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On the Beach
On the Beach
Author: Nevil Shute
"The most shocking fiction I have read in years. What is shocking about it is both the idea and the sheer imaginative brilliance with which Mr. Shute brings it off." — THE SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE — They are the last generation, the innocent victims of an accidental war, living out their last days, making do with what they have, hoping for a miracl...  more »
ISBN-13: 9780345311481
ISBN-10: 0345311485
Publication Date: 9/12/1983
Pages: 288
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.

3.8 stars, based on 113 ratings
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette
Members Wishing: 0
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Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed On the Beach on + 716 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 12
I have owned this book 25-30 years; it is part of my permanent collection. It is one of the most riveting books I have ever read, and I have read it at least a half dozen times. It takes the reader into the lives and thoughts of a handful of people in Australia. Australian inhabitants are among the last survivors in the world after nuclear war. How the final survivors deal with the last days of their lives-- store their garden furniture for a spring they will never see, drain oil from cars up on blocks they will never drive again, put hay in fields for cattle that will momentarily outlive them. And finally, make decisions about passing with sicker spouses and family members, or outlining them for a tiny moment. After facilitating the end of the world, the various world governments thoughtfully provide little red boxes, free of charge, with a painless pill to free yourself of radiation sickness. And of course, an equally painless syringe, so you can also put down your pets--and kids.
reviewed On the Beach on + 200 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
Telling the story of a group of post-nuclear war citizens in Australia, this book is both frightening and horrifying. They try to come to terms with what has happened and what is to come, while at the same time living in a dichotomy, with one couple planning out their garden in one conversation, and how to end their lives with cyanide in the next. This book is much darker than "Alas, Babylon" but is a classic and the mental images Shute creates will stay with you for life. Highly recommended.
reviewed On the Beach on + 384 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
i have read this book and seen the movie a number of times and never get over the images of people on the edge at the end of the world.
if you ever read this you will be more gentle with the world and look for peace everytwhere...and will never forget about the coke bottle
reviewed On the Beach on + 716 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This is both one of the best and one of the saddest books I have read in my lifetime. The lives of a number of people are followed in the last year of their lives, after nuclear war. What they eat, how they tell their children, parents, pets and homes good-bye. I was drawn directly into their lives.
reviewed On the Beach on + 296 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This is a famous book about the period right after the nuclear Armegeddon. It is a bit dated to the 50's-60's, but is a very good story.
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reviewed On the Beach on + 6 more book reviews
An interesting look at Mr. Shute's expectations of what world-ending crisis would look like. Maybe it's the fact that I didn't grow up in the 1950's, but none of what was going on seemed accurate to me and my expectations. The last 20 pages were, for me, the only interesting part of the whole book.