it was true. Drugs on an island predictably attracts the local drug lord, and their honeymoon starts to turn into an episode of "The Sopranos."

While I thought from here on out, I thought we were going in the direction of the film, Into the Blue. Thankfully, I wasn't disappointed, and The Deep had a lot more plot turns than I expected for its diminutive size of less than 300 pages. I won't give the rest away, but there was plenty of suspense as to whether the diving or the drug lords was going to be the source of the premature end of the honeymoon in a very final sort of way.

While nothing exceptional, I found The Deep thoroughly entertaining. It also has stood up well over a quarter of a century later, something that not too many novels do well. While Peter Benchley will forevermore be known as "the author of Jaws," it would be a mistake to not look at some of his other work.

Overall Grade: B

Reviewed by Jonas

No comments: