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Why did I read 'On The Beach'?

(80 Posts)
OhYouBadBadKitten Mon 07-Jan-13 20:01:24

Saw a recommendation here and thought it sounds just up my street.

It's the saddest book I've ever read sad

I dreamt about it last night (was up to the last chapter) and haven't been able to get it out of my head today. I just finished it it. Waaaaaah

So sad sad

OP’s posts: |
RemusLupinsBiggestGroupie Mon 07-Jan-13 20:05:04

Awwww. Dp bought it for me for Christmas, so I will be re-reading it soon! Have you read 'A Town Like Alice?' Even better!

OhYouBadBadKitten Mon 07-Jan-13 20:07:10

I've not. Is it also very sad? I need a few days to pull myself together before I tackle any more of his books!

OP’s posts: |
RemusLupinsBiggestGroupie Mon 07-Jan-13 20:08:26

There are awfully sad bits in it but overall, no, it's more uplifting.

OhYouBadBadKitten Mon 07-Jan-13 20:10:10

Oh good! Because I don't think I could go through that again! And I love post apocalyptic stuff.
Don't think it helped that the weather today exactly matched the weather in the book grin

OP’s posts: |
RemusLupinsBiggestGroupie Mon 07-Jan-13 21:08:54


What are your favourite post-apocalypse books? My favourite style of novel, but too many of them are horribly badly written or stupid. My ideal novel would be a post apocalyptic zombie novel, written by Jane Austen, set in Victorian England and featuring Sherlock Holmes and Roland of Gilead! smile

RustyBear Mon 07-Jan-13 21:22:21

I think On the Beach is the only Neville Shute I haven't re-read, I found it too sad, - though Requiem for a Wren is pretty sad too. My favourites, apart from A Town Like Alice, are The Far Country, Pied Piper, The Chequer Board and Trustee from the Toolroom.

RemusLupinsBiggestGroupie Mon 07-Jan-13 21:26:01

I didn't think much of 'The Far Country.' Haven't read the others - keep looking for them in the library but they never have them.

CoteDAzur Mon 07-Jan-13 21:31:17

Oh dear grin

I thought it was quite incredibly unrealistic, brain-dead, and dull, not to mention full of some of the stupidest characters I have ever come across in any book. Ever. Seriously.

Don't get me started (I already have smile) - waiting for fishing season although they will be dead before it starts, hoping a couple will marry & have children although they will all die in a few months, etc. Are they all morons? Why don't they go further south, make igloos in the South Pole, prepare thick clothes from animal skin, or whatever?

Herrena Mon 07-Jan-13 21:35:11

Sorry but I thought it was awful! A town like Alice was far better....

Manda472 Mon 07-Jan-13 21:35:18

I have this book on my wish list- love these types of books. If you search further down on this topic there's a whole thread on post apocalypse fiction

PixieHot Mon 07-Jan-13 21:36:10

I read this years and years ago, and cried my bloody eyes out grin.

RemusLupinsBiggestGroupie Mon 07-Jan-13 21:36:25

I nearly posted to warn Kitten that you might have something to say about it, Cote - but you beat me to it! smile

StellaNova Mon 07-Jan-13 21:37:13

I was irrestibly drawn to stories of post-nuclear apocalypse when I was a teenager, including When The Wind Blows, Children of the Dust, The Chrysalids, and On the Beach, leading to a spate of horrific nightmares that lasted into my 20s. I also liked Empty World (disease); Day of the Triffids (triffids) and The Kraken Wakes (aliens as far as I remember) but it was the nuclear ones that caused the nightmares.

I really liked A Town Like Alice but DH couldn't get into it because of the old-fashioned attitudes to class, sex etc.

I can't really say my favourite post apocalypse book as revealing it to be (eventually) post apocalyptic is kind of a spoiler.

CoteDAzur Mon 07-Jan-13 21:42:06

Remus grin I think my words from the last time we talked about this book were "If they get into one more moronic conversation about whether trees are more beautiful in America or Australia, or whether they should plant this tree or that tree, I will start praying that some wild animals come and hurry them to their extinction."

specialsubject Mon 07-Jan-13 21:43:19

I read 'On the Beach' in one sitting on a train journey many years ago, and still re-read it occasionally. Dated, yes - but absorbing and harrowing.

the characters don't go to Antarctica, the book makes it clear there's no point!

'Town Like Alice' is just as disturbing in places (based on a true story) and also dated, but also very readable.

RemusLupinsBiggestGroupie Mon 07-Jan-13 21:43:19

Noooooooo - Stella: please PM me! I don't mind a slight spoiler and I may have already read it anyway.

RemusLupinsBiggestGroupie Mon 07-Jan-13 21:45:21

Cote - I felt that way about the appalling tedium that is 'Never Let Me Go.' Forget waiting for their organs, I just wanted somebody to come along and massacre all of the characters immediately. My gosh, I bloomin' hated that book. Stupid characters and unbelievably boring writer.

weegiemum Mon 07-Jan-13 21:46:00

Ooh I love post apocalyptic dystopias! I liked this book!

Have you read much Margaret Atwood. In this vein, you can't beat 'Oryx and Crake'

CoteDAzur Mon 07-Jan-13 21:51:20

I know they don't go to Antarctica, and no, the book doesn't make it clear that there is no point. The cloud would probably catch up with them there, too, but they would definitely live longer if they went there.

Humans have a survival instinct and will flee from a place in danger and go where they will be safe if only for another months. I don't know who these weirdos are, who faff around talking about which trees to plant and when fishing season should start instead of escaping imminent danger.

ThreeBeeOneGee Mon 07-Jan-13 21:52:59

I love a bit of post-apocalyptic / dystopian fiction, but most of the stuff around at the moment is either zombie-related (not my cup of tea and has been done to death) or written for children.

I liked Dark Eden and currently reading The Flame Alphabet but finding it annoying for some reason.

Grew up with The Chrysalids and Empty World too!

CoteDAzur Mon 07-Jan-13 21:53:44

I agree with you re Never Let Me Go. I recently had to re-read it for book club, and it was actually worse than more non-sensical than I remembered.

On The Beach isn't any better. Both books feature a group of doomed idiots who can't be bothered to fight for survival.

RemusLupinsBiggestGroupie Mon 07-Jan-13 21:56:02

I dunno though. I suppose some people might desperately cling on to what they know because they are so scared anyway, that even making what might be a sensible decision feels too much on top of what they are already trying to cope with? I'm thinking of 'When The Wind Blows' and the little old couple sitting in their house and waiting to die.

Or that even being completely irrational in one's insistence on the status quo is a way of trying to impose order (and rationality) on an irrational/out of control world? Maybe?

Am burbling - sorry! smile

RemusLupinsBiggestGroupie Mon 07-Jan-13 21:57:16

Oryx And Crake not great imgo. I liked the follow up better. But Atwood is really annoying me now.

RemusLupinsBiggestGroupie Mon 07-Jan-13 21:57:34

imgo? imho

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