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From Barnes & NobleBarnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers
The sight of a great white shark attacking a 300-pound elephant seal is bloody, violent, and compelling. But reading about it is downright frightening. In The Devil's Teeth, Casey, a spunky, diminutive blonde who refers to herself as the least likely candidate to hang out in the "spookiest place in the world," stands in a toylike boat while the enormous creatures orbit below.
"Biologist Edward O. Wilson summed it up beautifully when he wrote, 'In a deeply tribal way, we love our monsters.' " And love them, Casey does. Leaving the blacktop, high heels and happy hours of city life behind, she embarks on a bumpy boat ride to this exotic suburb of San Francisco. Just 27 miles due west of the Golden Gate Bridge, jutting from the Pacific like the fangs of a sea monster, lie the Farallon Islands. A craggy, wild archipelago, these are little more than a series of guano-covered granite protrusions, barren, continually battered by storms, and blanketed by fog. The Los Angeles Times described them as "the most forbidding piece of real estate in America, if not the world." It is here that Casey has come to find out more about the elusive great white sharks, her eyes trained on them as on a hypnotist's coin.
Every fall, the Farallones witness the regular spilling of blood. For in this eerie wildlife refuge, nature plays hardball every day. Home to one of the largest colonies of nesting seabirds in the Pacific, the Farallones also host thousands of marine mammals, a few mad scientists, and the largest great white sharks in the world. Sharks with names like "Stumpy," "the queen annihilator of surfboard," "Cuttail" and "Spotty," these hunters return year after year to patrol their favorite haunts and lunch on their favorite meal -- seal. Swimming just under the water's surface, the sharks are "stacked like planes at O'Hare." As big as minivans, these predators aren't cute. But as Casey reports, observing them with a mixture of captivation and terror, they're truly irresistible. And the result of her efforts is a passionately written book of adventure, natural history, and self-discovery. (Fall 2005 Selection)