Home Bookselling The Blue Collar Bookseller Review: Meet Meg | Comments

The Blue Collar Bookseller Review: Meet Meg | Comments


There is who knows what sweet mystery in this sea, whose gentle and terrible agitations seem to speak of a soul hidden below. —Herman Melville

Call me Ishmael. Call me bored. Moby Dick may be considered one of the greatest novels in the English language, but do you know anyone who has actually read it?

Do not lie. Maybe you went so far as to give back the bacon, maybe you actually went through the dense and muscular prose, but did you get something out of it?

This is definitely a book that takes a solid education to appreciate all the symbolism, imagery, and metaphors, and even then you’ll likely miss something. If you’re just eager to read the story, read the first page and the last hundred and you’ll get a great story.

Would Melville even be able to find a publisher today? “Hmm, it’s a good manuscript, better in many of its parts than as an integrated work. Lose the nautical terms, streamline the story, turn up the violence, and turn those whaling asides into a non-fiction work about the Essex whaler – In the Heart of the Sea is still one of Nathaniel Philbrick’s best-selling books.

While Herman was working on a fictional rewrite, the publisher reportedly released Steve Alten’s Meg: A Novel of Deep Terror. Meg stands for Carcharodon megalodon, a giant shark that lived in prehistoric times. It was the apex predator of its time and, at around 60 feet and 30 tons, it is the largest carnivorous fish ever known.

The plot is true pulp-fiction action, ready for B-movie rights. Jonas Taylor is a deep-sea diver working for the United States Navy on a top-secret seven-mile dive into the Mariana Trench. He finds himself face to face with the most formidable predator that everyone thinks is extinct.

Rushing to the surface, he narrowly escapes with his life, while two others in the deep sea submersible are not so lucky. Diagnosed with “Aberrations of the Deep”, Jonas is fired from the Navy and is determined to prove to the world that the predatory goliath exists.

He becomes a paleontologist and tries to prove that the megalodon is real, but is still considered a crackpot. When an opportunity to return to the trench presents itself, he seizes it. But the presence of man in this uncharted realm releases the demon fish from its purgatory, and now Jonas is the only one who can stop it…

Meg isn’t Moby Dick, but it’s an adrenaline-pumping thriller that had me hooked from the start with its non-stop action and graphic cover, “Can You Scream ‘Jurassic Shark?’ The book will also catch the attention of students who are often reluctant to read.

Students who are excited to read, who are excited to learn, and who could just read a classic on their own. From the heart of hell, I stab you. Out of hatred, I spit my last breath on you. “Hmmm, did Melville write a sequel???”

A great white whale? A great white whale? Or do you choose to stay near the shore? Comment and let me know.

Kevin Coolidge is currently a full-time factory worker and part-time bookseller at From My Shelf Books & Gifts in Wellsboro, Pennsylvania. When he is not working, he writes. He is also a children’s author and creator of The Totally Ninja Raccoons, a children’s series aimed at reluctant readers. Visit his author site at kevincoolidge.org

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