The Beach

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.

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Last updated on April 15th, 2020

Reviews:

“A book that moves with the kind of speed and grace many older writers can only day-dream about. The Beach is ambitious, propulsive fiction.” –The Washington Post

“What makes The Beach a truly awesome piece of work is Garland’s understated, assured depiction of the perils of pop.” –The Village Voice

The Beach will astonish readers… Not since reading Donna Tartt’s The Secret History has this reader been so impressed and taken with a first novel.” –USA Today

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