Richard is drawn into a strange conversation in a hotel. He hears of a secret island Garden of Eden hidden in the scattered islands of a Thai marine park. Next morning, he finds a map pinned to his door and the man who put it there has slashed his wrists. The challenge is irresistible and he sets off on a perilous journey in search of Shangri-La.
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In our ever-shrinking world, where popular Western culture seems to have infected every nation on the planet, it is hard to find even a small niche of unspoiled land--forget searching for pristine islands or continents. This is the situation in Alex Garland's debut novel, The Beach. Human progress has reduced Eden to a secret little beach near Thailand. In the tradition of grand adventure novels, Richard, a rootless traveler rambling around Thailand on his way somewhere else, is given a hand-drawn map by a madman who calls himself Daffy Duck. He and two French travelers set out on a journey to find this paradise.
What makes this a truly satisfying novel is the number of levels on which it operates. On the surface it's a fast-paced adventure novel; at another level it explores why we search for these utopias, be they mysterious lost continents or small island communes. Garland weaves a gripping and thought-provoking narrative that suggests we are, in fact, such products of our Western culture that we cannot help but pollute and ultimately destroy the very sanctuary we seekFrom the Inside Flap:
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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, 1997. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0140258418
Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, 1997. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110140258418