An irregular record of books
5 June 2019 – On The Beach – Nevil Shute
Ah, apocalyptic parables. Don’t you love comparing them to the present day?
In this book, Nevil Shute presents us with an dystopic picture of what would have happened if, instead of being concluded with a peace treaty, WWII had ended with atomic warfare, and if Australia had remained the last place in the world where life is still possible – at least until the atomic particles reach it. All the encounters, the love stories, the childhoods and the purchases in this book are infused with a sense of extreme mortality, one which nobody can predict the arrival of, but which will indeed reach every single character in the book: the unaware newborn and the demonic bon viveur, the navy cadet and the admiral. Like a modern danse macabre, the invisible atomic particles even out the surface of the Australian land, and leaves the readers to count their days on the tide of the literary beach where the two main characters say their last goodbye.