Shark Drunk and A Sea Monster’s Tale review – the lure of an astonishing fish

This post is by Philip Hoare from Books | The Guardian

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Morten Strøksnes is in search of a Greenland while Colin Speedie in mesmerised by the basker. Philip Hoare considers a new kind of shark feverIt is the ancientness of sharks that helps to enthrall and appal us. The sly, sideways sway of their whiplash bodies; the nerve-sharp signifier of their angular fins; the sense of something impossibly old, and possibly malignant. Sharks have been around for 400m years, and collectively, these cartilaginous creatures sum up all that is frightening about the deep dark sea. On his mid-19th-century walks along Cape Cod, Henry David Thoreau recorded that sharks would be “tossed up and quiver for a moment on the sand”, and saw one “singularly film-like and indistinct in the water, as if all nature abetted this child of ocean”. On that same shore recently, a fisherman showed me a photo he had taken on the beach where I’d just been swimming. ...