An out of practice reader discussing the books I get around to reading.
I listened to this one on audiobook via Overdrive, which I highly recommend. The narrator did awsome. He kind of sounded like Edward Norton, but that's not who it was.
The book has a lot of differences between it and the movie, and honestly, I think this is one of the few times the movie is better. The book is terrific, it just focuses more on political/cultural drama that felt almost soap opera-ish at times, whereas the movie feels more straight to the point of the battle between man and fish. The movie also has better characterizations, for that matter. Hooper, as mentioned before, is skeevy and douchey in this version and I hated that he and Brody didn't get along since their friendships is one of my favorite parts of the movie. I thought I would enjoy Ellen having a bigger role but she just seemed so shallow and dramatic for most of the book that I didn't care for her character at all. So the book is great, but the movie definitely improved upon it.
That said, I really liked the character of Henry Meadows and wish he had a bigger role in the movie. I also really liked that certain portions of the book take place from the perspective of the fish and the way it truly characterizes it as an animal rather than this man-killer. It did a great job of showing that sharks are chill, just not great at figuring out what is or isn't food.
Final rating: 4 out of 5. Very good and if you enjoy the movie I think you'd enjoy the book just as well.