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Download Demon Fish: Travels Through the Hidden World of Sharks Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Demon Fish: Travels Through the Hidden World of Sharks Audiobook, by Juliet Eilperin Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (206 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Juliet Eilperin Narrator: Bernadette Dunne Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2011 ISBN: 9780307967626
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A group of traders huddles around a pile of dried shark fins on a gleaming white floor in Hong Kong. A Papua New Guinean elder shoves off in his hand-carved canoe, ready to summon a shark with ancient magic. A scientist finds a rare shark in Indonesia and forges a deal with villagers so it and other species can survive.

In this eye-opening adventure that spans the globe, Juliet Eilperin investigates the fascinating ways different individuals and cultures relate to the ocean’s top predator. Along the way, she reminds us why, after millions of years, sharks remain among nature’s most awe-inspiring creatures.

From Belize to South Africa, from Shanghai to Bimini, we see that sharks are still the object of an obsession that may eventually lead to their extinction. This is why movie stars and professional athletes go shark hunting in Miami and why shark’s fin soup remains a coveted status symbol in China. Yet we also see glimpses of how people and sharks can exist alongside one another: surfers tolerating their presence off Cape Town and ecotourists swimming with sharks that locals in the Yucatán no longer have to hunt.

With a reporter’s instinct for a good story and a scientist’s curiosity, Eilperin offers us an up-close understanding of these extraordinary, mysterious creatures in the most entertaining and illuminating shark encounter you’re likely to find outside a steel cage.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “For this inclusive and important book, Eilperin traveled around the world to find people who study, fish for, dive with, venerate, or have been attacked by sharks . . . . [she] discusses many others who have brought sharks into human consciousness—Jules Verne, Edgar Allen Poe, Ernest Hemingway, and Jacques Cousteau; to this list, we must now add Eilperin herself. Richard Ellis, The American Scholar

  • More books probably have been written about sharks than about any other creatures that live in the sea, so when I opened this one I was skeptical: What could it possibly add? A great deal, it turns out . . . Eilperin circles the world in pursuit of sharks and the people who love and hate them . . . whether they are killers or protectors, she tells their stories with fairness and understanding. I forgot the time as I immersed myself in the world of sharks. Whether you’ve never read a book about sharks or have a shelf full of them, this is a book for you. Callum Roberts, The Washington Post
  • Eilperin investigates the greatest threats to sharks: the shark fin trade and the ecological and economic forces affecting shark populations . . . The book is certainly timely. And Demon Fish does the subject justice. David McGuire, San Francisco Chronicle
  • Poised to be one of the summer’s most compelling beach reads. Rachel Syme, NPR.org
  • In this wide-ranging natural history of shark-human relations, the author recounts frank interviews with an entertaining cast of scientists, fishermen, wholesalers, chefs, and eco-tour operators, all of whom have a stake in the survival of the oceans’ top predators. She also gets into the water with the sharks. For readers who like passionate investigative reporting. Rick Roche, Booklist
  • In this fascinating and meticulously reported book, Juliet Eilperin crisscrosses the globe, on the trail of one of the most mysterious creatures. She illuminates not only the hidden nature of the seas, but also the societies whose survival depend on them. David Grann, author of The Lost City of Z
  • Hate, fear, envy, awe, worship. Of the many shark books, precious few explore the human-shark relationship. And none do with such style as Juliet Eilperin does in this fact-packed, fast-paced narrative. This is the shark book for the person who wants to understand both what sharks are, and what sharks mean. Bite into it. Carl Safina, author of Song for the Blue Ocean and The View From Lazy Point; A Natural Year in an Unnatural World

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kelly | 2/13/2014

    " This is a book about what people think about sharks and what people do to (and with) sharks. It also has the feel of a layperson's travelogue into a variety of shark-related hotspots, seasoned with interview summaries and the occasional personal reflection. Juliet Eilperin abruptly shifts from discussing early mythological depictions of sharks, to the controversies of shark fin soup, ecotourism, food chain hierarchies, sport fishing, marine biology, and the legacy of Peter Benchley. The end result is a pretty decent little book about sharks; it's also a book that is extremely discursive and curiously low on passion. There are a lot of facts packed into the pages (although none that are so complex or complete that they disturb the lightness of the prose), as well as compelling anecdotes and a sense of peril that is de rigueur in modern environmental writing. Ultimately, this is a satisfying but often bloodless whirlwind tour of the relationship between people, sharks, and the biosphere that we all share. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kassie | 2/8/2014

    " Intriguing subject, but it dragged for me in some places, so I skimmed a bit. A thought-provoking look at how human encroachment is changing the lives of sharks and our relationship of fear and fascination with one of the earth's oldest living great predators, Sharks are beautiful animals and mysterious animals that even 260 pages of research and commentary can't solve. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Zach | 2/1/2014

    " Interesting topic but not well organized. I started wondering why I really cared this much about sharks... basically the author lost my interest. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Angela | 1/31/2014

    " Insightful look at the human/ shark relationship. One can only hope that mankind can overcome the need to vilify anything mysterious and adopt a more world conscious view of the 'demon fish' "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kitty | 1/22/2014

    " I had to read this book quickly for a book club. I learned a lot about sharks but didn't retain much else. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Stephanie | 1/22/2014

    " This book was well-researched and did give a good insight into sharks. I think I was looking for a bit more scary stuff, which this book did not really have - - besides scary figures about their decline and the impacts. But I do think it was well written and still interesting. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Allison (The Book Wheel) | 1/10/2014

    " Love this book! The author made sure to cover all sides of shark hunting, demonstrating its importance to fishermen and different local economies and also why it's harmful to the oceans to continue such practices. As a shark lover, I was already pro-shark, but now I understand how and why some cultures see sharks as gods and how hunting them is an integral part of their way of life. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Connie | 1/9/2014

    " Finished this as Shark Week began on Discovery Channel-perfect! Interesting anecdotal asides, but mainly hammers home the dire position finning and overfishing has created and the impact on our oceans' ecosystems. Please read this and be aware of the necessity to maintain healthy shark populations on our planet. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Foggygirl | 1/2/2014

    " I grew up in a small fishing town and during the summer the fishing boats would occasionally bring in sharks that had become entangled in their nets and their appearance would always cause quite a stir. Of course a bigger stir would occur if a live one appeared swimming around the wharf! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jason Landau | 12/3/2013

    " Non Fiction: A bunch of adventures of the author and sharks. This isn't about sharks munching on people. It is a scientific reporting on how sharks have affected and fascinated people around the world "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Crystal Riley | 9/8/2013

    " Do you like Shark Week? This is like Shark Week, but in a book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ashley | 6/20/2013

    " No real surprises in this one. It was also a bit too preachy. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Callie Leuck | 2/3/2013

    " From shark-fin soup chefs, to shark hunters, to tribal shark callers, "Demon Fish" takes you on a fascinating journey around the globe. Despite the sensationalist title, the book is not about shark horror stories. It's actually an interesting and educational read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 John | 10/11/2011

    " More about people, and our relationships with sharks, than about the sharks themselves. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ang | 10/5/2011

    " Another book about how humans can really mess up nature. That said, it's fascinating. Sam told me it should be called "Holy Shit" because I kept saying, "Holy shit, did you know sharks can..." Yep. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Noah | 7/31/2011

    " Considering my unhealthy level of interest in sharks, this book should have been a slam dunk, but I thought it was pretty boring. Most of the book focuses on the human threats to shark populations, and that angle is just way too narrow to sustain 300 pages. Skip this. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Melanie Ensign | 7/18/2011

    " Good book. Nothing really new on the animals for the shark enthusiast, but great stories on human interactions with sharks - both present & historical. Great discussion on local cultures & the impact on these top predators. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jaime | 7/8/2011

    " The good, the bad, the ugly of sharks and the people who deal with them. I'm still trying to figure out how to approach the issue with my company- I was served shark fin soup at a business lunch in Hong Kong and I don't think shark fin soup should be paid for with company money. "

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About the Narrator

Bernadette Dunne is the winner of seventeen AudioFile Earphones Awards and has twice been nominated for the prestigious Audie Award. She studied at the Royal National Theatre in London and the Studio Theater in Washington, DC, and has appeared at the Kennedy Center and off Broadway. She lives in Brooklyn.