Nevil Shute's "On The Beach" is a classic for good reason. Shute takes the most horrific event one can imagine—a worldwide nuclear event—and then turns the microscope on it, focusing in on just a few ordinary people who must wait for death as it drifts over to their hemisphere. We see military personnel, housewives, businessmen, and more. They come alive because they are just like you and me and the people next door.
Shute's very great accomplishment here is to examine how each of the characters deals with their certain death. Everyone knows they'll die eventually; these characters have the difficulty of knowing that death will arrive soon, and that it will be slow and agonizing. What do they do? Each reacts differently and the humanity and humility with which some of the characters make their choices is startlingly powerful. Especially in a time when the world seems so uncertain, so cruel, this is an important book to read—or re-read if you picked it up years ago. Prepare yourself for a powerfully moving experience.
"THE MOST IMPORTANT AND DRAMATIC NOVEL OF THE ATOMIC AGE"
—WASHINGTON POST AND TIMES HERALD
THE GREAT INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER — OVER 3,000,000 COPIES SOLD!
A WORLD WAITING TO DIE
The radioactive winds had not yet hit Australia. There, survivors of the accidental nuclear war, men and women destined to be the last human beings on earth, prepared for extinction. Some found solace in religion, others in alcohol and frenzied sex, and hundreds stood waiting for their government ration of cyanide pills, hoping they would not have to use them—knowing they would.
NEVIL SHUTE'S MAGNIFICENT AND MOVING BESTSELLER—
"What a terrific Shute this is against the supreme folly of our times. As a piece of writing it is terrific. As a world warning it is more terrifying than anything yet put into print: It compels staying until the dreadful finish."