Author(s): Alex Garland
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.
Fresh, fast-paced, compulsive and clever -- Nick Hornby A gripping adventure, and a fascinating jigsaw The Times A white-knuckle ride into the heart of darkness Sunday Times Lord of the Flies and The Magus lurk at the roots of this novel, but Garland reshapes them with panache into something terrifyingly new Mail on Sunday A mesmerising, knuckle-clenching read Maxim Winningly compulsive, brilliantly conceived Q Garland's prose is stunningly lucid. Addictive and compelling Spectator A highly confident debut...this incisive novel may well come to be regarded as a defining text in the history of imaginative travel writing Daily Telegraph Alex Garland is writing a brand new kind of adventure novel. His style is dangerously simple yet altogether captivating -- Douglas Rushkoff An exceptional first novel...An action novel that provokes subtle responses, The Beach takes in ideas about man's inevitable progress from noble savage to social breakdown (and) the related tradition of nature versus art The Times Literary Supplement Garland has written a powerful and frighteningly believable novel Company Precise and speedy prose, with good old-fashioned romantic adventure spiced up with deadpan authorial irony Guardian
Alex Garland was born in London in 1970. He has written two novels, The Beach (1996), The Tesseract (1998) and an illustrated novella, The Coma (2003), in collaboration with his father. He has also written two screenplays, 28 Days Later (2002) and Sunshine (2007).