Sally's Reviews > The Beach

The Beach by Alex Garland
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Aug 14, 12

bookshelves: book-to-screen, fast-read, randomly-own, beautiful, terrifying
Read from July 11, 2010 to January 15, 2012

whoa. words fail me right now, yet clearly they never did author Alex Garland.

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 that was so trite. That is to say so sugar coated, that it was offensively dilute in comparison. I guess that is what adaptations have to do, but crikes.

All that director did well was pick awesome music and coreograph fun beach scenery set scenes to fit them. His choice of actors was also nicely apropos. An early DiCaprio set against a myriad of contemporary exciles (except for Sal, the exquisite Tilda Swinton.) But whatever, this isn't a movie review.
My point is that I know only now that it was underdone; it could have been so much more. Richer, thicker, pulpier, less perky.

I managed to read this in about 18 hours with a baby on my hip. The book transported me so that I felt like I was in Thailand at first, and thickly glad I was not at the end. Books like this, books about psychology, insanity, drug use are astoundingly hard for me to read.
The second and third times it was in a weekend go during the school year.
Reading a book such as this is intense:
At once I feel hyper-aware, insane, and drugged.

What I thought would be a silly, sweet story about backpacking travelers in southeast Asia.
5 likes · Likeflag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Beach.
Sign In »

Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

Jessica oh, this is a great read...

Sally I am l.o.v.i.n.g. it.

message 3: by Liz (new)

Liz Swanson Hi Sal! I just finished The Beach on the plane from Croatia & was reading reviews & came across your's! Hey there social media! I'm not sure how I feel about it yet. I didn't find Richard entirely likeable but also somehow missed that he was 21 which does kind of change how I view him. Interesting. This is my Sept book club book & I was trying to read ahead while I've got the time!

back to top