By Marty Mulrooney
Alex Garland’s The Beach was first printed in 1996. I have just finished reading it 10 minutes ago, during the first minutes of the 28th of July 2009, after 48 hours of not being able to put it down. I was prompted to read the book after re-watching the Danny Boyle film adaptation on Film4 several nights ago (in fact, it was a Friday night, as these viewings so often are.)
That film has always held a strange position in my mind, especially on a critical level. Some of it works fantastically. The soundtrack, the scenery, the momentarily perfect capturing of scenes of unbridled living and life itself. Sadly this is also punctuated with many scenes and instances that just don’t work at all. Still… this is a review of the book, not the film. I just felt some context was in order.