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The Beach by [Garland, Alex]
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The Beach Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 468 customer reviews

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Length: 448 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product description

Amazon Review

In our ever-shrinking world, where popular Western culture seems to have infected every nation on the planet, it is hard to find even a small niche of unspoiled land--forget searching for pristine islands or continents. This is the situation in Alex Garland's debut novel, The Beach. Human progress has reduced Eden to a secret little beach near Thailand. In the tradition of grand adventure novels, Richard, a rootless traveller rambling around Thailand on his way somewhere else, is given a hand-drawn map by a madman who calls himself Daffy Duck. He and two French travellers set out on a journey to find this paradise.

What makes this a truly satisfying novel is the number of levels on which it operates. On the surface it's a fast-paced adventure novel; at another level it explores why we search for these utopias, be they mysterious lost continents or small island communes. Garland weaves a gripping and thought-provoking narrative that suggests we are, in fact, such products of our Western culture that we cannot help but pollute and ultimately destroy the very sanctuary we seek. --Amazon.com

Review

"A furiously intelligent first novel about backpacker culture in Southeast Asia, a book that moves with the kind of speed and grace many older writers can only day-dream about. Just as impressively, Garland has written what may be the first novel about the search for genuine experience among members of the so-called X Generation that's not snide or reflexively cynical. I suspect many young readers will be deeply grateful for this British novelist's levelheaded observations and will clutch this book tightly to their chests. (Look for tattered copies of The Beach tucked into backpacks across the world next summer, right next to the de rigeur Lonely Planet guidebooks.) The rest of us will just be happy to tag along for the ride. The Beach combines an unlikely group of influences--The Heart of Darkness, Vietnam war movies, The Lord of the Flies, the Super Mario Brothers video game....The Beach is ambitious, propulsive fiction." --The Washington Post


"What makes The Beach a truly awesome piece of work is Garland's understated, assured depiction of the perils of pop...Is The Beach a Gen X novel? I concede to the marketing people on this one and depart here, cowed." --The Village Voice


"You have in your hands one great book...The Beach will astonish readers.Garland manages to hook in the reader from the first page...The Beach builds to a crackling finale, complete with interesting moral questions.Not since reading Donna Tartt's The Secret History has this reader been so impressed and taken with a first novel."--USA Today


"Generation X has its first great novel...The Beach is an awesome first novel that works as an adventure story, an allegory and an explanation for why every human since Adam and Eve has an irresistible impulse to create a perfect world and destroy it. Garland's literary antecedents are Lord of the Flies and On the Road, with maybe a little Animal Farm thrown in for extra nastiness, and it is a testament to his a

"A book that moves with the kind of speed and grace many older writers can only day-dream about. The Beach is ambitious, propulsive fiction." --The Washington Post
"What makes The Beach a truly awesome piece of work is Garland's understated, assured depiction of the perils of pop." --The Village Voice

"The Beach will astonish readers... Not since reading Donna Tartt's The Secret History has this reader been so impressed and taken with a first novel." --USA Today

"The Beach is an awesome first novel that works as an adventure story, an allegory and an explanation for why every human since Adam and Eve has an irresistible impulse to create a perfect world and destroy it. A wonderful adventure and allegory that may be the best novel written by anyone currently younger than 30." --Sunday Oregonian

"Alex Garland... has a clear, engaging storytelling style and a vivid imagination. Deftly, he uses real-life travel details--smells, optical effects, quirks of language, social rituals--to keep the reader's disbelief at bay." --The New York Times Book Review

"Remarkable.... astonishingly assured.... The Beach is distinguished by Garland's bracingly transparent prose and tells a classic story of generational envy and displacement. A luminous voyage into the dark side of humanity's increasingly tenuous dreams of paradise." --Salon

"Generation X meets Lord of the Flies in this ripping good adventure yarn...Garland shows a precociously sure hand in this taut, exotic thriller. For a young author, he knows too well the peril of finding paradise on earth...a skillful first novel about the demise of an earthly paradise." --People

"[G]ripping, intelligent and written with a discipline many young writers only grow into." --New York Newsday

"The Beach makes for a relevant and fascinating read....an excellent critique of the backpacker phenomenon--its nouveau colonialism and its tragically misdirected idealism." --Time Out

"Garland's provocative style--somewhere between Joseph Conrad, Bret Easton Ellis, and Stephen King--creates a modern-day Eden where Nintendo Game-boy, "Apocalypse Now," and a drug-trafficking Thai militia blend seamlessly into the landscape." --Vogue


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2400 KB
  • Print Length: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (5 July 2007)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003AYZBM0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 468 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,217 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer reviews

Top customer reviews

By Ignite TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 23 July 2017
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a bit outside my usual kind of book and for that reason I went into it with no expectations. It follows the adventures of Richard, a dope-smoking traveller, who appears quite delusional, seeing a dead man initially in his dreams, then, apparently, in the flesh. He is given a map to an idyllic island, a modern day Eden, off the tourist path, and together with a French couple, he follows it.

I found this a hard book to enjoy, as most of the characters in it were deeply unpleasant or unlikeable in one way or another. The story didn’t appear very structured and, given that there were both young men and women, often unattached, there seemed to be far less sexual activity that I’d have expected. There was a strong thread about catching, growing and preparing food, which certainly would be an obsession, but there was an air of pointlessness about it all. I may well have abandoned the book had I not had a good friend cheering it along.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Close your eyes and imagine paradise but open your eyes and find a nightmare. This novel offers pure escapism. Besides some of the horrors experienced by the characters in the book, if you were to ever come across Daffy's map, you'd go find The Beach.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Fantastic page turning beginning, but then it dragged a little. Characters introduced well and I managed to read it all in under a week.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A strange but enjoyable novel particularly since, by coincidence, I had just returned from a holiday in Thailand. It is an essay in self-examination during a weird series of events.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Honestly I have not finished it yet , just about half way through but so far I am loving it, Once I I seen the movie starring Leonardo Di Caprio I just had to buy the book,
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm still not sure if I've got the right idea. It sort of 'tails of'f just when you think it's going to get exciting.
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Pure escapism in this book, hard to put down
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Garland combines a travelogue with an unreliable narrator, and leads his readers through the backroads of Thailand to a secluded beach. Under the guise of a utopian paradise, tempers fray and disillusionment takes over, serving as the catalyst to their ruin. Many of Garland's characters are stereotypical 'travelling' types; oh-so spiritual and worldly, but ultimately motivated by petty wants and needs, and a desire for power. Their hypocrisy, and the varying ways in which it is revealed, is what makes this novel so cutting and memorable.
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