The Beach by Alex GarlandThe Beach by Alex Garland

The Beach

byAlex Garland

Paperback | February 1, 1998

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The irresistible novel that was adapted into a major motion picture starring Leonardo DiCaprio.

The Khao San Road, Bangkok -- first stop for the hordes of rootless young Westerners traveling in Southeast Asia. On Richard's first night there, in a low-budget guest house, a fellow traveler slashes his wrists, bequeathing to Richard a meticulously drawn map to "the Beach."

The Beach, as Richard has come to learn, is the subject of a legend among young travelers in Asia: a lagoon hidden from the sea, with white sand and coral gardens, freshwater falls surrounded by jungle, plants untouched for a thousand years. There, it is rumored, a carefully selected international few have settled in a communal Eden.

Haunted by the figure of Mr. Duck -- the name by which the Thai police have identified the dead man -- and his own obsession with Vietnam movies, Richard sets off with a young French couple to an island hidden away in an archipelago forbidden to tourists. They discover the Beach, and it is as beautiful and idyllic as it is reputed to be. Yet over time it becomes clear that Beach culture, as Richard calls it, has troubling, even deadly, undercurrents.

Spellbinding and hallucinogenic, The Beach by Alex Garland -- both a national bestseller and his debut -- is a highly accomplished and suspenseful novel that fixates on a generation in their twenties, who, burdened with the legacy of the preceding generation and saturated by popular culture, long for an unruined landscape, but find it difficult to experience the world firsthand.
Alex Garland is the author of the bestselling generational classic The Beach (which was adapted into a major motion pictures starring Leonardo DiCaprio) and of The Tesseract, a national bestseller and New York Times Notable Book. He also wrote the original screenplay of the critically acclaimed film 28 Days Later. 
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Title:The BeachFormat:PaperbackDimensions:448 pages, 7.99 × 5.14 × 0.92 inPublished:February 1, 1998Publisher:Penguin Publishing Group

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1573226521

ISBN - 13:9781573226523

Appropriate for ages: 18 - 18

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from This book truly blew me away, it’s now one of my all time favourites This book truly blew me away, it’s now one of my all time favourites. I loved the movie and heard great things about the book so I gave it a shot, it was exceptional. The main character is so believable I often found myself wondering if his idiosyncrasies were based on the author himself or a very close friend. I won’t go into too much detail about the book itself, just that I highly recommend it!
Date published: 2018-07-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Captivating! This book was filled with details, it almost seemed as though I was reading a memoir! I became so invested that it felt like I was on an adventure with the character in the book! Great summer read!
Date published: 2017-08-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Lose yourself in this book! This was my favourite book as a teenager and into my early twenties - it's a quick, easy read but the story has depth. Beware: it awakens a deep longing for adventure and travel! Every few years I feel the urge to re-read it - something about the book just sticks with you.
Date published: 2017-03-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Adventurous Adventurous read. I read this many years ago and loved it, my son read my book again and loved it too! It's plot is twisted and keeps you on edge.
Date published: 2017-02-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Marvellous Very easy and quick read. The story is marvellous and each characters are well presented. If you read carefully, there is a lot of themes such as Utopia and rebellion in the novel.
Date published: 2016-12-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Classic Everyone is right--you pick this up, and that's the end of it. You won't put it down. This book moves at lightning speed with such a twisted, intricate storyline. The characters are intriguing and terrible at times and you absolutely cannot stop until you know everything about the Beach and its inhabitants. There is something about this that will always reside in your mind after reading it. Just clear your weekend once you pick it up.
Date published: 2015-09-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This book is brilliant, so much better than the film! Couldn't put it down!
Date published: 2014-01-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from All time favourite. . . The Beach is about a young traveller, who along with newly made friends discovers “Eden” and all it has to offer. This is the kind of novel I refer to as book CRACK! It’s just so good and so addicting. I’ve read this novel about 10 times over the past 7 or 8 years since a friend told me about it. The novel just exudes emotion. I still get nervous and tense in certain parts. I laugh and smile. I feel absolute joy. This is my one thing on a desert island. Who I’m I kidding; this is my Linus’ blanket. Take the house, the kids, but don’t you think of taking my copy of The Beach. I haven’t met anyone who’s read The Beach and been disappointed with it. It’s not possible. Psssh. . . Got any Book CRACK? I do. The Beach
Date published: 2012-04-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic I could not put the book down. I have wanted to visit Thailand ever since.
Date published: 2009-08-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Modern Adventure The Beach by Alex Garland is a novel that has the power to transport you from your chair or couch, directly to Thailand. Although the characters are eccentric and diverse enough that you realize that this a story you are reading, Garland manages to captivate you. He has created a modern adventure with all of the necessary items: love, danger and a new world. By following the character of Richard through the streets of Thailand and to the beach of paradise it is the setting that you visualize most clearly. While reading you can hear the ocean as it laps onto the beach, and you can feel the way the sun hits your skin, just as Garland has described it. Although it is difficult to empathize completely with the characters, it is easy to relate to the bonds that are formed between certain characters in the book, making one feel much more anxious during certain parts of the novel. Garland has done a wonderful job of entertaining. It is an easy read that you will not be able to put down. A true joy to read - again and again.
Date published: 2008-12-16
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Welcome to the jungle! Reminiscent of an underdeveloped and psychedelic version of Lord of the Flies, I did find this to be an interesting read, but it fell short of the mark in various aspects of the story. An excellent first effort though, for this young author. www.booksnakereviews.blogspot.com
Date published: 2008-11-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Wow! I don't know how he does it. How does he weave such a tale, complete with three-dimentional characters? Add to that unpredictable twists and turns of plot and an ability to paint pictures in our minds?
Date published: 2008-04-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fast paced and interesting The only time I had heard about this book was when the movie came out, probably about 10 years ago. I came across it in a used bookstore and thought I'd give it a try. And I can honestly say I'm glad I did. Garland weaves a great tale about Richard, a young traveller who will go a far way to find his eden. Of course everyone knows that such a place will come with a price. When the reviews call it a modern Lord of the Flies, they are accurate, however this story is far more disturbing because the characters are adults and should know better than the things they do. Creep, dark, interesting.....I really liked this one.
Date published: 2008-02-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Psychological Adventure The Beach is a wonderful book. It will take on a journey of dreams, travel, relaxation and fear. The movie based on this book only told a minimal part of this adventure. The author writes like he lived the events that are related in the book. Alex Garland will make you feel vivid emotions. You will feel excitement and chills down you spine. It is the most thrilling book I have ever read. It is really hard to believe that The Beach is the first book Alex Garland has ever written.
Date published: 2006-06-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great The Beach is a great book that is overall fast paced and interesting to read. After reading it you want to go to Thailand. A Must read
Date published: 2003-08-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A must-read A must-read! Alex Garland's writing makes you feel like you're there (pardon the cliché). Such vivid descriptions...This book inspires me to go to Thailand (when I'm 18). At no point in the novel are there any hackneyed exchanges of emotion. It feels as if it could have been real.
Date published: 2003-08-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Speechless... I HIGHLY recommend this book. It's absolutley amazing! Now I see why everyone was mad at the movie! The book is completely different. Just read it. You won't regret it.
Date published: 2003-03-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I feel sorry for you if you haven't read this book If you are looking for an excellent novel, with suspense,humor,and adventure...this is it! If you know how to read than what are you waiting for..READ THIS NOVEL...you won't be sorry! Also check out The Tesseract...both novels are brilliant! ():0)
Date published: 2000-02-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from SIMPLY THE BEST! I read this book a couple of years ago...and have read many since then...but nothing like this!!!...it is so good...still looking for a book better than this!
Date published: 2000-02-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I Can't Wait! This book was awesome! The imagery is so effective that I thought I WAS in a tropical paradise! It made me want to be ON that beach! I was alittle confused, but by the last quarter of the book, it was so exciting that I couldn't stop turning the pages! I couldn't wait to see what was going to happen next, it shocked me and I couldn't believe it! I was only sad and disappointed because I finished the book and it had to end! I can't wait to see the movie, I hope it's just as good as the book! Definately a "Lord Of The Flies" for the 90's!
Date published: 2000-01-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome I read this book last January, and started planning my trip to Souteast Asia the day I finished. Absolutely fantastic, edge of your seat stuff. I also just heard a movie starring Leonardo de Caprio has been made, he'd better not ruin it for me or anyone else who loved "The Beach".
Date published: 1999-12-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Backpack Culture solved... Just read it... I did, and ended up going off to Asia for about 3 months...
Date published: 1999-12-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One to Re-read I've travelled, but not to Thailand. In spite of this fact, I found this book to be amazing. The quality of writing was phenomenal, especially coming from someone so young. This is definitely a book that I will take out of my bookshelf again and again to read over. Recommended next read if you liked "The Beach": "Microserfs" by Canadian author Douglas Coupland.
Date published: 1999-08-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from the beach this book is absolutley fantastic and strongly recommended. if you have travelled throughout thailand or even if you haven't this book is intense and you'll never want to put it down. I've had friends who said they would never even think of travelling to thailand but after reading the book they were so intrigued by the book all they could think of was my buddy and i travelling thailand and how much they wanted to go. as in the last review it made me pull out my pictures of thailand as well and it brought back some great memories. do have to say one thing they are making a movie about this book but i'm very disappointed that the lead will be played by leo dicaprio. not a good choice at all but that's hollywood i guess. read the book you will enjoy it.
Date published: 1999-01-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A must for all travellers! What an achievement for such a young novelist. I strongly recommend this novel to anyone who has traveled in Thailand, or anywhere else in South East Asia for that matter. For those whose travels havn't taken them as far, one can still get wrapped up in the main character's adventures and all the suspense that "The Beach" has to offer. The first part of this book captures the essence of the backpacker sub-culture, the madness of Bangkok, and the serenity of a truly secluded beach (if you can ever really find one). The second part of the novel draws you into the pros and cons of living an alternative communal lifestyle. For me, reading this book was a trip down memory lane. After I finished the book, I even went as far as digging up the photos I took while in Thailand.
Date published: 1999-01-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A must for all travellers! What an achievement for such a young novelist. I strongly recomend this novel to anyone who has traveled in Thailand, or anywhere else in South East Asia for that matter. For those whose travels havn't taken them as far, one can still get wrapped up in the main character's adventures and all the suspense that "The Beach" has to offer. The first part of this book captures the essence of the backpacker sub-culture, the madness of Bangkok, and the serenity of a truly secluded beach (if you can ever really find one). The second part of the novel draws you into the pros and cons of living an alternative communal lifestyle. For me, reading this book was a trip down memory lane. After I finished the book, I even went as far as digging up the photos I took while in Thailand.
Date published: 1999-01-11

From Our Editors

When a demented madman by the name of Daffy Duck offers Richard, a world weary Brit, a map to paradise he can't resist checking it out. With the hand-drawn map in hand and a French couple to accompany him, Richard sets off for "the Beach," a secluded island near Thailand. When the trio finally reach the island, however, they soon discover that it's not the Utopia they initially thought it was and they once again become disheartened. Richly layered, gripping and thought-provoking, The Beach is Alex Garland's astonishing debut novel.

Editorial Reviews

"A book that moves with the kind of speed and grace many older writers can only day-dream about. The Beach is ambitious, propulsive fiction." --The Washington Post“What makes The Beach a truly awesome piece of work is Garland’s understated, assured depiction of the perils of pop." --The Village Voice“The Beach will astonish readers... Not since reading Donna Tartt’s The Secret History has this reader been so impressed and taken with a first novel.” --USA Today“The Beach is an awesome first novel that works as an adventure story, an allegory and an explanation for why every human since Adam and Eve has an irresistible impulse to create a perfect world and destroy it.  A wonderful adventure and allegory that may be the best novel written by anyone currently younger than 30.”  --Sunday Oregonian“Alex Garland... has a clear, engaging storytelling style and a vivid imagination.  Deftly, he uses real-life travel details--smells, optical effects, quirks of language, social rituals--to keep the reader’s disbelief at bay.”  --The New York Times Book Review“Remarkable.... astonishingly assured.... The Beach is distinguished by Garland’s bracingly transparent prose and tells a classic story of generational envy and displacement. A luminous voyage into the dark side of humanity’s increasingly tenuous dreams of paradise.” --Salon“Generation X meets Lord of the Flies in this ripping good adventure yarn...Garland shows a precociously sure hand in this taut, exotic thriller.  For a young author, he knows too well the peril of finding paradise on earth...a skillful first novel about the demise of an earthly paradise.” --People“[G]ripping, intelligent and written with a discipline many young writers only grow into."  --New York Newsday“The Beach makes for a relevant and fascinating read....an excellent critique of the backpacker phenomenon--its nouveau colonialism and its tragically misdirected idealism.” --Time Out“Garland’s provocative style--somewhere between Joseph Conrad, Bret Easton Ellis, and Stephen King--creates a modern-day Eden where Nintendo Game-boy, "Apocalypse Now," and a drug-trafficking Thai militia blend seamlessly into the landscape.”  --Vogue