The Khao San Road, Bangkok - first stop for the hordes of rootless young Westerners traveling in Southeast Asia. On Richard's first night there, a fellow traveler slashes his wrists, bequeathing to Richard a meticulously drawn map to "the Beach."
The Beach, as Richard comes to learn, is a subject of legend among the young travelers in Asia: a lagoon hidden from the sea, wit...more
Two de ...more
The Beach is compulsively readable because of several factors. First, the chapters are structured and trimmed into an expert lenght, ofte ...more
Believe it or not, despite the hints throughout about dark and terrible things to come, this novel doesn't really turn dark until around the last fifth.
Until then it's beautiful scenery, well-observed love triangles and petty dislikes, and a new traveller trying to get to, and then assimilate into, the hidden island paradise known as the beach. However, our boy, English narrator Richard, was originally given a map to the beach by an angry/disturbed guy he met in ...more
What was it about? I'm not really sure. It feels like one of those books that are kind of infinitely interpretable. Every person who reads it may see something different in it. For my part, I didn't re ...more
Everything about this book is ...more
GR friend Maciek recommended this book to me, and I highly recommend that you check out his most awesome review that does a brilliant job of capturing this book's strengths. As for me, I knew very little about it save from what I could vaguely remember from the movie that's over ten years old now.
It's hard for me to classify this novel as anything other than "an experience". Parts of it are fun and breezy, others dark and depressing. Still others surreal and uncomfortable. It has adventure. It ...more
You must grow up and live in the real world, complicated and unpleasant as it may be. Seems to me this is something every generation has to figure out for itself, with assistance or hindrance from various psychoactive substances.
Richard, age 21, goes to Thailand and finds his way to a hidden settlement on a secluded island that is supposed to be off-limits to tourists. The people there are enjoying an Edenic existence, getting nearly everything they need from the ...more
I've put off writing anything about this hoping that I'd be able to drag my weary disinterest through to the end of the novel...unfortunately that never occurred. Maybe it's because of having done the itinerant traveller thing, or maybe it was because the book felt too contrived, or maybe....I expected something else or something more. Whatever. This just didn't do it for me.
If you haven't backpacked through Asia, I guess this book could be an interesting read...and if you had, it might be chock ...more
The only thing I knew about this story is that it was made into a movie with Leo DiCaprio and it got lukewarm reviews. I stayed away from it for that reason. If the movie is 1/10 as good as this novel, then I missed a treat.
Three world travelers have a map to a beach that is described as Eden. Feeling adventurous, they make the difficult journey there, and are soon ...more
What I liked about The Beach were several things: I really enjoyed the way Garland wrote this story. For me, it was a realistic aspect of the way someone might think, speak, feel, and act. I enjoyed the realistic quality of the dialogue. To me, it didn't really seem forced, or trying too hard. For a first novel, I'm kind of left impressed. ...more
The movie was watered down, warped, and completely missed the point Garland tried to make in his astonishingly succesful first novel.
For starters, Richard, the main character, is brown, English, and doesnt have sex with anybody. He's not Leo at all.
The first half of the book is incredible and really gets deep into the backpacking culture in Thailand, and is the best example of backpacker literature for our generation that I've yet seen.
Still, a ...more
It seems rather fitting that I would finish The Beach by Alex Garland today, as this book is a bit of a mind fuck, and the day of the Irish tends towards the same. The similarity, naturally, ends there.
The Beach is Golding's Lord of the Flies for a twenty-or-thirty-something audience. And whilst I know I may get flayed for this, I have to say, I liked it quite a bit better.
I know that Golding did it first so when I feel the pull between my favourite character in ...more
The voice of my generation, in a way. I really enjoy watching the world through this narrator's eyes, so much that I'm willing to follow him down a sinkhole of madness. What a beautiful demise to paradise.
Don't worry, not a spoiler alert. The narrator is fine in the end. In the movie version. How is the book different?
I dare you to read it and tell me for yourself.
The adaptation was all I knew of this story, and tha ...more
Our first Book of Bedtime of 2016 celebrates twenty years since the publication of Alex Garland's cult novel, The Beach. Joe Dempsie reads this thrilling tale of paradise sought and lost.
Jaded young backpacker Richard is in Thailand looking for a place unspoilt by tourism. An encounter with a dead man leaves him with a map for 'the beach', a select traveller community cut off from the degradations of vacationing westerners. He joins the commune, but his breadcr ...more
Kitabı keyifle uzata uzat ...more
The Beach was the catalyst for this experiment I've started, I couldn't believe that it'd been five years since I've read the thing. It was also the book I was most afraid wouldn't hold up. It's reputation has suffered since the awful Danny Boyle movie, not helped by the fact that Alex Garland answered the question "Would he be the great novelist of Generation X?" with a resounding "No!".
The Beach was one of those perfect time perfect place books. I read it ...more
I was wrong.
This book is every bit as energetic and sun-soaked as it was the first time around, and left me wondering what the characters would have made of the world to come. They seek to find someplace new because tourists and crowds swallow up every other interesting place on the trail ...more
Other ways to describe it are: outstanding, profane and disturbing.
My only regret in reading this novel is that I never got around to it until now instead of when it was first published in 1997, as i ...more
Alex Garland is a very eloquent and studied writer, and the editing is top-notch. I can see why it's a cult classic, it definitely expounds on a traveler's idea of the perfect getaway.
I highly recommend this book, a great read which I am getting read ...more
I also predicted corre ...more
The Beach begins with our narrator, Richard, a traveller in Thailand who overhears the rants of a man living next door about a mysterious beach, supposedly pure and untouched by tourists. The next day, the man strangely commits suicide but not before leaving a map to the beach on Richard's door. Richard then befriends a couple from Fran ...more
Unfortunately, it didn't do a whole lot for me. What it boils down to
is that I'm not all that keen on Garland's writing here.
For some reason, he failed to engage me in the narrative. It's hard to put my finger on it as to why that is.
For example, there was one point where he was describing
Zeph and Sammy getting beaten by the guards, and I felt very detached to the action.
But it was more than that. ...more
the only time i put the book down was when i had to do number one. and by then i realized that i was well on my way to pulling an all-nighter.
okay, so sue me for stating the obvious, but for me the book is about adventure. and hopes. and dreams.
about to what extent one is willing to pursue them. and once those things become reality, what is one prepa ...more
Garland is the son of political cartoonist Nick (Nicholas) Garland. He attended the independent University College School, in Hampstead, London, and the University of Manchester, where he studied art history.
His first novel, The Beach, was published in 1996 and drew on his experiences as a backpacker. The novel quickly became a cult c ...more