“Demon Fish: Travels Through the Hidden World of Sharks” provides a global look at the often surprising and inexplicable ways people and cultures relate to, and engage with, the ocean’s top predator. Juliet Eilperin begins her journey in Papua New Guinea, where sharks play a unique role in creation myths, and where the practice of shark calling-summoning sharks by magic-still flourishes. She takes us to Hong Kong and mainland China, where we glimpse the gruesome finning practices that supply the prime ingredient for status-imbuing shark fin soup. In Miami, we meet Mark “The Shark” Quartiano, shark-fishing guide to the stars. And wherever she travels-from Japan to the Yucatan peninsula, from Indonesia to Cape Town South Africa- Eilperin illuminates the ways in which the mythological significance attributed to these animals has made them objects of reverence, fear, and fascination, and of misperceptions that may eventually lead to their extinction.
With a reporter’s instinct for a good story and a scientist’s curiosity, she offers us an up-close and in-depth understanding of these extraordinary, mysterious creatures, in the most entertaining and illuminating shark encounter you’re likely to find outside a steel cage.