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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A picture of what can be seen if you really look hard
It is a phenomenal and moving book. You can't put it down without knowing what will happen next. I'm a slow reader- I read 'east of eden' by John Steinbeck, in 5 months. 'The Beach' is about the same size and I read it in less than a week. The story makes you realize that we are actually destroying this world at our heart's content. Richard hated going back to...
Published on 24 Feb 2000

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars First 50 pages are golden
The first 50 or so pages are some of the best I've read. It'll grip you tightly with it's rich narration of exotic adventure, accuracy of detail and the way it effortlessly dances away from meaningless bells and whistles. I've re-read that first portion about 4/5 times, motivated on each occasion by marvel as to why I wouldn't have finished such an engrossing text which...
Published 24 months ago by Dooscah


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A picture of what can be seen if you really look hard, 24 Feb 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Beach (Paperback)
It is a phenomenal and moving book. You can't put it down without knowing what will happen next. I'm a slow reader- I read 'east of eden' by John Steinbeck, in 5 months. 'The Beach' is about the same size and I read it in less than a week. The story makes you realize that we are actually destroying this world at our heart's content. Richard hated going back to civilization. He wanted to stay in paradise because he saw all the destruction whereas others were blind to it. This book also shows how your mind and feelings can change- how paradise can quite easily turn into hell. It was a great experience to read and my advice is- READ THE BOOK- DO NOT SEE THE FILM, IT'S A DISASTER- IT RUINS IT!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Welcome back to the valley of death, 4 Jan 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The Beach (Paperback)
I appreciate that a lot of people have enjoyed this book so don't want to go over the top with praise...I think the references to Vietnam give the paradise dark overtones i.e. paradise cannot last forever, history will scar and repeat. The knowledge of the main character that he is going crazy, psychosis, i believe is excellent and catalogues in depth how Richard is influcnced by his surroundings and the death of Daffy. Ultimately, most readers will not completely understand the connections between Vietnam and the beach, aside from the geographical location. I think this is part of the intrigue; the book is dark and mysterious and encourages multiple readings to try and understand it. Even if you only grasp the idea of the break-down of civilisation, the book is compelling and the description of Asia leave a deep impact on the imagination. If you do however, believe that the author is too-hyped up on Vietnam, read his second novel, The Tesseract and you will see a completely different type of book, though with a complex make-up. In short an excellent first novel and well-worth its money as it can be read so many times without losing the edge. On a lighter note, Leonado DiCaprio was a pathetic cast for Richard, with no dark side and a sad attempt at going round the bend.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than the film..., 10 Mar 2013
This review is from: The Beach (Kindle Edition)
Stuff in the book that's really exciting...that they leave out in the film. extra things added in the film that make me dislike Richard...I like him in the book.x
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not quite 'Eden'..., 27 April 2007
By 
B. Wright (Gloucester, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Beach (Paperback)
This book is very well-written, capturing the reader's attention from the start. A travel-fiction set in Thailand, following a backpacker as he searches for the perfect 'Eden', a place unsullied by other tourists; 'The Beach'.

For a first novel it's fantastic; it kept me going back and reading. I read half of it in one stint, but then had to slow down a little due to work. The characters are believable and the society in which they work is convincing too. It is funny (if you're into black humour...), witty, and human.

My only problem, possibly due to hype from the film (which I haven't seen yet...), was that I felt the book was building and building to a huge climax, and then when it got to the end I felt a little letdown and like the payoff I was expecting hadn't arrived. The book is definitely worth reading and I'd recommend it to anybody, but just don't go in with expectations. Chances are it will differ from them.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Real Beach, 21 Aug 2006
By 
L. Dablin "The Bibliophile" (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Beach (Paperback)
This has to be one of my favourite all-time novels. 'The Beach' is a stunning combination of an excellent plotline and a great style of writing.

Garland's first novel touches deep into the soul and draws parallels between modern life and war through themes such as the jungle and the contrast between paradise and hell on the same island. I don't know if Garland intended it - but I consdier The Beach to be one of the most meaningful books to come out of the 90's.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it!, 15 Jun 2013
This review is from: The Beach (Kindle Edition)
I saw the film years ago (and love it) but as usual the book is much better. I would definitely recommend this to anyone.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars First 50 pages are golden, 21 July 2012
By 
This review is from: The Beach (Paperback)
The first 50 or so pages are some of the best I've read. It'll grip you tightly with it's rich narration of exotic adventure, accuracy of detail and the way it effortlessly dances away from meaningless bells and whistles. I've re-read that first portion about 4/5 times, motivated on each occasion by marvel as to why I wouldn't have finished such an engrossing text which kicked off so well.

It's difficult to describe. Garland has a way of drawing me in so naturally with his words that I sometimes forget I'm reading a book at all. The language is too accessible and relatable not to feel closely connected to it.

All too often, authors are far too complicated with their creative writing. It almost always results in an obscure mess of terms that completely sidetracks my cognitive perception from the very place, feeling or character they were trying to portray.

For instance "the moonless blossom shimmered the forceful rays of untoward light into the wind bringing a sense of peace", Garland never does this stuff and it's what I admire most about him - This fine balance between simplicity and effective down-to-earth description is golden.

After those first 50-55 pages though when we meet the two Americans Sammy and Zeph, my attention veers off and I merely begin reading "words" without a care for who said what in the dialogue. Their initial surfer-dude twang is painful enough and although short-lived, that point marks the change of what was a really connecting narrative experience abroad into a play of monotony. And that fatally damaged my momentum to continue reading.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Beach, 8 July 2009
By 
S. Young (Glasgow, Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Beach (Paperback)
This is an amazing read and I would highly recommend it. Although the film has slight variations from the book both are enjoyable. Anyone looking for a good read this summer should buy this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars an engrossing read, 3 Aug 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Beach (Paperback)
I would never have bought this book myself, perhaps being put off by Mr Di Caprio's face on the cover, but having it bought for me, I decided to give it a go. That was a mere 32 hours ago! I was totally engrossed at the first page and haven't been able to to put it down since. I must admit, that I thought there was going to be more things of a murderous nature going on much earlier in the book, but the characters and situations kept me enthralled, right through to the bloody end. Cant wait to see the film now!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great read, but not original enough to be a 'cult classic', 7 Feb 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Beach (Paperback)
I really enjoyed the Beach, and finished it in 2 days flat, but I have to agree with another reviewer that it was pretty derivative stuff - well-written, exciting, but if you've read Lord of the Flies and seen Apocolypse Now, you know exactly what's going to happen - My enjoyment was greatly aided by having stayed on the Kao San Road - anyone who's travelled round Thailand will love it if for some reason they haven't already read it. As enjoyable as a decent Hollywood action flick (as it has now become) but not the greatest debut in years, and not a cult classic, except perhaps amongst starry-eyed Gap Year students who do too much pot. (Though maybe that's enough to make it one....)
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The Beach
The Beach by Alex Garland (Paperback - 26 Jun 1997)
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