HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

On the Beach by Nevil Shute
Loading...

On the Beach (original 1957; edition 1983)

by Nevil Shute

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,3211161,637 (3.87)266
Member:delta351
Title:On the Beach
Authors:Nevil Shute
Info:Ballantine Books (1983), Edition: 50699, Mass Market Paperback, 278 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
Tags:None

Work details

On the Beach by Nevil Shute (1957)

  1. 70
    The Road by Cormac McCarthy (weener, Navarone)
  2. 70
    Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank (alaskabookworm)
  3. 40
    The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (Simone2)
  4. 30
    A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr. (lisanicholas)
    lisanicholas: Another post-apocalyptic story, Miller's Canticle takes place centuries after nuclear war destroys the world's civilizations, and a new civilization has arisen from the ruins.
  5. 10
    The Last Ship by William Brinkley (goddesspt2)
  6. 00
    No Blade of Grass by John Christopher (KayCliff)
  7. 00
    Level 7 by Mordecai Roshwald (weener)
  8. 00
    In the Wet by Nevil Shute (Booksloth)
  9. 11
    Forbidden Area by Pat Frank (BeckyJG)
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 266 mentions

English (112)  Danish (3)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (116)
Showing 1-5 of 112 (next | show all)
A post-apocalyptic book club selection.

What if the world ended in the 1950s?

Well, Nevil Shute thinks everyone would've been in a state of near-total denial.

Nuclear war has happened. A perfect storm of miscommunications, accidents, and the flaring up of old conflicts... The fallout is slowly, inexorably swirling around the globe. In Australia, a bunch of very British citizens (and one American Navy captain) know that everyone North of them is already dead or dying. There's a miniscule hope that predictions about how fast the fallout will dissipate are wrong - but, really, not much of one.

So what do people do? Well, they drink a lot. They're quietly depressed. Some take up suicidal hobbies. But mostly, they pretend it's not going to happen. They garden. They have a lot of babies.

Some people in my book club criticised the characters as not being very well-developed. It's true, they're more illustrations-of-type. It's not a character-driven book, but a philosophical musing on how people deal with the certain knowledge of approaching death.

The degree of denial that Shute posits is, at first, hard to accept. But as it went on, I think he made a case. The mix of fatalism and banality he shows in this small society is well-crafted and illuminating both of the attitudes and fears of the 1950's, and of human psychology in general.

A classic for a reason - I really enjoyed it. ( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
Back in the 60s, we were all sure that atomic war was just around the corner, and this novel provided one possible outcome of that potential conflagration. So yeah, maybe it's a bit dated now, but it still tells a good story (and a necessary one). Don't look for a happy ending. ( )
  dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
A friend reminded me about this book. I read it in school. It terrified me and made me cry. I can't rate this book. I hated it at the time but read to the end. From a person who remembers the whole 'when the siren goes you hide under your desk at school' thing and the fear us kids lived with, if you are a nuclear holocaust wannabe reader this is a book for you.
  Greymowser | Jan 23, 2016 |
I was supposed to read this in high school, but didn't. Now, 26 years later, I have! And I'm glad I did! What a bleak, yet wonderfully written book! A group of people in Australia have to live knowing that they are going to die in a few months as a result of nuclear war. Some drink, others drive with reckless abandon, and still others plant gardens for the coming year, that will never come. I don't know what I would do, but I'm glad I read this before my time is up! Better late than never! ( )
  Stahl-Ricco | Jan 22, 2016 |
This was a tough book for me to get through. It was interesting but boy was it depressing. Amazing that it was written in the '50s. I liked the way everyone had a different way to cope with the reality but still just a little to grim for me. ( )
  Charlie-Ravioli | Jan 18, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 112 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (14 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Nevil Shuteprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Powers, Richard M.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Prebble, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Information from the Norwegian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
In this last of meeting places
We grope together
And avoid speech
Gathered on this beach of the tumid river...

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.

--T.S. Eliot
Dedication
First words
Lieutenant Commander Peter Holmes of the Royal Australian Navy woke soon after dawn.
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language
Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345311485, Mass Market Paperback)

"The most shocking fiction I have read in years. What is shocking about it is both the idea and the sheer imaginative brilliance with which Mr. Shute brings it off."
THE SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE
They are the last generation, the innocent victims of an accidental war, living out their last days, making do with what they have, hoping for a miracle. As the deadly rain moves ever closer, the world as we know it winds toward an inevitable end....

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:44 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

A novel about the survivors of an atomic war, who face an inevitable end as radiation poisoning moves toward Australia from the North. The most shocking fiction I have read in years. What is shocking about it is both the idea and the sheer imaginative brilliance with which Mr. Shute brings it off. They are the last generation, the innocent victims of an accidental war, living out their last days, making do with what they have, hoping for a miracle.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 11 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
8 avail.
107 wanted
4 pay3 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.87)
0.5 2
1 14
1.5 5
2 48
2.5 16
3 167
3.5 69
4 304
4.5 45
5 239

Audible.com

3 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 103,212,950 books! | Top bar: Always visible