Jaws (1974) by Peter Benchley
by Peter Benchley
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There’s a scene in Peter Benchley’s Jaws that never made it into Spielberg’s movie. About halfway through the novel, Ellen Brody, the Amity police chief’s frustrated wife, and Matt Hooper, the marine biologist, go out to lunch together. During the meal, they embark on a shared sexual fantasy in which they imagine masturbating each other as they drive down a freeway until, driven to distraction by excitement, they crash the car and die, sprawled across the tarmac with their genitals exposed to bystanders.
Jaws was published in 1974. J. G. Ballard’s Crash had been published one year earlier. Had Benchley read it when he wrote his novel? Given submission-to-publication times for manuscripts, it seems unlikely. Ballard had released a short blueprint for Crash in The Atrocity Exhibition three years earlier, but Benchley
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