Arts & Humanities Campus News

Book takes on Hollywood and the sharksploitation genre

“Fins: A Novel of Relentless Satire” is a thinly disguised effort to right a wrong, seeking to counter the influence of the sensationalist portrayal of sharks in novels and movies. This new novel by Gene Helfman is shark-friendly. Helfman depicts sharks as sentient, compassionate, maternal and goal-oriented, cooperating to exact more than revenge.

In this novel, pirates catch sharks in a marine reserve, lop of their fins and discard the sharks for dead. When a series of puzzling shark attacks follows, a group of heroes come together to discover the secret behind the attacks and reveal much more than they expected.

While at the University of Georgia, Helfman taught animal behavior, conservation ecology and ichthyology for 30 years. After retiring in 2007, he began writing novels, hoping to broaden the community of readers that may be receptive to a conservation message. Profits from the sale of this novel will be donated to shark conservation efforts.