I recently read ‘On The Beach’ by Nevil Shute. It was written in the 1950’s and my boss recommended I read it as he thought I would like it because of my love of ‘The Hunger Games’. So I hopped online and ordered myself a copy from Play.com (on a random side note I really do recommend buying second hand books from play, so cheap and such good service!).
The book is set after a fictional (obviously) third world war which ended up becoming nuclear and wiped out the whole of the northern hemisphere. The radiation is slowly spreading southwards killing everyone on its way. It is set in and around Melbourne, Australia where and American Submariner and his crew have arrived. They join forces with the Australian Navy and travel to investigate a stray radio signal near Seattle. Having read the back of the book and a few bits online I thought the main part of the book would be what’s going on near Seattle, however I was wrong. There is so much about the characters and how their lives are affected by the constant treat of radiation poisoning and death. Its one of those books you spend the whole way through willing for a happy ending.
As my boss said it is a harrowing book. Its not nice but I really enjoyed reading it. It is one you have to concentrate on, the way it is written is sometimes a little confusing, especially if you don’t know anything about naval rankings!
If you like books about war/destruction/post-apocalyptic life (like I apparently do) I would definitely recommend this book. I’m off to hunt down the film version now to see how much like the book it is.. although I’m not sure I really want to watch it!
I’ve started reading ‘Call The Midwife’ now, its very interesting so far. I’ve also ordered another Nevil Shute book called ‘A Town Like Alice’.