Recommended Books: ‘Meg: A Novel of Deep Terror’ by Steve Alten (1997)

Synopsis: There is a rather long synopsis for this book but all you really need to know is that it it’s ‘Jaws’ with a much bigger shark! In fact this stars a megalodon, and the LA Times sums the book up very well with it’s review “Two Words: Jurassic Shark.”

(I was going to do an awful pun involving that immortal line from ‘Jaws’ “we’re going to need a bigger boat” but putting ’shark’ instead of ‘boat’… you get the idea.)

Review: Published in 1997 this was Steve Alten’s first book and by all accounts it hit the best-seller charts and was a bit of a runaway smash. A film was on the cards and is somewhere in hiatus hell as of 2008, although I would love this to be a film – it’d be up there with ‘Shark Attack’ and ‘Deep Blue Sea’ as one of those cheesy as hell monster films full of bad clichés but oh-so brilliant fun. That pretty much describes the book, brilliant fun…definite airport fodder (possibly not cruise ship fodder) and certainly a brilliant commuting book.

Let’s not beat around the bush, good literature this is not and neither is it particularly good science-fiction but it does win some points for originality. The idea that the greatest living predator of all time is still roaming around, albeit a long way down in the Marianas Trench is fairly original and a wonderful idea… I found myself wishing that perhaps this theory holds water and there are million year old mega-sharks still around.

As with every book trying to do a Clive Cusslar (or even Michael Critchon) it has it’s stock genius (a somewhat Dirt Pitt type character called Dr Jonas Taylor) who due to some accident involving a submarine/wedding cake/gerbil is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, has an inexplicably hot wife who is a wannabe be media star who also happens to be shagging the husbands best friend… there’s the enemies of the genius who you know are all going to be eaten somewhere around the half-way mark.

I particularly loved Taylor killing the megalodon from the inside (seriously).

You know what? I loved this book so much that I’ve bought the sequel ‘The Trench‘!


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