On the Beach

On the Beach

Book - 1957
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"After a nuclear World War III has destroyed most of the globe, the few remaining survivors in southern Australia await the radioactive cloud that is heading their way and bringing certain death to everyone in its path. Among them is an American submarine captain struggling to resist the knowledge that his wife and children in the United States must be dead. Then a faint Morse code signal is picked up, transmitting from somewhere near Seattle, and Captain Towers must lead his submarine crew on a bleak tour of the ruined world in a desperate search for signs of life. Both terrifying and intensely moving, On the Beach is a remarkably convincing portrait of how ordinary people might face the most unimaginable nightmare."--Publisher description.
Publisher: New York : W. Morrow, 1957.
ISBN: 9780307473998
Call Number: SHUTE
Characteristics: 320 p. ; 22 cm
Subjects: Nuclear warfare -- Fiction.
Survival -- Fiction.
Science fiction.


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Mar 13, 2018

Dark. Interesting perspective on the times.

Jan 14, 2018

A great, understated end of the world novel.

Sep 21, 2017


BookReviewer2015 Jan 10, 2017

An enduring book about hope and tragedy in the twilight of a nuclear winter, following World War 3.

Dec 18, 2016

I have read all of Neville Shute's books in the fifties. They are all a wonderful read,very insightful about a period my parents lived through. It is amazing that someone is re-issuing some of them. Great!

Dec 17, 2016

One of my favorite movies as a child or early teen.

Nov 06, 2016

A taste of the 1950's nuclear terror that was a very real to that generation and still is relevant to us. This is worth reading.

Oct 13, 2016

My literary tastes lean more maximalist, and I have a more pessimistic view of humanity, so the fact that I enjoyed this understated novel about the last remaining survivors from a global nuclear apocalypse facing certain death was truly surprising. Like the radioactive dust that's circling the globe in a gentle death vise, Nevil Shute creates a tightly written novel about facing one's inevitable doom with dignity that's no less gripping.

The fate of everyone in On the Beach is pretty much sealed from the get-go, and yet you can't help but root for them and admire their respect for each other and grace in facing the end until the very last page. It makes you think: what would you do if you only had a few more months after some global cataclysm? Would we all slide into one kind of Purge-esque carnal anarchy, or would we keep going about our business, doing the chores, and tending the gardens, and still being neighborly and kind? Shute shows us the possibility of the latter scenario and it's utterly believeable--even to this cynic. Not often you get such a chilling, dark premise in a book, and finish it feeling strangely uplifted.

TSCPL_ChrisB Jun 03, 2016

On the Beach is like that breed of old sci-fi that has few redeeming qualities, but is worth every minute of it. On the Beach has a certain feel. I realize this is entirely ethereal reasoning and subject to personal tastes, but it has that presence that makes films like A Boy and His Dog, The Blob, or Them! classics forever. At times it's painful--like the neverending car race or the continual mentioning of pogo sticks--but there's just something about the book's atmosphere that makes these things bearable and the end product highly enjoyable.

Oct 12, 2014

Oh man, the end of the world is boring. Made into a film with Gregory Peck and Ava Gardner.

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TSCPL_ChrisB Jun 06, 2016

It's not the end of the world at all," he said. "It's only the end for us. The world will go on just the same, only we shan't be in it. I dare say it will get along all right without us.


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