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On the Beach first coverFirst edition
Novel, 1957
approx. 94,500 words
Publication details ▽ Publication details △

First publication
1957

Literature form
Novel

Genres
Literary, post-apocalyptic

Writing language
English

Author's country
England

Length
Approx. 94,500 words

On the Beach

CRITIQUE | THE TEXT | THE MOVIES

Notable lines

First line

Lieutenant Commander Peter Holmes of the Royal Australian Navy woke soon after dawn.

Passages

"It's not the end of the world at all," he said. "It's only the end for us. The world will go on just the same, only we shan't be in it. I dare say it will get along all right without us."

"Maybe we've been too silly to deserve a world like this," he said.
The scientist said, "That's absolutely and precisely right."

"I'm glad we haven't got newspapers now. It's been much nicer without them."

"I want to drink hard liquor, as you call it, before lunch. I've got a mouth like the bottom of the parrot's cage. You wouldn't want me to throw a screaming fit in front of all your officers."

"You know," he said, "now that I've got used to the idea, I think I'd rather have it this way. We've all got to die one day, some sooner and some later. The trouble always has been that you're never ready, because you don't know when it's coming. Well, now we do know, and there's nothing to be done about it. I kind of like that. I kind of like the thought that I'll be fit and well up till the end of August and then - home. I'd rather have it that way than go on as a sick man from when I'm seventy to when I'm ninety."

Last line

Then she put the tablets in her mouth and swallowed them down with a mouthful of brandy, sitting behind the wheel of her big car.

 

CRITIQUE | THE TEXT | THE MOVIES

See also:

Poem
The Hollow Men

Novel
Nineteen Eighty-Four

Author
J.D. Salinger

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On the Beach

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