Home Books Book Review: Shark Bytes by John Bantin

Book Review: Shark Bytes by John Bantin

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Shark Bytes cover
Shark Bytes cover

Your world becomes eerily silent; your heartbeat your companion as it beats slowly; your body calm, bubbles occasionally escaping as they rush to the surface; this is the beginning. You watch the fish when suddenly a dark shadow envelopes you, the light dim, your heart beating faster; a shark. The fish once calm exit hastily leaving only you, your dive buddies, and a dark shadow or two or three looming ever closer. 

By Selene Muldowney

There are few underwater experiences that measure up to the thrill and excitement of diving with sharks. Recently, I had the pleasure of diving (pun completely intended) into Shark Bytes: Tales of Diving with the Bizarre and the Beautiful. Written by diving veteran and best-selling author, John Bantin, shares his encounters with dozens of shark species over his 21-year diving career. Accompanied by compelling imagery, this beautifully written book draws you deep into his underwater world; shocking, inspiring, and certainly exciting adventures come to life as the words surround your imagination.

Bantin has spent over two decades observing and interacting with a variety of shark species. The book assembles his encounters with sharks and other marine mammals; often heartfelt and sometimes shocking.

I was quickly drawn into Bantin’s narrative as each page uncovers the reality of getting up close and personal to these magnificently beautiful and bizarre apex predators of the ocean. His narrative, a conversation with a friend, each word carefully crafted and woven into his adventures. Bantin does a marvelous job describing the sharks, their sleek disposition, their strength, and their characteristics, but most importantly he describes the dive. He corrects many misconceptions about sharks, covering a range of species from a riveting encounter with a tiger shark to his slow and gentle encounter with a nurse shark, albeit the dive itself was rather suspenseful.

Overall, Bantin knows how to tell a story, his thoughts organized, his descriptions detailed, and both a fantastic sense of humor and compassion carries his narrative. Shark Bytes takes the reader on a magical journey to discover the wondrous diversity of the underwater world. This is a must have book!

You can order Shark Bytes from Fernhurst Books at www.fernhurstbooks.com/product/shark-bytes