Boats, Diving, and Drugs REVIEWING The Deep

Welcome to The Real World According To Sam! Today I'm back with another book I read for my month of Spooky Reads. Let's just get right into it. 

 The Deep

Author: Peter Benchley
Genre: Horror Thriller
Year: 1976

The Deep


A young couple go to Bermuda on their honeymoon. They dive on the reefs offshore, looking for the wreck of a sunken ship. What they find lures them into a strange and increasingly terrifying encounter with past and present, a struggle for salvage and survival along the floor of the sea, in the deep.


I picked this one for my month of spooky reads because it is written by the same author as Jaws whom I have really enjoyed reading before, and the cover says "terrifying" on it. That being said, I wasn't really terrified and it was more of a thriller than a horror novel. Did I enjoy it? Yeah, well enough. But would I say it gives off Halloween vibes? Not really. 

The Deep is about a couple honeymooning in Bermuda. They go diving at a sunken ship wreck and they find some little ampules that have liquid in them. These ampules cause multiple people to make inquiries towards the couple and lead them into the realm of criminal activity and threats. The couple team up with a local on the island to assist them in recovering more ampules from the shipwreck, but they don't want to give them to the people wanting to profit illegally off of them. That's the main gist. 

This book is very straightforward and pretty simple. The characters are generic. There isn't anything particularly special about the couple. The most interesting character is the islander they team up with to do more diving. The villain is very much just a cookie cutter antagonist. Different culturally, threatening, violent, and just generic overall. I wasn't really sure how this book was going to get wrapped up, since I didn't see how there would be a way out, but the book closed things up decently enough, I suppose. There isn't much as far as an epilogue goes; as soon as the action is over, the story is over. 

The most interesting part of this book is the diving aspect. I most enjoyed when the couple and their partner were underwater. The descriptions of diving and the environment of the shipwreck were fun for me. The setting is predominantly what I was interested in, because the plot felt largely generic. It felt like it should be more thrilling or intense, but I can't say it really was. I still enjoyed it and there was a full arc, but everything was just so...bland and generic for the most part. I was expecting a lot more from Benchley with this one. Even the pulpy Hard Case Crime books I occasionally read have been better than this one. I feel like with some tweaks and development, this actually could have been that kind of book. It was just too plain and bland to reach an enjoyable level of generic fun. I can find fun with some generic plot books that fit a genre just for kicks and grins, but this one doesn't even allow for that. This book needed more depth to its characters or at least more suspense and intensity to it at a more even pacing. I'd even take more oceanic and nautical elements, if I could get less of the people. 

Overall, I wasn't impressed with this one. I wasn't engrossed and I was only barely interested as I was reading. It was quick enough to read for me when I consider the hours I spent, but it still felt like a slog. I kept expecting things to heat up, but never felt they did. For a generic summer read, I guess it would be okay, but there are so many other books I would read first before this one. I give The Deep a Lone Star rating of ✯✯. This isn't one of Peter Benchley's best books and I don't think I will ever feel the need to re-read it. For Halloween, skip this one for sure. It is labeled as Thriller/Suspense/Horror, but there really isn't anything that provides a feeling of creepiness. Light discomfort at one part, maybe, but creepy here. 

This concludes another review here at The Real World According To Sam, where I bring the books straight to your screen and even provide my own two cents about them. See you tomorrow!