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The Beach

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  59,332 Ratings  ·  2,185 Reviews
The Khao San Road, Bangkok - first stop on the backpacker trail. On Richard's first night there a fellow traveller slits his wrists, leaving Richard a map to "the Beach".

The Beach is a legend among young travellers in Asia: white as sands circling a lagoon hidden from the sea, coral gardens and freshwater falls surrounded by jungle. In this earthly paradise, it is rumoured
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Published (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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Ryan Chapman
Mar 05, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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
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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
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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
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Becky
Mar 27, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, ebook_nook, 2011
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
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j
Nov 10, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: seen-on-film
I really wish the copy I read didn't have shirtless Leonardo DiCaprio on it.
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
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
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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
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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
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
Catching up on Cl...: The Beach -- Buddy Read 5 39 Aug 22, 2016 09:00AM  
Can't wait to read this! 9 102 Feb 13, 2014 08:38PM  
Couple on the island 3 98 Nov 29, 2012 11:34PM  
Stephen King Fans: Group Read July '11 - The Beach 91 188 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
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More about Alex Garland...
“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.” 175 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.” 125 likes
More quotes…