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Der Strand

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  63,859 ratings  ·  2,390 reviews
In unserer stets kleiner werdenden Welt, in der die westliche Gegenwartskultur jede Nation auf diesem Planeten infiziert zu haben scheint, ist es schwer, auch nur ein kleines Fleckchen ursprünglicher Natur zu finden, geschweige denn unberührte Inseln oder gar Kontinente. Dies ist die Situation in Alex Garlands Erstlingsroman Der Strand. Der Fortschritt hat den Garten Eden ...more
Paperback, 445 pages
Published February 1st 2000 by Wilhelm Goldmann Verlag, GmbH (first published 1996)
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Miranda W. This book is NOT light-hearted, in fact it gets pretty darn dark. It does have a small, interesting part about Bangkok, but the majority of the book…moreThis book is NOT light-hearted, in fact it gets pretty darn dark. It does have a small, interesting part about Bangkok, but the majority of the book unfolds on The Beach. Great book, but if you're looking for light-hearted, this probably isn't it.(less)
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3.93  · 
Rating details
 ·  63,859 ratings  ·  2,390 reviews


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Kylie D
I really have no idea how to describe this book, it was mesmerising. Richard, a British backpacker arrives in Bangkok and on his first night in a hostel is given a map that leads to a so-called Eden, a secret beach that few travellers know about. So with French couple Etienne and Francoise in tow, they try to find the island. When they do life is idyllic for a while, then cracks start to appear, and they find that their Eden isn't the Paradise it seems.
I can't even pinpoint what it is about this
...more
Ryan Chapman
I will defend this book's subtle intelligence to the ends of the Earth. Garland's performative act--seducing us with the myth of perfect travel, deftly balancing the naive hypocrisies of Westerners rooting out the exotic in the East--creates a brutal ending that recasts what had led up to it. While Garland could have easily stopped with a cautionary tale, he went further by lacing his character's thoughts not with literary allusions, but filmic ones. Which 20-something British kid wouldn't think ...more
Maciek
Having never heard of Alex Garland I picked up his debut novel, "The Beach" because the cover and premise were intriguing. I'm happy to say that Mr. Garland delivered exactly what he promised and I breezed through this little yellow book in two days. If Jack Kerouac wore shorts and hung out with William Golding, the two might have produced something like this.

The Beach is compulsively readable because of several factors. First, the chapters are structured and trimmed into an expert lenght, ofte
...more
Annet
May 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: asia, weird
Great, bizarry, chilling story, keeps you turning the pages til the end. In the top of my booklist definitely.

Note 2018 after this book came up again in my goodreads library: another 'classic' which I really found intriguing back then. Need to reread definitely.
Ryan
May 04, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I basically devoured this book. Started on Friday, finished by Monday. Part of it has to do with the way the book is written (short, three to four page vignettes that make it easy to say, "Oh I'll just read one more") but a larger part has to do with the momentum of the story. it doesn't really ever let up. i was never bored reading this book in fact I almost compulsively needed to know what would happen next. The whole thing kind of plays out like a really well-done summer popcorn movie.

Two de
...more
Becky
Mar 27, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011, ebook_nook, reviewed
I've never seen this movie, but I have seen the commercials for it. I have always thought this book was a thriller and picked it up based on that assumption. But... It wasn't. Or, it mostly wasn't. The last 25 pages (minus the epilogue) were thriller-esque, but that's not what this story is about.

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
Joe Valdez
May 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction-general
The Beach was the 1996 debut novel by Alex Garland, a British writer who's gone on to pen the screenplays for an impressive bunch of UK-produced science fiction films. Garland authored 28 Days Later (2003) and Sunshine (2007), adapted Kazuo Ishiguro's novel Never Let Me Go (2010), as well as the comic book Dredd (2012), the version that was actually good. His name first materialized on screen in 2000 with The Beach and despite the dismal reception of that film -- the script for which Garland did ...more
F
Nov 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, thailand, seen-movie
Started & finished this within 5 days.

Fantastic, i LOVED it.

Much darker than the film.
unknown
Nov 10, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: seen-on-film
I really wish the copy I read didn't have shirtless Leonardo DiCaprio on it.
Hannah Eiseman-Renyard
Jul 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: travellers, hippies
Gorgeous, Cynical, Well-Observed

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
Scribble Orca
Aug 18, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Scribble by: Maciek

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
Trudi
Jul 30, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Trudi by: Maciek

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
Snow White
I liked the story, atmosphere and the adventurous quality of this book. But I thought the writer struggled with his descriptions. He didn't always manage to convey the characters' emotions or thoughts in a convincing and natural way, nor did some of the scenes seem fluent. Plus I really disliked the protagonist, Richard. His immature, superficial macho behaviour got old really fast.
3.5 stars
Jules
Jan 17, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having seen the film a couple of times, I was worried it would ruin my experience of the book, but not at all. This was a great read, and quite hard to put down, as I wanted to know what was going to happen next (even having seen the film). The film and the book version feel like two very separate things to me.
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
Jun 22, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Stoners with utopian fantasies
Given time, Shangri-La never is.
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
Chrissy
Jul 17, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel
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
...more
Nicola
I first read this book about 10 years ago and I've read it at least 10 times since then. As a simple adventure story, it doesn't lose its punch, even upon rereading. Richard, a young English traveller, is given a map in Bangkok by a man named Daffy Duck, who promptly commits suicide. The map leads Richard to a secret beach, where a commune of travellers live in apparent paradise. Unfortunately, this tiny microcosm of existence, while idyllic, is also prone to disasters – from the banal, like a b ...more
Sanara♥
Wow, my head is all messed up after reading this book. Although "The Beach" is a travel adventure novel, it also has a dark and a disturbing atmosphere.
The first half of the book was good, building up the momentum gradually, but the 2nd half was more captivating as it was more suspenseful, thrilling and tense.
I like how Alex Garland portrayed the characters in the book. I especially liked how he presented Richard's character. He's the kind of character you'd probably dislike. But weirdly, I di
...more
Julie Ehlers
The Beach made a big splash when it first came out and was quickly followed by a movie version starring Leonardo DiCaprio. I was curious to check it out, so naturally I bought a copy of the book and then let it follow me from apartment to apartment before finally reading it nearly 20 years later. I wonder if I would have liked it more if I'd read it back then? Don't get me wrong, this was entertaining, but also flawed: All of the characters (except the French guy) were horrible people, the Vietn ...more
Sarah
May 30, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dick-lit
A fortunate find at the anniversary Big Book Sale with S and K on my first day of vacation. I'd been toying with reading this after something triggered my memory of the awful movie (perhaps after hearing Porcelain or another decade-old Top 40 soundtrack song at some store in the Bay Area, as is prone to happen around here), and after toying with the idea of going backpacking before my window closes, i.e. before I truly become too old and curmudgeonly. Thank goodness I read this rambling book and ...more
Karlyflower *The Vampire Ninja, Luminescent Monster & Wendigo Nerd Goddess of Canada (according to The Hulk)*
Happy St. Patrick's day all :).

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
Tom
Apr 02, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: backpackers
This book is of course way better than the movie.
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
Bill
May 31, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I picked this one up because a few of my Goodreads friends loved it.
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
(view spoiler)
But it was more than that.
...more
Tressa
Jan 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First of all I would like to thank my friend Maciek for suggesting this great book! I couldn't tear myself away until I finished it.

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
Ioannis Anastasiadis
''η ευτυχία είναι ένα όνειρο και η δυστυχία είναι πραγματικότητα''
Βολταιρος

O Alex Garland είναι γνωστός για την πολύπλευρη του σταδιοδρομία στον Κινηματογράφο είτε ως παραγωγός ταινιών μυθοπλασίας, είτε ως σεναριογράφος -και τακτικός συνεργάτης ταινιών του σκηνοθέτη Danny Boyle- πραγματοποιώντας πριν τρία χρόνια κ το σκηνοθετικό του πολυβραβευμένο ντεμπούτο με το Ex Machina (2014), μια ταινία επιστημονικής φαντασίας όπου η Τεχνολογική και Ρομποτική Επιστήμη έρχεται αντιμέτωπη με τις τερατώδεις α
...more
Jason
Feb 19, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of those novels that I had been waiting to read for years. Circumstances just always prevented it, even after I'd seen the movie three or four times. I could never find a copy in China where I was living, I'd forget about it each year I came home and wouldn't order it from Amazon. But finally, I picked this up for my Kindle (bootleg, as it doesn't seem to have an official Kindle release) and dove right in. I started it at the perfect time, too: on a bus ride through central Malaysia, ...more
Kathryn
Feb 06, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kathryn by: Trudi
My immediate thoughts on finishing The Beach are this: It was pretty good. Four stars. Not the best ever I've read. Quite different than the movie adaptation.

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
Amy
Apr 23, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is maybe my favorite book ever. I have read it 5 times (just completed the fifth read) since I bought it in 2000. I never get tired of this story. The writing is extremely witty and transports you to a world that seems beautiful on the outside, but quickly turns on its protaganist to become deeply sinister and threatening. The main character of Richard is relatable to everyone: he is searching for something, he is not sure what, but thinks he has found it in the beach. He never escapes ...more
Sve
Aug 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
По-слабия вариант на "Повелителят на мухите". Доста увлекателна и бързо се чете. Тъпото е, че има happy end като в американски филм.
Sally
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 tha
...more
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Can't wait to read this! 9 103 Feb 13, 2014 08:38PM  
Couple on the island 3 104 Nov 29, 2012 11:34PM  
Stephen King Fans: Group Read July '11 - The Beach 91 192 Jul 26, 2011 04:14PM  
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Alex Garland (born 1970) is a British novelist and screenwriter.

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
“When you develop an infatuation for someone you always find a reason to believe that this is exactly the person for you. It doesn’t need to be a good reason. Taking photographs of the night sky, for example. Now, in the long run, that’s just the kind of dumb, irritating habit that would cause you to split up. But in the haze of infatuation, it’s just what you’ve been searching for all these years.” 188 likes
“If I'd learnt one thing from travelling, it was that the way to get things done was to go ahead and do them. Don't talk about going to Borneo. Book a ticket, get a visa, pack a bag, and it just happens.” 133 likes
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