By Amy Ryan
February 13, 2006 at 08:42 PM EST

Peter Benchley may have written only one great book, but that was enough to seal his immortality. His 1974 novel Jaws and the classic Steven Spielberg movie adapted from it the following year have been scaring people off of beaches for a generation. Benchley, who died at 65 of a lung ailment on Sunday, wrote several more underwater thrillers, including The Deep, Beast, White Shark, and Creature, but many reviewers thought he’d stayed at the same feeding spot too long. Still, go back and read Jaws, which is full of meaty subplots Spielberg left out, and it’ll still scare you out of your bathtub.

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