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The Beach

Added on September 25, 2019 inBeach Shorts

The irresistible novel that was adapted into a major motion picture starring Leonardo DiCaprio. The Khao San Road, Bangkok — first stop for the hordes of rootless young Westerners traveling in Southeast Asia. On Richard’s first night there, in a low-budget guest house, a fellow traveler slashes his wrists, bequeathing to Richard a meticulously drawn

The irresistible novel that was adapted into a major motion picture starring Leonardo DiCaprio.

The Khao San Road, Bangkok — first stop for the hordes of rootless young Westerners traveling in Southeast Asia. On Richard’s first night there, in a low-budget guest house, a fellow traveler slashes his wrists, bequeathing to Richard a meticulously drawn map to “the Beach.”

The Beach, as Richard has come to learn, is the subject of a legend among young travelers in Asia: a lagoon hidden from the sea, with white sand and coral gardens, freshwater falls surrounded by jungle, plants untouched for a thousand years. There, it is rumored, a carefully selected international few have settled in a communal Eden.

Haunted by the figure of Mr. Duck — the name by which the Thai police have identified the dead man — and his own obsession with Vietnam movies, Richard sets off with a young French couple to an island hidden away in an archipelago forbidden to tourists. They discover the Beach, and it is as beautiful and idyllic as it is reputed to be. Yet over time it becomes clear that Beach culture, as Richard calls it, has troubling, even deadly, undercurrents.

Spellbinding and hallucinogenic, The Beach by Alex Garland — both a national bestseller and his debut — is a highly accomplished and suspenseful novel that fixates on a generation in their twenties, who, burdened with the legacy of the preceding generation and saturated by popular culture, long for an unruined landscape, but find it difficult to experience the world firsthand.

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Comments

Anonymous says:

The Beach is a great book! The Beach focuses on the main character of Richard, who finds a map to a hidden beach paradise while traveling in Thailand. After becoming friends with two other travelers, they set out on an adventure to find this beach. After discovering the seemingly “Edenic paradise” on a island in a Thai National Park, Richard soon finds that it’s not as much as a paradise as he first thought. He comes to learn that sometimes civilized behavior tends to break down in a situation such as this, cut…

Anonymous says:

Not just a “beach novel” With Alex Garland gaining popularity in cinema (Ex Machina, Annihilation, etc.) I was curious to check out some of his earlier writing. It had been some time since I had seen the film adaption by Danny Boyle, which was probably a good thing. The movie is OK, but the novel is fantastic.There are two things that jump out at me with the novel (beyond specific events and plot points); 1. The examination of Traveler vs Tourist, and 2. They dynamics of leadership and social order…

Anonymous says:

Lately I had been wondering why I loved backpacking so much when I was younger; this novel made me remember. This adventure novel has depth: the main characters are well-developed, and the situation is thought-provoking. The main character, Richard, and a young French couple, take a tremendous risk to find their version of paradise, only to realize that their idealistic communal life-style on an island of perfect beauty just doesn’t work. They find themselves dangerously isolated and…

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