Review: ‘On the Beach’ by Neville Shute

Following a nuclear World War 3, a deadly radioactivity is spreading towards Australia, having already killed off everyone in the Northern Hemisphere. Each person is dealing with the news of impending human doom differently as the story follows multiple protagonists in their final months.

An American submarine captain is amongst the last survivors sheltering in Australia. No one is there to give them any orders, until one day a signal is transmitted from their home country and is in need of investigation.

On the Beach is not a typical post-apocalyptic novel. It is however a thought-provoking read. It dives deep into human nature and our behaviour. The threat is ever so present and everyone, from protagonists to side characters is reacting in a different way. Some declare their last act to be drinking the last bottles of alcohol in a club. Others race whatever cars they have in what is declared the last Grand Prix.

It’s not the end of the world at all,” he said. “It’s only the end for us. The world will go on just the same, only we shan’t be in it. I dare say it will get along all right without us.

It shows humanity in its final hours and it is intriguing to think about what we would have done if we were in that, not so far fetched, situation.

This classic reads quite quick but I would recommend to pay attention to that what isn’t spoken, it is a far more thoughtful novel that it first appears. I highly enjoyed it and even though, it did not pose a clear moral of the story, I ended up finding one and I wonder how you and others would view it.

If what they say is right we’re none of us going to have time to do all that we planned to do. But we can keep on doing it as long as we can.

Thank you for reading this review, let me know what you think in the comments section below!

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