Chrissy's Reviews > The Beach

The Beach by Alex Garland
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Jul 30, 2007

it was amazing
bookshelves: travel
Read in July, 2007

Excellent writing -- different, interesting, and colloquial without being cliche. His short descriptions of the characters are beyond adequate, as he lets you immediately understand the person. Richard, the main character, is both elusive and relate-able -- he's an enjoyable character for me because I could see myself in him. He's selfish and flawed, but tries to remain a team player and at the end of the day (or the trip?), he tries to save himself and his friends.

Everything about this book is well done, well captued -- the setting in "Thailand" or a Utopian island, the characters from the cook who's obsessed with scented soap to the Harvard students who play up pothead stereotypes to see Europeans react. Then there is Richard's relationship with an imaginary (?) friend ... one that exists somewhere between Richard's nightmares and his daily life.

The book's excitement compels you to keep reading its short chapters. The plot and its surprises are both beautiful and demonic, but always realistic.
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