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.
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.
This book reminded me quite a bit, at least in the story's circumstances, of one of my favorites, Pat Frank's Alas Babylon. Shute's book is fascinating in a rather macabre sort of way. You know what's going to happen as well as the characters do, but the fascination is reading how they deal with the inevitable. Somewhat dated, with quite a few Aussie expressions, and a little preachy in parts, but definitely worth reading.
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
Fantastic book by an author who mostly wrote fiction which are in some cases slightly a notch up from the Harlequin genre....some of which are very good. This one is probably his best.
All out nuclear war devastates entire world. Submarine sent out from small naval colony who are dying, know it, located down under to find out if there is anyone else left anywhere?
Nightmare descriptions of the west coast of US....
Highly recommend if you have not yet read this one, you should!!
Following the war, a radioactive cloud begins to sweep southwards poisoning everything in its path. An American submarine captain is among the survivors left sheltering in Australia, preparing with the locals for the inevitable. Despite his memories of his wife, he becomes close to a young woman struggling to accept the harsh realities of their situation. Then a Morse code signal is picked up and the submarine must set sail through the bleak ocean to search for signs of life.
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.
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.
I remember when this book, and then the movie came out. Chilling!
I read this a number of years ago. Excellent apocalyptic novel dealing with total decimation of the human race by nuclear war.
Much better then the movie!
I had seen this movie years ago, & it was recently aired again (I think because of the "end of the world predictions") recently. I enjoyed it again & thought I would like to read it. Radiation from a senseless war has spread all over the world except for Australia, & the people there await their deaths, coping in different ways. I liked the book very much & it did not seem that "dated" although it is set in the late 1950s, I believe.
After a nuclear war, radiation slowly drifts southwards, gradually killing off humanity there as it has already been killed off in the Northern Hemisphere. The end is less than a year away, yet Australians, and a few American naval refugees seek to maintain their daily lives in the face of doom, and even send an exploratory submarine northwards.
Depressing, but a good read. Very interesting!
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.
This is an early post-apocalypse novel (1957) of the penultimate war initiated, in of all places, Albania. North of Capricorn everything not blasted away is dead from radiation. Slowly, the wind is bringing the radiation further south. What does one do when the means and approximate time of the end is known? Disturbing at best: maybe even more so today than during the cold war.
The last generation...innocent victims of an accidental war, living out the last days, making plans that will never be carried out,making do with what they have--however temporary it might be--hoping for a miracle that will not come. As the deadly rain moves ever closer, and the world as we know it winds toward an inevitable end.
I found this book to be quite a bit out dated and not easy to relate to in a sense that it does not take place in the western hemisphere. Otherwise, this is a great book. The style is slow but you get a real feeling of what is going to happen. I found it amazing that the general consensus of the characters is a resigned acceptance. Perhaps they are like that in Australia...? I highly recommend this book to those that appreciate history and/or what-if scenarios.
Title - "ON THE BEACH" by Nevil Shute.
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 miracle. As the deadly rain moves ever closer, the world as we know it winds toward an inevitable end....
Following a nuclear war in the Northern Hemisphere, the inhabitants of a small Australian community await the inevitable after-effects of the bombs to reach them.
The last generation....innocent victims of a n accidental war. living out the last days, making plans that will never be carried out, making do with what they have--however temporary it might be--hoping for the miracle that will not come. As the deadly rain moves ever closer, and the world as we know it winds toward an inevitable end.