Shark Drunk
by Morten Strøksnes
Jonathan Cape

Shark Drunk has a National Geographic magazine-like wonder to the story it tells about oceans, the strange life forms that inhabit their depths, and the two Norwegian fishermen who planned to catch a prehistoric Greenland shark from a tiny inflatable boat. Never mind that these are the world’s largest flesh-eating sharks and that, in addition to saw-blade teeth, these creatures have lips that “glue” prey to their mouths. Or, for that matter, that their poisonous flesh, untreated, causes “intoxication”. Readers might ask why Morten Strøksnes and friend Hugo Aasjord wanted to catch one.

Greenland sharks live to be ridiculously old- and may not have sex until they’re 150

Although no satisfactory answer is forthcoming, Aasjord says that stories from his father about the “creepy” shark had always remained with him and that he just wanted to see the creature coming up from the deep. There’s an old-fashioned charm to the pair’s year-long adventure, although the modern world is never far away, especially when we learn about the bloody side of commercial fishing and whaling, and the scourge of plastic waste in oceans. Whether the pair capture their shark is not the point, although Strøksnes will have you hooked to the end to find out.