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The Beach (original 1996; edition 1997)
by Alex Garland
Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0140258418, Paperback)In our ever-shrinking world, where popular Western culture seems to have infected every nation on the planet, it is hard to find even a small niche of unspoiled land--forget searching for pristine islands or continents. This is the situation in Alex Garland's debut novel, The Beach. Human progress has reduced Eden to a secret little beach near Thailand. In the tradition of grand adventure novels, Richard, a rootless traveler rambling around Thailand on his way somewhere else, is given a hand-drawn map by a madman who calls himself Daffy Duck. He and two French travelers set out on a journey to find this paradise.
What makes this a truly satisfying novel is the number of levels on which it operates. On the surface it's a fast-paced adventure novel; at another level it explores why we search for these utopias, be they mysterious lost continents or small island communes. Garland weaves a gripping and thought-provoking narrative that suggests we are, in fact, such products of our Western culture that we cannot help but pollute and ultimately destroy the very sanctuary we seek
(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:40:35 -0400)
A young backpacker in Thailand searching for something different learns of the existence of an idyllic island which is not even on the map. The novel describes his jungle journey to reach the island where he discovers a secret commune of international drifters living off fish and pot. The man's arrival coincides with growing tension between factions, leading to the commune's violent demise. A first novel.
(summary from another edition)
Two editions of this book were published by Audible.com.
An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.
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