Meg: A Novel I Love and Hate


Way down in the coldest, darkest, most frightening
depths of the ocean, an ancient creature, deadlier than any our modern world has encountered,
begins to stir. First, you will notice her strange, almost
beautiful glow. But be warned: If you see her glow – IT’S
ALREADY TOO LATE… I LOVE SHARK MOVIES! Shark! We all become obsessed with that one animal
growing up? That need to know everything about them cause
they’re the coolest thing in the history of things. Wolves, snakes, dinosaurs, ponies, but for
me it was sharks. My passion for them had no bounds. Shark week was a national holiday and the
shark edition of Zoobooks was my bible! (Phone Buzz) Apparently I qualify for a veteran
discount saying that. HOLY CRAP THEY ARE STILL AROUND! So order Zoobooks today and send learning
and fun to a child you love. And yes, I love shark movies. A lot of shark movies. The Jaws films? Marathon them in one sitting. Deep Blue Sea? Underrated classic. 12 Days of Terror? I actually watched this. Shark Tale? It’s a shark movie. But with Jaws being your one true claim to
fame it’s hard to create anything that’ not seen as derivative. Look up how many times people use Jaws to
compare films. They use it about as much as Dark Souls to
video games. Dark Souls is the Jaws of video game comparisons. All of which adds to shrinking interest and
box office returns till shark movies just poof. Delegated to the direct-to-video ghetto with
a “bigger” releases now and again. So imagine my surprise, in today’s blockbuster
climate to see Shark Movies Are Back. SHARK! Since 2016 the shark movie snuck up on everyone
with no warning with one major theatrical release a year and all surpassing expectations. It started with The Shallows, it continued
with 47 Meters Down, and then this year we got… The Meg is fascinating. It’s been in development hell for over twenty
years. First being produced by Disney’s Hollywood
Pictures then New Line Cinema with names like Jan de Bont, Guillermo Del Toro, and Eli Roth
attached to it at one point. Wired did a great article chronicling the
ups and downs. Links in the doobly doo. No one believed the film was going to do well. It only got made thanks to China’s Gravity
Pictures and even then the film was still marked to cost around 150 to 200 million dollars. It was set up to be a major bomb cause who
would want to see Jason Statham fight a giant shark? Which is why it did 120% over projections
and has made this much domestically and this much worldwide. Yeah this surprised everyone involved. Whether it was the tongue-in-check marketing,
a quiet weekend with no competition, the rise of moviepass, how is that going for everyone
btw? Or everyone just wanted to see Jason Statham
punch a giant shark in the face. Me included. The film won the box office lottery and this
trend will continue in 2019 with 47 Meters Down: The Next Chapter. Why it’s not 48 Meters Down escapes me. Did you know The Meg is based off a book? Yeah, I had no good segue way into this. Released as MEG: A NOVEL OF DEEP TERROR! Oh scary. By Steven Alten in 1997 and God you don’t
know how long I’ve wanted to read this. I couldn’t believe this exists nor that
there is an entire series with seven entries, a spin off series, and an eighth on the way. All around a giant shark. How do you do that? There’s also a series around giant crabs
how am I only learning about this now? Another time, we are here for Meg and, I’ll
be honest I may of bite off more then I can chew with this one. What’s the book about? Quick note: I won’t be doing too many comparisons
between the movie and the book cause it doesn’t matter. Outside of names and concept, they changed
everything and we would be here all day going over nitpicks that don’t matter. Like in the book Jason Statham has hair. Worst adaptation ever the hair was so important
to the story. I’m gonna have a lot of fun with this one. So the book starts with a T-rex getting eaten
by a megalodon. It even gets thrown up into the air at one
point. Just right out of the gate shark eats dinosaur. Chomp. For the first and last time in its life, the
Tyrannosaurus felt the icy grip of fear. (Page 3) I swear Steve is doing a call out
right now. This was published in 1997. Jurassic Park was still very popular and the
most common quote used to talk about the book is Jurassic Shark? So forgive me if all this comes off as… I’m Michael Crichton and I write about T-rex
dinosaurs. Well I’m Steve Alten who writes Megalodons
who eat T-rex dinosaurs. Nom Nom Nom Nom. I told you I was gonna have too much fun with
this. Fast forward to present day aka 1997, where
we met Jonas Taylor aka Hairy Jason Statham giving a lecture about Megalodons to promote
his new book. Jonas is a broken man. Seen as a joke, a sham, someone who has gone
off the deep end cause… “Before you began studying these Megalodons,
your career was focused entirely on piloting deep-sea submersibles. I’d like to know why, at the peak of your
career, you suddenly quit.” (Page 14) And what he’s claiming in his
book, well… I prefer to theorize why a seemingly extinct
species might exist.” (Page 8) Yeah, Jonas is a broken man and everyone knows
it. He lost his career after killing his crew
during a panic attack in the Mariana Trench. He believes he saw a giant glowing shark coming
at him, but with no proof locks himself off for years to study about Meglodons to prove
he’s right. In those years, his wife, Maggie, has started
an affair with his super rich college friend, Bud, as she works her way to become a famous
news anchor, and is ready to divorce cause she’s just done with everything. Jonas is a broken man and is about to lose
everything that matters to him. It is at his lowest point, he meets Terry
Tanaka, daughter of Masao Tanaka. A famous oceanographer who has a mission and
a chance at redemption… Wait…. This is a 90’s blockbuster as a book. That’s what reading this book is like. From top to bottom it’s no different then
any blockbuster film about a broken down man trying to reclaim, redeem, or prove who he
is under the most unusual circumstance. Oh My God. I would not be surprised if Bruce Willis was
at one point considered to play Jonas. Oh sh… Can we go back in time and make that movie
happen? No? Poop. All the archetypes are here. The washed up lead, the cheating wife, Terry
the tomboy trying to prove her worth to her closed minded father who becomes the love
interest for Jonas based on… that she’s the only other woman of importance in the
story… wait what? And of course, no one believes Jonas for a
third of the book even thought we’re reading a book about giant sharks. As to how they get to the giant shark. We are given the slightly complicated excuse
of underwater earthquake detectors being destroyed in the Mariana Trench, the very same trench
Jonas saw the shark, and since Jonas was one of the best, Masao wants him to go to help
restore funding for his dream whale aquarium and to redeem Jonas too. While Jonas gets to prove if he’s right
cause in one of the photos of the damaged detector he thinks it’s a shark tooth. Turns out it’s a starfish cause why not
do a quick fake out before the first kill. This was not easy to sum up in one paragraph. And that’s not even getting into how a bigger
Meg eats another Meg as it’s being dragged up by the ship using it’s warm blood to
swim up the cold ocean. When you say it like that makes it sound silly. But that’s how we get Jaws but bigger to
eat people and now it’s up to Jonas, the only man who can stop him. What happens next is pure 90’s gold. These are just a few of the scenes that happen. There’s a chase scene between the shark
and a surfer who, after surviving, asks a girl out on a date. An attack on a tourist boat holding a couple
on their tenth anniversary. A character that’s attacks the shark in
a nuclear submarine who says he’s only 30 hours away from retirement. Guess what happens to him? He dead son! And he only had two days till retirement. Hahahahaha. I love it The fact the book plays a lot of these scenes
with a straight face adds a lot to the appeal with writing that’s… what’s the best
way to say it? A simple Michael Crichton. The book does similar things like explaining
interesting tidbits and science, but never goes into the same level of depth you would
expect from a Crichton book. But it will repeat those facts over and over
again cause boy did you know the Meg is awesome? God do I know the Meg is awesome. There are also some serious structural issues. Best example is during a chapter called Saipan
where Jonas needs to get to the island Saipan, but he has no way there and we don’t know
how he will do it. The very next page jumps to him in a helicopter
with a new character, Mac, who turns out to be Jonas’s best friend who wasn’t mentioned
at all before this. Only to get explained in an exposition dump
that’s longer then his introduction. It’s one of the most awkward scenes that
slows down the action and comes off as Alten wrote himself into a corner and made something
up on the fly. Yet moments like these don’t hurt my enjoyment
of the book. Meg is one of those stories that when it works,
it works, and when it doesn’t work it really doesn’t work, but even then there’s still
a charm about it. Meg is one of the cheesiest books I’ve read. But I get the same enjoyment out of it as
I would any 90’s blockbuster. Flaws and all. Though not all flaws work. Some of them are straight up creepy. So let’s talk about Maggie Taylor Maggie is the cheating wife. She’s obsessed with fame and money. Claims to be a voice for the people, but is
really a hypocrite. And is scheming to divorce Jonas by making
him look crazy in the public eye with her henchman reporter. She is not a nice person. I don’t have a problem with that. It’s a silly stereotype you see in a lot
of fiction like this. The man with a cheating wife who either hooks
back up learning the error of her ways or he leaves her because she doesn’t deserve
him. However the thing that makes Maggie creepy
is how Steve uses her to titillate his audience. A beautiful blond woman, tan, thirty years
old, her figure flawless,… (Page 13) Like an object to lust over. He imagined her in a bikini, tanning herself
on Bud’s yacht. (Page 17) The most egregious moment being
when her henchman reporter meets up with her at a hotel and… …a groggy Maggie Taylor…
, wearing nothing but a white robe. It was untied, exposing her tan breasts. (Page 45) That’s bad, but what makes it worst is how
she never covers up during the scene. Over the course of two pages she have a full
on conversation about how she plans to smear Jonas’s name all the while her bosom is
exposed. Why? Why wasn’t there a quick aside, I can understand
with her being groggy, but without a little descriptor it… It’s creepy. Just creepy. Plain weird creepy. Ew. It’s sad cause the book does something I
never thought it would do. So Maggie dies. Of course. She tried to dive in a tank to get footage
of the meg, things go wrong, of course. She almost makes it only for the meg to grab
her in the air, bites her at the waist, then in one of the most disturbing deaths, drowns
her as Bud watches. Bud couldn’t move, staring at the face of
the devil that looked back at him, hovering ten feet underwater. The creature appeared to be smiling, while
Maggie, thrashing about, attempted to scream as she drowned in its grasp. The Megalodon seemed to be toying with her,… (Page 239) Then something happens. Jonas sees the same thing from a helicopter
and goes into a depression. He finds himself caught between so many mix
emotions even when he learns about the henchman reporter. Yet, for a brief moment… God, Maggie, he thought, what did I do to
ever make you so bitter, so unhappy. But Jonas knew in his heart: the long hours,
the traveling, the long nights alone in his study, writing his books. Tears rolled down his cheeks. “I really am sorry, Maggie, so sorry.” At that moment, Jonas felt more love for his
wife than he had over the last two years. (Page 246) Maybe I’m giving too much credit
to this quick scene, but the book does not give us any sympathy for Maggie. If anything we should be happy this cartoon
villain is dead. Yet in this moment we are asked to take a
step back and reexamine what we know. That Maggie’s fame obsessed gold digging
was her way to coup with a husband so focus on the past and making no money. Jonas is just as guilty. He couldn’t make peace with his demons,
and as right as he is, it doesn’t matter cause he just lost everything that mattered. Now he has to come to terms, make peace, and
get on with his life cause there’s still a giant shark to kill. I did not expect such a mature and nuanced
scene from a book about a giant sharks. So why did she have her tittles out in that
one scene. That’s the problem, it’s how the book
handles women, and Maggie gets the worst of it. They at times can be characters and people
and other times they are just objects to be desired. Terry, the tomboy is another example. She’s your stereotypical I can do anything
a man can do. “I’ve hit sixteen thousand twice, no problem.” “Not bad,” admitted Jonas. “Not bad for a woman, you mean.” “Hey, hey, I meant not bad for anyone.” (Page 30) Then later this. Terry Tanaka, clad only in a white sting bikini,
lay on a lounge chair on the upper deck facing the sun. Jonas sat in the shade,… his eyes constantly
returning to the woman. (Page 254) Only to have her say out of nowhere
she’s in love with Jonas cause… there is no go reason. The book never really focuses on the two developing
a relationship, but they get together cause… she’s the one Jonas deserves? Ew. There are even more quotes I haven’t gotten
to, here are a few: I’m… I’m just tired. I want to enjoy the book, but moments like
these really make it a love hate thing. But here’s the thing: you can’t read it. You see this edition I spent this whole video
talking about? It doesn’t exist anymore. You can still find it at used bookstores and
libraries, but if you go out to buy it, then you will find… The remake
This is Meg: Revised and Expanded Edition published in 2015 by Steve’s personal publishing
company. And I hate it; with a burning passion. Why does this exist? Cause this is the only edition where you can
get the eBook only prequel Meg: Origins. …,I wanted to combine that story with MEG,
only the quality of writing simply didn’t mesh – twenty years having matured me as
an author. Steve is not the first to do this, but boy
do I do not agree with this. If you’ve already put a work out there,
it’s out there. Yes we all wish we could go back, do things
differently, fix this, change that, but you take the lesson from your previous work and
do it in your future works. Otherwise you run the risk of losing what
you had going in the first place. First off the prequel story Origins. It’s pointless. It’s just an elongated prologue that works
only for hardcore fans that read the four books written before it. It’s a terrible intro to the series. Spoiling storylines in later books that do
not matter in this book. Oh hey unrelated Jurassic World footage. What are you doing here? Hopefully nothing important. As well as that tired of retcons tropes: taking
a wrong place wrong time scenario and saying some guy named Paul made the Meg go after
Jonas, setting the events of the story in motion. Paul is nowhere in the first book. This prequel is pointless. The rest of the remake does minor things. Chapters are streamlined, scenes are expanded,
minor character names are changed nothing too big. There is one good change in that they introduce
Mac, the helicopter best friend, earlier in the story fixing that one awkward scene. That is the only good thing I have to say
about this remake. Everything else is just a string of what? Like night vision goggles. Cause the Mariana Trench is dark you guys
and the characters wouldn’t have been able to see in the original. So lets add a dozen plus lines of our characters
fumbling with night vision goggles when it doesn’t matter. Steve did Neil deGrasse Tyson read and point
out all the science inaccuracy and you felt you needed to fix them? Hey did you know the Meg and T-rex didn’t
live together? Don’t worry that was all a presentation
during Jonas’s lecture like Alten’s book trailers. So you don’t need to nitpick… God the cares I do not give. You’re not a history book Steve. I don’t go to fiction to learn about facts,
but to experience characters. And even then… There’s added faux tension like having Jonas
taken off the mission in one chapter only to be reinstated by the next page. Taking silly scenes and making them more ridiculous
like the surfer chase now happens during a contest. What? Trying to expand Jonas and Terry’s relationship
by literally saying Boy we had so much sex off page didn’t we. Oh so much sex off page. The best sex off page. The best sex off page. Now our relationship is real. Yes cause we had sex off page. SO MUCH SEX OFF PAGE! Now it’s totally believable. Oh and Maggie and Jonas have a heart to heart
about there relationship that ruins the power the original had. And instead of having both breast out, the
remake only has one… she still doesn’t cover up. Progress? A dozen lines about night vision goggles and
not one of what! It still has issues with women. At this point I’m just tired. And of all the things to change… The ending! The ending is the magical piece of nonsense
I’ve ever read. Where Jonas lets the Meg eats his sub, getting
out of the sub in the meg’s stomach, then crawls around in the stomach to where the
heart is, takes a fossilized meg tooth, cuts through the stomach then stabs the heart with
the tooth till it dies. It’s art. See the tooth is a symbol of Jonas’s obsession. The book makes sure you know that. So having him use it to stab the heart of
the creature of his obsession brings us thematically full circle. Killing his literal demon. In the remake he just blows it up. He gets eaten the same way then lights the
shark’s stomach on fire burning it on the inside cause… it’s cool? Meg is a weird book. I did not think I would have so much to say
about it, but here we are. It is one of the most ludicrous things I’ve
ever read with some serious issues; but with an ending that is just… awesome. Plus just an amount of depth I would never
of assumed this book would have. There’s more to Meg then meets the eye. But, please, don’t read the remake. It takes everything the original had, problematic
flaws and all, and waters it down till you get a story that removes what made the original
so fun. The original is better. Also there are fewer printing errors. Like more then you would expect. OK who is this publisher? So on top of all this, there’s some shadiness
with the publisher, but this video is long enough so links in the doobly doo if you’re
interested. Let’s see: small, independent company, optioning
as major motion pictures, Meg green lit you clearly barely update this site, and is being
developed as a theme park? What? What does that mean? Are you just building a ride or a whole park
based around Meg? Dude that is absurd. It took you twenty years to make one movie. How will it this theme park take? Forty? Who would even host such a thing? Oh. Baby shark dodododododo. Baby Shark dododododo. Baby Shark dododo. Baby shark. Like the videooooooo. Like the videooooo. Like the videoooooo leave a comment
And Subscribebebebe subscribebebe subscribebe hit that bell
This bit has gone on for too long. Yes it has. This bit has gone on for way too long. So I’ll stop. So have a nice day aaaaaay have a nice daaaaay
have a nice daaaay now I’ll stop.

14 Replies to “Meg: A Novel I Love and Hate

  1. Thank you for watching! Trust me this video put me through the ringer. Hope you enjoy this way to serious video about a giant shark.

  2. I learned to read at the daycare centre from a book called Dangerous Australians which had a big great white shark on the cover, that tome of scary murder critters was my The Cat In The Hat growing up.

  3. I actually read this book when I was in high school (The original, not the remake) and I remember not being able to put it down, even during class. Watching the shark go on a rampage and learning more about it was always a delight for me. Though I did not notice the sexism involved back then. I guess you could say it was a by-product of its time but that just brings up the question of why it wasn't removed in the sequel. I also had no idea that there was a series made out of this. Any chance you could look into that ?

  4. Hey david i subbed recently cause i saw ur goosebumps retrospective vids and u did a very good job. I have a series u might like if ud let me tell u.

  5. Wow that zoobook brought me back lol sharks are my life
    I bought a car in March, named it Meg so that when asked why I picked "Megan", I'd say "no Meg is short for Megladon" and then maybe the next month I heard about the Meg n I shit bricks lmao
    I NEVER KNEW ABOUT THE BOOKS EITHER! So glad you posted this video in the booktube weekly group!

  6. Hey David, have you considered reading and reviewing The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson?

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