Category Archives: Book Reviews

Asbury Park Press: “Open wide: ‘Jaws: Memories’ book is a good reason to own a coffee table”

Alex Biese reviewed the book for the Asbury Park Press.

Director Steven Spielberg’s classic 1975 thriller “Jaws” marked the birth of the modern blockbuster, and tales of its production are legendary — such as the difficulties of getting the prop sharks to work are nearly as well-known as the film itself. But for “Jaws” nuts and Spielberg superfans, “Memories” is something refreshingly new: a history of the film’s production told through the stories and photos of residents of Martha’s Vineyard, the charming Massachusetts vacation destination where the film was shot.

Read the full review at Asbury Park Press.

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Library Journal Review

Library JournalMike Rogers reviewed the book for the Library Journal.

The book is chock full of anecdotes and is bursting with more than 1000 pix shot by residents that have never been seen before. If you’re a JAWS nut, then you’re going to need a bigger book shelf, because this behind-the-scenes beauty is an absolute must have. I’ve got the paperback edition, but there’s also a killer deluxe boxed Limited Edition hardcover with a DVD containing 8mm behind -the-scenes footage of the JAWS production, which was shot and narrated by Islander Carol Fligor, plus a 1″x1″ piece of the fiberglass hull of the Orca II (a.k.a., sinking Orca) used in the movie with a note of authenticity from owners Lynn and Susan Murphy (how freaking cool is that!).

Read the full review at Library Journal. And see more from the Library Journal here.

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Book review and interview with Matt Taylor and Jim Beller at Cinema Retro

Todd Garbarini reviewed the book at CINEMA RETRO magazine’s website and interviewed Matt Taylor & Jim Beller!

If this book is not the greatest book ever published about the making of a motion picture, I simply don’t know what is. It should set the standard for future publications on similar classics. It stands as a testament to not only a great motion picture, but as an authenticated record of what it truly takes to make a film and realize that film through a camera lens and most importantly, to be able to solve seemingly insurmountable odds and problems that inevitably beset a film crew.

Read the full intervew and review at Cinema Retro.

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Blue Star review for the book from Kirkus Reviews

Kirkus ReviewsKirkus Reviews reviewed JAWS Memories From Martha’s Vineyard and gave it their blue Kirkus Star. The Kirkus Star denotes a book of “remarkable merit.”

Taylor has taken his love for a specific film and turned it into something greater—a beautiful compendium of not just memorabilia, but commentary on the importance of community in the art of filmmaking.

Read the full review at

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Manta Ray Pictures Review

Manta Ray PicturesTerry Wickham of Manta Ray Pictures reviewed the book:

Shortly after starting to read this book, it was obvious to me that this is the pinnacle of all books about a movie. JAWS: Memories From Martha’s Vineyard is a large coffee table style book that features hundreds of stunning never-before-seen photos and intricate revealing information about the production of Steven Spielberg’s ground breaking summer blockbuster.

Read the full review at

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Film Score Review

Film ScoreIt’s a treasure trove of riches for those of us who love the movie “Jaws,” and the many stories told by the people who were there make for a brilliant package – gorgeous to look at, informative and enlightening to read, and surely a pleasure to revisit in the years to come.

Read the full review at

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Review in Fangoria Magazine

FangoriaFangoria Magazine has a review of the book in their August issue (#305). It is not available online, but the magazine is on newsstands now.

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The Martha’s Vineyard Times: “In Print : Meet the makers of ‘Jaws: Memories from Martha’s Vineyard'”

Martha's Vineyard TimesArticle by Jack Shea in The Martha’s Vineyard Times:

The Book of “Jaws,” biblical in scope, will be a top summer read based on early interest in the fascinating, often-hilarious Island story behind “Jaws,” filmed here in 1974 by then-unknown director Steven Spielberg.

For example, author Matt Taylor drew 60 people to his author appearance at the West Tisbury Library recently in advance of release of “Jaws: Memories of Martha’s Vineyard” this week. Those are rock star numbers for an Island library event.

How come? Part of it is the whole Jaws thing. The scary monster-sized shark slurping swimmers and munching on trawlers has stood up more than 35 years to become a modern American film legend. People who’ve never heard of Martha’s Vineyard can identify the “shark music” after two terrifying notes.

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Exclusive preview of photos from the book at Fangoria

FangoriaA selection of sneak-peek photos from the book are available for viewing exclusively on Fangoria Magazine’s website:

One of the most amazing making-of-a-movie books ever, Matt Taylor’s JAWS: MEMORIES OF MARTHA’S VINEYARD tells the story of the creation of Steven Spielberg’s classic in the words of the New England Islanders who took part. Their recollections are complemented by hundreds of never-before-seen photos, and we’ve got a sampling to show you.

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Turner Classic Movies UK

Turner Classic MoviesTurner Classic Movies UK’s Keith Tomlinson blogs about the book:

Martha’s Vineyard is located eight miles off the south-eastern coast of Massachusetts. Such a relatively isolated setting for the film necessitated the hiring of hundreds of locals to work as actors and labourers. Among this army of participants were numerous professional and amateur photographers, each with full access to the production’s inner workings.

So it’s exciting to discover that now, for the first time, all these behind-the-scenes photographs and stories have been compiled into an new treasure trove of ‘Jaws’ rarities.

Read Keith’s full post at Turner Classic Movies UK.

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