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On the Beach

Auteur(s): Nevil Shute
Narrateur(s): James Smillie
Durée: 8 h et 54 min
4.5 out of 5 stars (10 évaluations)

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Description

Australia is one of the last places where life still exists after nuclear war starts in the Northern Hemisphere. A year on, an invisible cloak of radiation has spread almost completely around the world.

Darwin is a ghost town, and radiation levels at Ayres Rock are increasing. An American nuclear-powered submarine has found its way to Australia, where its captain has placed the boat under the command of the Australian Navy. Commander Dwight Towers and his Australian liaison officer are sent to the coast of North America to discover whether a stray radio signal originating from near Seattle is a sign of life.

©2009 The Trustees of the Estate of the late Nevil Shute Norway (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

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Moyenne des évaluations de clients

Au global

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 étoiles
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    2
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Histoire

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars

Timeless

The most depressing thing about this book is that it still feels so relevant today.

1 personnes sur 1 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars

A superb, beautiful and bleak classic.

There are very, very few books that affected me for my entire life, like On the Beach has. I love science fiction and post apocalyptic stuff and have been an Audible member for years, and a voracious reader of print when I could see well--yet it's taken me years as an adult to re-read this again. Still a gut punch.

I was born during the Cold War, and read this book at the age of 12, in the 1970s--because my older sister had read it for school, and because we were all heavy duty readers in my family. We remember just how close we came to war and for that reason it still frightens me.
By today's standards it is oh so tame and behind the times, there aren't zombies, blood, sex and Walmart, yet I had the same visceral feeling upon finishing it this time, as I felt the first time I read it. I sobbed through the last few minutes again 40 odd years later. Because it is bleak. It is the end of humanity and virtually most life on the planet in this book, because of man's hubris. We are still so very close, still to that brink.
But as others have noted, there's a cast of characters we grow close to, and then mourn with as their day of reckoning comes closer and is at hand. They meet it usually with class, although considering in the 1950s and 60s religion was far more important, and suicide was a mortal sin- suicide in this case was state sanctioned. In retrospect, I guess our 2019 sensibilities might be bothered by this but if you know you are dying slowly and hideously, would you maybe not do the same?
I have more to say, will finish this tomorrow.

  • Au global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars

An Oldie but a Goodie.

Been a while since I read this story - still packs a punch even today.

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars

The Bitter and the Sweet

OTB has long been a favourite of mine: it was a real pleasure to revisit it again, this time in audio format. Shute is a lovely writer, subtle and warm. His style is well suited to this difficult tale. I did wonder how a single reader would handle the many voices (there is a lot of conversation). James Smillie does an excellent job, shifting tone and accent deftly to illuminate each character. Contemporary readers may be somewhat surprised at the quiet, indulgent patronizing of women in the novel, but that was in keeping with the times. The main narrative is as relevant today as it was in 1957 and we may well face a similar fate. Shute is prescient in citing an educated and free press as the only possible antidote to international strife/ambition and what his character so accurately describes as the "silliness" of world leaders in turning to force rather than diplomacy to resolve their disputes. May we learn from this wise hearted novel.

0 personnes sur 1 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

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  • Au global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jason
  • 2010-12-28

What could have been.

An almost true story about the aftermath of the very brief WWIII (due to the inclusion of nukes). Considering how one man prevented this from happening during the Cuban Missile Crisis, this story is quite realistic. It lets you look into the psychology of people who have the luxury/curse of knowing the date of their death because of the upcoming nuclear fallout. It gives them fear while also letting them truly live. It's an interesting concept to observe as you wonder just how you would live if you knew when you were going to die. Nevil Shute pulls no punches as this is a very sad story overall.

Be warned however that unless you find the subject matter fascinating you may not greatly enjoy this. It can be a little depressing and there isn't much excitement in the story. It is more about observing how ordinary people in Australia live knowing they will soon be dead because of a war they did not want.

10 personnes sur 10 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

  • Au global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • 2012-09-06

Nuclear War Classic

On the Beach, written by Nevil Shute and published in 1957 is a somber post apocalyptic novel that follows survivors in Australia after a nuclear war and subsequent radioactive fallout has contaminated most of the world. Much of the story revolves around an American nuclear submarine, the last of the US Navy, docked in Melbourne and under the command of Captain Dwight Towers. The post apocalyptic world has been contaminated with high levels of radiation stemming from the use of cobalt bombs by the Russian and Chinese military forces. This story is character driven, focusing on the struggle for people to maintain some sense of purpose in spite of their doom. It was slightly disappointing that most of the people in On the Beach basically give up and passively accept death. Why didn’t they attempt to create a shelter in which some people could survive until the levels of radioactivity decreased? (scientists mention several times that the radioactive cobalt has a 5-10 year half-life) Released at the height of the Cold War, On the Beach has elements of a warning or cautionary tale and is clearly written with some political intentions in mind. While On the Beach is a well written novel that explores some important ideas worthy of consideration, it is slow-paced and uneventful at times. If you are looking for excitement and entertainment you may want to look at some other reading options.

4 personnes sur 4 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Soccerman71
  • 2015-07-22

Dying With Dignity

Where does On the Beach rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

On the Beach is definitely the best apocalyptic audiobook I've listened to. It's a classic for a reason and Nevil Shute handled his subject matter masterfully.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

How to answer this one. Not really 'edge of my seat' as I knew going into it what the outcome would be. I would say that the plot definitely kept me 100% engaged with the characters the entire time.

What does James Smillie bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

James Smillie did a brilliant job of bringing this classic to audio form. For me, one of the biggest compliments I can pay a reader is that they don't get in the way of the source material...and he definitely passes this test. I also believe that he does a great job of really bringing life into the different characters.

If you could rename On the Beach, what would you call it?

Just like my title, "Dying with Dignity." That said, I wouldn't want to rename the novel. On the Beach is a naval phrase for "out of commission", and I believe that covers things perfectly.

Any additional comments?

I went into this expecting all doom and gloom and, don't get me wrong, that is definitely always there. However, this isn't some sort of nihilistic view of the end of the world.

I grew to love the characters and the dignity with which they faced their certain outcome. Shute paints a picture of the end of the world really bringing out the best of the human race instead of a more Cormac McCarthy viewpoint (with all respect to both authors).

The thought of unavoidable death in the means of a radioactive cloud that is ruthlessly making its way south is horrific, but the characters Shute has created are heroes in my mind in the manner of how they individually deal with this fact.

This novel isn't for everyone and I would definitely stay away from this (as well as most apocalyptic novels) if you tend towards depression due to the last 3 chapters alone. However, if the subject matter interests you and if you are a fan of novels such as "Alas, Babylon", then I couldn't recommend this novel more. Again, it's a classic for a reason.

3 personnes sur 3 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

  • Au global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
  • bionichands
  • 2012-03-21

well read classic novel of post nuclear apocalypse

I've had this book on my list to read for quite a long time. I was glad to finally find it on audible, and it didn't disappoint. If you're a fan of Hemingway's war novels, I'd say this would be a safe bet for you. Its a little sad and depressing given the bleak subject matter, but still a good and ultimately rewarding read.

My favorite part of the audiobook was the narrator who does a fantastic job. In particular, I loved his voice for Capt. Towers. Sounds like a weird mix of Christopher Walken and Dean Martin! I quite enjoyed it.

3 personnes sur 3 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Darryl
  • 2016-08-15

Classic apocalyptic

This is simply a classic and well written. Not as brutal as The Road, but still powerful as the people can do nothing but wait and find ways to fill their remaining days with distraction. I've read this and now listened to it a couple more times and it has aged well. One of the early apocalyptic novels, and one of the best. No zombies, no ridiculous shoot em up stuff, just realism.

1 personnes sur 1 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • D. Tucker
  • 2014-04-03

Facing the end with poise

If you could sum up On the Beach in three words, what would they be?

Satisfying. Tragic. Resilient.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Peter Holmes. He seems to entertain no illusions about the future of the world, but doesn't seem to be despondent like Moira, or optimistic to the point of delusion like Dwight or Mary. His argument with his wife over the pills, the fruition of his frustration over her choice to be blissfully ignorant is compelling. He is a realist, but not without a sense of hope.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

Nothing. All inflections and accents done sublimely.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

When the source of the radio transmissions was found, it was a particularly bleak moment, but it was the feeling I needed at that time.

1 personnes sur 1 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

  • Au global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Matt Lagrotte
  • 2012-04-18

Pretty Good Story

If you could sum up On the Beach in three words, what would they be?

Sad, Real, Brandy

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

Maybe more details during the sub missions.

Which scene was your favorite?

I didn't really have a favorite.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No. it just made me very sad.

1 personnes sur 1 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mark
  • 2011-03-13

One of the Best Doomday Novels

Any thought of doomsday is not attractive. This novel portrays a possible scenario of the elimation of mankind based upon faulty information.

5 personnes sur 8 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

  • Au global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Kurtiss Jacobs
  • 2019-08-26

Last humans on Earrh

If you’re into this genre, this is one of the must-reads. Not as classic as Earth Abides, but worth your time.

Performance: Narrator was too slow. I set for 1.25 speed, which helped. It’s Australian accent and language, so I couldn’t go 1.5x.

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Lady Pamela
  • 2018-11-05

This Review Needs a Title...

People of Australia are just waiting to die from the fallout of a massive world war. There is no hope of survival, they don't even try. This is a stirring, eerily believable short work by Nevil Shute. The main characters are a US submarine commander, Dwight Towers, and his counterpart, lt. commander Peter Holmes, an Australian. Towers has survived by virtue of being out to sea at the time of the war, Holmes is a married man with a wife and daughter. These men maintain their military personae to the end and are engaged in measuring radiation levels and other useless research, which they recognize as useless even as they carry their orders out.