No ‘beaucoup bad shit’ in The Beach

“Cool” is a word that cannot, in my heavily biased opinion, in a gazillion years gauge the awesomeness of Mr. Alex Garland. Roughly a week after finishing his first-ever novel The Beach, I’m still recuperating from the hangover it gave me. It’s one of those books that can make you say, “Wow, that really is something” months, years even, after you have finished reading it. Mr. Garland was able to deliver his message strongly in a piece of work that is as intelligent as it is entertaining.

My copy is second-hand. The previous owner underlined A LOT of passages in red ink and wrote notes on the margins. It was pretty nice. Very HBP.

I have a crush on the 26-year-old Alex Garland. He resembles the young Robert De Niro PLUS he’s hella smart.
If that isn’t enough to illustrate how great The Beach is, then here are some memorable quotes from the novel:

“Vietnam, me love you long time. All day, all night, me love you long time…
Dropping acid on the Mekong Delta, smoking grass through a rifle barrel, flying on a helicopter with opera blasting out of loudspeakers, tracer-fire and paddy-field scenery, the smell of napalm in the morning. 
Long time.”

“…though I walk through the valley of death I will fear no evil, for I am the evilest m****f****r in the valley.”

 “There’s this saying: in an all-blue world, colour doesn’t exist… If something seems strange, you question it; but if the outside world is too distant to use as a comparison then nothing seems strange.” 

“You fish, swim, eat, laze around, and everyone’s so friendly. It’s such simple stuff, but… If I could stop the world and restart life, put the clock back, I think I’d restart it like this. For everyone.” 

“If you accept that the universe is infinite, then that means there’s an infinite amount of chances for things to happen, right? Well if there’s an infinite amount of chances for something to happen, then eventually it will happen – no matter how small the likelihood. That means somewhere in space there’s another planet that, by an incredible series of coincidences, developed exactly the same way as ours. Right down to the smallest details…”

“Sometimes, it feels to me like I walked into the glade and lit the cigarette, and someone else came along and finished it.”

“There are one hundred glow-stars on my bedroom ceiling…Glow-stars are strange. They make the ceiling disappear.” 

So go read it. Because I know that if you do, you’d also feel like searching for your own piece of paradise.


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