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The Beach - Alex Garland
Member Name: triplecthegame
The Beach - Alex Garland
Date: 07/12/00, updated on 07/12/00 (263 review reads)
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I've only owned this book 6 days, I've finished it already - Mr.Garland you're obviously doing something right if I've been that caught up in the story you've been trying to tell, and now, well heck I'm going to explain to all the nice people out there in Dooyoo land what its all about!
OK I'll admit it now, part of me bought this book with an ulterior motive, A girl I know who I've had lets just say certain feelings for, for a long time now has admitted that this is her favourite book, and well along with all my other hopeless plans, I'm still going un-noticed, but at least I had a good time reading this book out of this attempt.
But back to the actual book itself, the outline of the story is simple, Richard an English backpacker currently touring Thailand gets given a map to a secret Island, which is apparently every backpackers dream, so along with his two French friends Etienne and Francoise, he sets out to find this Island and join the community spirit there and of course we are told the whole tale of what happened.
The storyline told through the eyes of our hero Richard, moves at a fairly rapid pace, from learning the Island really does exist, right through to Paradise going wrong it never seems like Alex Garland has 'dawdled' (don't know if thats a real word!) on one storyline for too long, and as you continue to read you seem to find yourself hoping that some Characters end up better off than others, and actually quietly cheering when they either meet their demise or get embarrassed (or both!).
But one thing that is astonishing is that this was Alex Garland's first ever forray into the world of writing, and yet to read it you would be excused for thinking that he's been doing this for the past 20-odd years, and it has to be said that I got a distinct feeling of 'Lord of the Flies' with adult characters whilst reading this tale, but it didn't seem like Alex
had copied Lord of The Flies, just taken that story and put a 90's adult slant to the old classic.
So I have to say right here, hats off to Alex Garland on producing a great novel thats (unfortunatly) been converted into a Hollywood Box Office Smash as well. Why do I say unfortunatly I hear you all ask, well I knew straight away that Leonardo Di Caprio had played Richard in the film version and that was always playing on my mind whilst I was reading this book, now forgive me if I seem a bit off-putting here, but when I read a book I like to be able to sit back and imagine what the characters look like without having Leo's face come straight into my mind each time I try and imagine, sorry but it is my opinion after all!
But if I had one major problem, it was the ending, fair enough over the last 40 or so pages it was being built up to, but it seemed to all happen too quickly, I won't go into too much detail, but it just appeared that Alex Garland had finished writing the bulk of this book and was getting bored so he just scribbled down a couple of pages to 'get it over with', but again maybe I'm wrong because although it did seem frenzied that was the whole feel of the 'scene' so maybe he wanted us to feel frenzied ourselves.
So all in all what we have is one of the true modern classic pieces of literature out today, a great storyline with some beautifully described characters, its just a shame about the ending, but none-the-less its still a book that all avid readers should at least 'give a flick through'!