I have always thought this book was a thriller and picked it up based on that assumption.
I have just finished reading it 10 minutes ago, during the first minutes of the 28th of Julyafter 48 hours of not being able to put it down. I was prompted to read the book after re-watching the Danny Boyle film adaptation on Film4 several nights ago in fact, it was a Friday night, as these viewings so often are.
That film has always held a strange position in my mind, especially on a critical level.
Some of it works fantastically. The soundtrack, the scenery, the momentarily perfect capturing of scenes of unbridled living and life itself. Still… this is a review of the book, not the film.
I just felt some context was in order. So I watched the film again, feeling as mixed about it as ever. So I pick it up, meaning only to browse momentarily, the film fresh in my mind. I had certainly heard that the film had taken many liberties with the plot and narrative structure present in the source material, so perhaps that piped my curiosity.
I began to read, and before I knew it… I was totally sucked in. Told from his perspective, the relative detachment of the film created due to its star power transforms into the personal thoughts of a rapidly unwinding mind belonging to a troubled English traveller in the novel, who is constantly looking for something new, fresh… somewhere like the beach.
A map leading to the titular beach, an urban myth, a legend amongst young travellers in Thailand telling of a community living in a modern day Eden.
But paradise comes at a price. The setting and location is a character in the book as much as any of the travellers, and the detail with which the surroundings are described prove to be vivid and razor sharp. The thing I immediately loved about the novel, as initially mentioned at the beginning of the review, was Richard.
It is scary to think that, although many of his thoughts and actions seem completely insane, upon reflection it is hard to imagine how you yourself the reader would have coped any better.
This never becomes confusing, and it constantly had me smirking how Richard would often think in his own head what I myself had only just been thinking moments before, be it about another character, or an unfolding event. Furthermore, for reasons I cannot quite pinpoint, the ending left me with a sense of overwhelming sadness.
I think I was sorry my trip was finally over. As in real life, two people may be attracted and never end up together. The characters have faults, and by the end of the book Richard has a lot of scars.
A lot of scars. You get to journey with him, smoke dope with him, live in a paradise community with him, hidden from the world. And when the shit hits the fan, you realise that you are nearly as mad as he is. Boringly as a reviewer, yet truthfully as a fan of this literary work, I cannot divulge any further plot points without taking away some of the journey from a fresh minded reader.
All I can say is that, if you enjoyed the film, please read the book. The parts of the film that worked? This book, cover to cover is all of those parts and so much more. I may have been 13 years late, but in this case it was definitely better to have been late than never.
A fantastic summer read.Wow this book just messes with us mentally. "The Beach is a travel adventure novel with a dark and disturbing atmosphere. The first half of the book was good, building up the momentum gradually, but the 2nd half was more captivating as it was more suspenseful, thrilling and tense.
I like how Alex Garland portrayed the characters in this book/5. The Beach by Alex Garland. My rating: 5 of 5 stars Amazon page. I imagine the elevator speech for this book being, “Lord of the Flies done Paul Theroux style.” While that may or may not sound appealing, this is one of the most gripping novels I’ve read recently.
Garland is a good storyteller, though, and Richard's nicotine-fueled narrative of how the denizens of the beach see their comity shatter and break into factions is taut with suspense, even if the. The Beach [Alex Garland, Michael Page] on regardbouddhiste.com *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers.
The Khao San Road, Bangkok - first stop for the hordes of rootless young Reviews: The Beach is a novel that illustrates the fragility of utopia. Book Summary & Analysis; The Beach by Alex Garland: Summary & Analysis Related Study Materials.
From BookRags: Utopia/Paradise. Paradise means different things to different people, but to backpackers such as Richard, Etienne, Francoise, and most of the residents of the beach commune, paradise is defined is the ultimate travel destination.