On the Beach

On the Beach

eBook - 2010
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Following a nuclear war in the Northern Hemisphere, the inhabitants of a small Australian community wait for the inevitable aftereffects of the bombs to reach them.
Publisher: New York : Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2010
Edition: 1st Vintage International ed
ISBN: 9780307476982
0307476987

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BookReviewer2015 Jan 10, 2017

An enduring book about hope and tragedy in the twilight of a nuclear winter, following World War 3.

f
flamingo
Dec 18, 2016

I have read all of Neville Shute's books in the fifties. They are all a wonderful read,very insightful about a period my parents lived through. It is amazing that someone is re-issuing some of them. Great!

r
rene1951
Dec 17, 2016

One of my favorite movies as a child or early teen.

h
Hopalong_Kid
Nov 06, 2016

A taste of the 1950's nuclear terror that was a very real to that generation and still is relevant to us. This is worth reading.

g
gendeg
Oct 13, 2016

My literary tastes lean more maximalist, and I have a more pessimistic view of humanity, so the fact that I enjoyed this understated novel about the last remaining survivors from a global nuclear apocalypse facing certain death was truly surprising. Like the radioactive dust that's circling the globe in a gentle death vise, Nevil Shute creates a tightly written novel about facing one's inevitable doom with dignity that's no less gripping.

The fate of everyone in On the Beach is pretty much sealed from the get-go, and yet you can't help but root for them and admire their respect for each other and grace in facing the end until the very last page. It makes you think: what would you do if you only had a few more months after some global cataclysm? Would we all slide into one kind of Purge-esque carnal anarchy, or would we keep going about our business, doing the chores, and tending the gardens, and still being neighborly and kind? Shute shows us the possibility of the latter scenario and it's utterly believeable--even to this cynic. Not often you get such a chilling, dark premise in a book, and finish it feeling strangely uplifted.

TSCPL_ChrisB Jun 03, 2016

On the Beach is like that breed of old sci-fi that has few redeeming qualities, but is worth every minute of it. On the Beach has a certain feel. I realize this is entirely ethereal reasoning and subject to personal tastes, but it has that presence that makes films like A Boy and His Dog, The Blob, or Them! classics forever. At times it's painful--like the neverending car race or the continual mentioning of pogo sticks--but there's just something about the book's atmosphere that makes these things bearable and the end product highly enjoyable.

l
lukasevansherman
Oct 12, 2014

Oh man, the end of the world is boring. Made into a film with Gregory Peck and Ava Gardner.

rollingstock Apr 25, 2014

I tried but too much tedious dialogue for my tastes, I ended up skimming through it. Not what I expected.

j
jgwening
Aug 08, 2013

Reads like a classic. Lots of dialogue between the characters. Not a lot of action. Not your typical modern day apocalyspe or post novel. Language and dialogue are colorful and I think definitely representative of the era and the region. The characters are entertaining but I also found myself frustrated in the way some of them avoid the inevitable end. But I guess everyone would handle this situation differently.

r
Rasputin45
Feb 21, 2013

Brutal. The best apocalypse book out there, period. I want to start over and read it again.

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TSCPL_ChrisB Jun 06, 2016

It's not the end of the world at all," he said. "It's only the end for us. The world will go on just the same, only we shan't be in it. I dare say it will get along all right without us.

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