Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Review: 'Jaws: Memories from Martha’s Vineyard'

Part oral history, part coffee table photo book, Jaws: Memories from Martha’s Vineyard is all awesome. Writer Matt Taylor and memorabilia maven Jim Beller assembled a lush tribute to the sharky blockbuster busting with recollections from the Martha’s Vineyard locals who appeared before and behind the camera and a slew of amazing archival materials. There’s a current shot of the somewhat desiccated bust of Ben Gardener that made movie goers toss their popcorn and their cookies in 1975 and an even more incredible biography of Gardener-portrayer Craig Kingsbury, a guy once arrested for drunk driving an ox cart. His defense against the charges is both rational and hilarious. Indeed, Jaws: Memories from Martha’s Vineyard is a really funny book because the Martha’s Vineyard crowd is such a colorful bunch and the production was wrought with disasters that can only be portrayed comically in the hindsight of Jaws’ phenomenal success. Plus, there’s a photo of the real Mary Ellen Moffet! She broke my heart.

Originally published in 2011, Titan Books has just released the second edition of Jaws: Memories from Martha’s Vineyard with an additional sixteen pages of great stuff. Get it at Amazon.com here:

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