Jaws is a fun, blast-through-it "killer shark in local waters" beach read that spawned one of my all-time favorite movies.
The novel has more character-intense subplots, and is a bit nastier (on the human scale) than the film; in the novel, the characters don't bond so much, as put up with each other, with venality and/or desperation defining many of characters' motives/actions. Relatable, and borderline noirish.
Even if you've seen the movie, the novel is a worthwhile read, with a notably different finish than the film.
For another review, check out Bryan's Book Blog.
The film version was released stateside on June 20, 1975.
Roy Scheider played Chief Martin Brody. Robert Shaw played Sam Quint. Richard Dreyfuss played Matt Hooper. Lorraine Gary played Elaine Brody.
Murray Hamilton played Mayor Larry Vaughn. Jeffrey Kramer, billed as Jeffrey C. Kramer, played Hendricks.
Steven Spielberg directed the film, from a screenplay by book author Peter Benchley, Carl Gottileb (who also plays Meadows), an uncredited Howard Sackler and an uncredited John Milius.