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On the Beach - Nevil Shute

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2 Reviews

Author: Nevil Shute / Genre: Fiction

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    2 Reviews
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      08.01.2003 21:24
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      On The Beach was written during the late 1950s and set in Southern Australia in the early 60’s. The story is about the aftermath of a nuclear war in the Northern Hemisphere. Shute’s style is somewhat dated but I think this adds to plausibility of the book. When the story begins it’s about a year after the end of the war. Nuclear fallout has rendered the whole of the Northern Hemisphere inhabitable. The fallout is now spreading to engulf the Southern Hemisphere. The progression of the radiation is steady and unavoidable. The book follows the gradual destruction of civilisation as the radiation spreads southwards. The plot centres on a young family and an American Nuclear Submarine captain who are living in the town that will be the last on earth. We follow them as they each deal with their fate and to the inevitable end. In true Shute style the focus is on the male characters with the women playing peripheral, almost decorative roles. It’s quite upsetting at times and has an ability to provoke thoughts of your own mortality. I do wonder if his depiction of a calm dignified end is very realistic. This is an extremely enjoyable, thought provoking and emotional book. It’s not especially long (around 200 pages) and worth setting aside a few afternoons to read.

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        03.11.2000 00:36
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        On The Beach is a tale of what might have been if..... Set in Australia during the aftermath of a nuclear war the story tells of the lives of a group of people and the lives of the crew of an American submarine stranded from its base in the US. With the whole of the Northern hemisphere poisoned by radiation, the deadly weather is creeping further south day by day killing all in it's path, slowly, horribly and painfully until only the south east corner of the continent is inhabitable. It is a dark tale of people being issued with suicide pills should the worst come to the worst and the hope of a few who think that they may survive. A book worth reading which puts into perspective what man could do if.....

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