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A 1991 novel by Peter Benchley (author of Jaws), Beast deals with a series of attacks on Bermudan shipping and swimmers by an incredibley hostile giant squid. It was adapted into a film in 1996 under the slightly changed name of The Beast.
In both versions, the main character is Whip Darling, a longtime Bermuda fisherman. Despite his occupation, Whip deeply loves the ocean and the creatures in it, and has no respect for those who refuse to fish sustainably. He is also a realist, and makes every effort to steer clear of the would-be squid hunters, correctly predicting that such an expedition can only end in failure. Eventually however, Whip's need for money causes him to be drawn into the expedition, alongside longtime friend Marcus, Canadian scientist Dr. Herbert Talley, and Corrupt Corporate Executive Osborn Manning, leading to a final, climactic confrontation with the monster.
Tropes Appearing In This Book Include:
- Animal Wrongs Group: The "Save-The-Squid" crowd. As Whip puts it, "Architeuthis dux is doing a fine job of saving itself."
- Attack of the 50 Foot Whatever: The squid is eventually revealed to be over a hundred feet long. This is not as far-fetched as it sounds.
- Canada, Eh?: Talley, complete with Maritime accent.
- Chainsaw Good: After the squid sinks the boat, Whip fends it off with a chainsaw, severing several of its limbs, before the monster disarms him.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: A surprisingly sympathetic version. Osborn Manning has a lot of money and he certainly throws his weight around, what with blackmailing Whip into helping him. That said, he's also got a very understandable motivation: his son and daughter were killed by the squid and he wants revenge.
- Designated Hero/ Designated Villain: A review of this movie on Jabootu.net named the tropes.
- Deus Ex Machina: The squid sinks Whip's boat, kills Osborn Manning, and nearly gets Talley, Marcus, and Whip when a sperm whale erupts out of the water and tears it in half.
- The End - or Is It?: The squid is dead, yet as the epilogue shows, more and more of them are being born every year.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Osborn Manning certainly does.
- Everything's Squishier with Cephalopods: Indeed.
- Extreme Omnivore: The squid is too dumb to tell the difference between living animals and inorganic matter, leading to attacks on boats and submarines.
- Gaia's Vengeance: Why is the squid here? Well largely because we've killed off most of the animals that eat them when they're babies (tuna, sharks, sea turtles), and most of the animals that eat them when they're adults (sperm whales), and all the food at the bottom of the ocean that they normally eat. That's right kids: we're increasing the numbers of one of the few animals that can fight us on relatively even terms.
- I Gave My Word: Both Whip and Manning operate on this principle.
- I Let Gwen Stacy Die: Marcus' girlfriend was killed by a box jellyfish. He's pretty much defined by it. And then, just as it seems he might be moving on with photographer Stephanie, she's killed by the squid.
- Jaws First Person Perspective: Much of the novel is from the point of view of the squid.
- Jerkass: Osborn Manning, though he does have more principles than one might expect from a Corrupt Corporate Executive. Liam St. John is a straight example, and a moron to boot.
- The Juggernaut: The squid. This isn't too far off from Real Life either. There really isn't much that human made weapons can do to an animal that's that big and has no bones or easily targetable organs.
- Karmic Death: It is heavily implied that the whale that kills the squid is the mother of the baby one that it devoured earlier.
- Mythology Gag: Whip mocks Jaws, one of Benchley's other works, as being BS.
- Poisoned Weapons: The only way that people can kill the squid. St. John uses a poisoned harpoon and a giant poisoned bang stick, Osborn Manning uses an AK-47 in which phosphorus bullets have been replaced with cyanide.
- Revenge: Osborn Manning wants it on the squid.
- Revenge Before Reason: Manning has a bad case of this, and it ultimately gets him killed.
- Science Is Bad: Whip chastises himself for putting faith in science, saying "The only thing scientists admit is what they know. What they don't know - what might be, all the stuff in the in the realm of the possible but unproven - they dismiss as myth." Something of a Wallbanger.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Money: Osborn Manning again.
- Sharp-Dressed Man: Osborn Manning.
- Smug Snake: Liam St. John; Osborn Manning might count too.
- Super-Persistent Predator: The squid ends up like this after Manning, Talley, and Whip first trick it into believing there's a mate nearby, and then try to kill it.
- Too Dumb to Live: Dr. Liam St. John, who first tries to kill the squid with dynamite, then rents a submarine...and promptly wastes one of his weapons on killing a shark instead of on the squid, leading to his death and that of his entire crew.
- Tragic Monster: The squid may be big, violent, and destructive, but Benchley makes a point of showing that it's only an animal in an unfamiliar environment, doing what it has to in order to eat.