Review: On the Beach

On the Beach
On the Beach by Nevil Shute
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A Dystopian novel written in the 50s – how funky is that?! We have got nuclear bombs being dropped all over the place and the world is dying slowly from nuclear radiation.

This book is mostly set in & around Melbourne, one of the most southern metropolitan city and therefore, due to wind direction, one of the last to die. The story opens on New Year’s Day with the expected TOD (Time of Death) being sometime in September. We follow a number of characters with their own way of coping with this certainty of a messy death within a few months.

It was amazingly easy to read, once you got used to the setting and all. Whilst nothing much is actually happening (there really is nothing they could do but wait for death), it was just so interesting how one seeks to continue on a normal day-to-day living and others wish to do what their heart desires most (like driving a Ferrari). The mechanisms each character employed to keep their sanity in a desperate situation were just absolutely fascinating.

I loved Peter Holmes – what an amazingly strong guy! He appears to be just a regular naval officer but that’s just it, he is sooo normal throughout in comparison to other characters. I would, however, like to hear more from Mary Holmes’ point of view – what is really going on in her head? I love the way this family related to each other.

Dwight Towers and Moira Davidson completely touched me. The way Dwight longed for his wife and children in America in his heart of hearts. Moira Davidson’s love for Dwight and understanding of who he really is completely threw me off.

This is a book where I questioned myself as to what would I do were I in this situation or in any of the character’s shoes. One thing is for sure, thank God the world has not come to this… yet…

For the Environmentalists out there:
”Maybe we’ve been too silly to deserve a world like this,” he [Dwight Towers] said.
The scientist said, “That’s absolutely and precisely right.”

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