Monday, February 21, 2011

The Devils Teeth: Book Review

This guy will have you paddling with your fingertips
My friend Baird Blanton from the The Treachery of Others (great band) recently reccomended that I read "The Devil's Teeth", by Susan Casey. I had just finished reading "The Wave", so I was excited to check this book out.

Baird brought this book up because I was telling him about an upcoming surf trip to the Gulf Coast, and he said "what about sharks"? After reading this book, I know now why he asked me that. This is a description of the sheer magnitude of a great white shark from Susan Casey's book The Devils Teeth:

"The first thing I noticed about the shark was it's immense girth...for context here are some measurements: a twenty-foot shark is eight feet wide and six feet deep. that's wider than a Suburban, as wide as a Mack truck. That's wider than Yao Ming is tall".

Manresa State Beach, where I saw a shark once
Although there are no great whites in Texas, there are plenty of great whites where I grew up in Santa Cruz, CA. I've only seen a shark once in my life (at Manresa State Beach), and I have never been afraid of being eaten by a shark despite my all the time I spent in the water. While it is something that used to cross my mind from time to time, I was always a believer in probability and the odds of meeting one of these giants. Susan agreed with me:

"In any given year more than a thousand people will be maimed by toilet bowl cleaning products or killed by cattle. Fewer than a dozen will be attacked by a great white shark".

With those odds, and currently living in Texas, I would say cattle would be my greatest threat at this point. Overall, the book is a great story about the Faralllon Islands (that lie only 27 miles from the Golden Gate Bridge), and a reporter who braves the elements. While on the island they cruise around looking for sharks on a small boat called "The Dinner Plate". This makes perfect sense (not) considering you are on a boat smaller than some of the largest predators on the planet that you are searching for. I would highly recommend this book, and also check out The Wave by Susan Casey as well. Live Happily Ever Now!

The Devil's Teeth: A True Story of Obsession and Survival Among America's Great White SharksThe Wave: In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks and Giants of the Ocean

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