Casey, a Time, Inc., developmental editor, takes us to the Farollon Islands (dubbed "devil's teeth"), 27 miles from San Francisco, a major watering hole for great white sharks and, consequently, a few dedicated "surfer-scientists." With a national tour. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
From its startling opening description of scientists racing to the bloody scene where a shark has decapitated a seal, this memoir-cum-natural and cultural history of the Farallon Islands-"the spookiest, wildest place on Earth"-plunges readers into the thrills of shark watching. Casey, a sportswriter with recurring dreams about deep-sea creatures, "became haunted" by the 211-acre archipelago 27 miles west of San Francisco when she saw a BBC documentary about Peter Pyle and Scot Anderson, biologists who study the great white sharks there. The islands are the only place on Earth where scientists can study the animals in their natural habitat. These evolutionary ancients (sharks lived 200 million years before dinosaurs) can be as large as Mack trucks, eat suits of armor, are both fierce and friendly, and, according to Casey, are an addictive fascination for those lucky enough to encounter them. Casey's three-week solo stay on a yacht anchored in shark waters is itself an adventure, with the author evacuating just hours before the yacht disappeared in a storm. Her suspenseful narrative perfectly matches the drama and mystery of these islands, their resident sharks and the scientists who love them. Photos. Agent, Sloan Harris. (June) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.