The Beach

by Alex Garland | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 1573226521 Global Overview for this book
Registered by quinnsmom of Hobe Sound, Florida USA on 7/16/2004
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3 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by quinnsmom from Hobe Sound, Florida USA on Friday, July 16, 2004
duplicate of mine; I highly recommend this one. This copy is movie-tie in.

First off, this is not, no matter what the reviews say, a "Lord of the Flies for the X-Generation." They are completely different.

Second...I cannot believe that this was his first novel. Oh my God! What a great book. It took me about two hours or so, but I stuck with it & couldn't stop reading. I very very highly recommend this book to serious readers.

Third: I haven't seen the movie, but I can't believe Leonardo DiCaprio (whose acting is awful IMHO) can possibly do the lead role justice.

I will just outline the story here, because it is one you need to experience yourself. A young, 20-something British man, Richard, goes to Bangkok and takes a room in a guest house. The first night he is trying to sleep and is awakened by someone talking to him through a hole in their mutual room wall. He tries to ignore the guy, but the next day, the maid tells him that there is a letter on his door. What's on his door is a map, left to him by this man, who, as we find out, goes only by D. Duck (Daffy) & was a Vietnam Vet who was kind of psycho. Anyway, when Richard goes to talk to him, he finds he has committed suicide. The map is to an island which promises paradise in the middle of a National Marine Preserve, and tourists are not allowed there. Richard meets his other side of the wall neighbors, a young French couple, and together they decide to go and find this island. Before they set out, he leaves another map with two other young travelers, with a note that this is where he'll be. But he sort of forgets to tell anyone he's left a map.

The long and short of it is that the three end up on the Island and they find that they are smack in the middle of someone's dope farm. They realize it is not wild dope, so skirt around until they find the other side of the island. There they find a small community of others, who seem to be getting along very well, division of labor and all that, and who don't seem to mind the intrusion by three FNGs (I'll let you read the book to find out what that means). So they take up beach life, and Richard finds himself with a feeling of "beach amnesia," having trouble remembering what "the world" was like before he got there. He realizes that the goal of the little group is to preserve their life there and not let it become what all of the other beaches have become.

But Richard is a little whacked. He keeps seeing and talking to Daffy Duck, the guy who left him the map and who is now dead; he imagines himself at times to be dealing with the VC and in the DMZ (based on his own ideas of Vietnam from the movies etc). Pretty soon his role on the island is made clear to him, and it is a role he does not want.

I really can't go into detail; suffice it to say that all does not turn out to be Paradise here & at the end we find our hero desperately wanting to get out.

Journal Entry 2 by quinnsmom from Hobe Sound, Florida USA on Sunday, July 18, 2004
going to mhchipmunk, a bookcrosser in British Columbia. Enjoy!

Journal Entry 3 by BC2009061601 on Friday, August 13, 2004
This was waiting for me when I got home tonight. Thanks quinnsmom! I'm looking forward to it.

Journal Entry 4 by BC2009061601 on Tuesday, November 23, 2004
Great book! Quinnsmom did a great job with a synopsis so I won't repeat it. But, the story grabs you right away and pulls you in and is so fast paced that you never feel pulled down by slow passages. At the same time, it's not just a thriller/adventure type story - it goes much deeper than that. It brings up a lot of questions - is there any such thing as Eden or Utopia? Can we achieve it and if we find it, can we keep that state? Or do we as a species have a need to destroy everything good that comes our way?

I highly recommend this book but people of 'Gen X' or who have done the backpacking travel route might enjoy it even more.

Released on Saturday, December 04, 2004 at about 1:00:00 PM BX time (GMT-06:00) Central Time (US & Canada) at Sent to another BookCrosser in Postal Trade, Postal Release Controlled Releases.

RELEASE NOTES:

sending off to Angie8 in Iowa. Happy reading!

Journal Entry 6 by Angie8 from Alta, Iowa USA on Thursday, January 13, 2005
i am in the process of reading the book now . I received this book as a RABACK. Thanks !! I am finding it so far a really good book and wish i had more time to read it ! I am trying to read it during slow times at work ! LOL. sorry it took so long to get it journaled !! i've had it in my work bag and never here where i could get it journaled ! Thanks mhchipmunk!! I am loving this book so far !

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