I’ve read a handful of books that have made me cry. The Road, The Clan of the Cave Bear, The Reapers are the Angels, and The Woman who Loved Reindeer are just a few. I should have known I’d be adding On the Beach to this list. It was a harrowing journey into the minds of a community who knew their days were numbered. I had to put the book down about three quarters of the way through–I couldn’t go any further. The pain, the denial, the heartache and the multitude of other feelings swirling through its pages make it stand out as one of the best in classic post-apocalyptic literature. Shute’s vision of the last days–how we might all react and cope–is chilling.
I was planning to watch the movie with Richard Peck, Ava Gardner and Fred Astaire, but it will have to wait till those characters are not so near my heart. If you like this genre of fiction, as I do, and have not read the classics, you are missing out!
I read On the Beach as part of my own personal challenge to read Classic Post-Apocalypse Fiction. Next up is The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells.