White Shark (novel)

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First edition (publ. Random House)

White Shark is a 1994 novel by author Peter Benchley, famous for Jaws, The Island, Beast and The Deep. It is similar to Jaws, but it does not feature a shark, unlike the title suggests. To avoid confusion, and to cash in on the movie adaption (see below), the book was re published as Creature in 1997.


During World War II, a German scientist perfects a biological weapon he calls "Weiss Hai", or "White Shark". Not described at first, the weapon is packed in a casket-like box and loaded aboard a German submarine. When the submarine is attacked and sunk, the secret of "White Shark" is lost at sea.

Decades after the war, unsuspecting divers find the White Shark and accidentally unleash it. White Shark is soon shown to be a living weapon, whose attacks are soon realized by the human population of a quiet Long Island fishing community.

Dr. Simon Chase, a struggling man who leaves his wife and child to finish school at a Marine Biology science institute sees his son, Max for the first time in twelve years. A crew tracking a pregnant Great White (ironically named "Jaws") spot a porpoise with a claw gash in its tail and see massive kills of sea life; when they then observe the same claw marks on Jaws herself, Chase knows that there must be something big out there to attack a great white. Dr. Amanda Macy, who studies whales using sea lions with strapped-on video cameras, allows herself to actually see the creature firsthand. Macy's camera gets a shot of a clawed hand attacking a fish. After additional horrific and bloody encounters at sea, the beast comes ashore, endangering the entire town. Now it's up to Chase to try and stop the creature before it kills off the entire town, and eventually move on...

Film Adaption[edit]

White Shark was made into a TV movie called Creature in 1997. The film was set at a top secret island military base instead of a science lab, however. It starred Craig T. Nelson as Simon Chase, and Kim Catrall as Dr. Amanda Mason (instead of Macy). It was primarily filmed on the Caribbean island of St. Lucia and Vancouver. To cash in on the movie, and to avoid confusion with sharks, the book was re published as Creature in 1997.

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