August – The Beach


Wow, it’s kind of a miracle. I actually wrote this review a few* days back and am posting it now, in time. After being terribly late reviewing the last times, it feels good have written this early. Errr… the miracle wasn’t a real one, as proven by the fact that I didn’t upload the review until now. I really finished the first draft early though but after Sam posted hers, I just had some adjustments in mind.. and apparently no time. I finally found some time so here we go.

As most of you know, I have this little tradition going on where I recite a part of the twenty-seventh page:

‘May I have a cigarette, Richard?’ ‘Sure.’ I gave her one and held out a light. As she cupped her hands to cover the flame from the ceiling fan, I noticed a tiny dolphin tattoo half hidden behind her watch- strap.  It seemed like a strange place for a tattoo and I nearly commented on it, but to do so seemed too familiar. Scars and tattoos. You need to know someone fairly well before asking questions. ‘ So what is this map from the dead man?’

What’s the story about? The main character is Richard. He’s a traveler and the story begins with him arriving in Bangkok. His starting point is Khao San Road which is apparently the in and out of thailand for backpackers. It’s in a Hostel at this road where he hears first about The Beach, an edenic place. Daffy Duck draws him a map. Etienne and Francoise, French hostel neighbours, join in and off they go. They find the beach (of course). But the paradise isn’t what it seems.

What did I think of the book? I was absorbed by it. I was so absorbed that all the background noise faded away while I was reading it. And that hasn’t happened for a while. I read some good books but being absorbed by a book seldom happens. It only does when the characters take me with them on their journey. I have pretty good visualization skills and a few pictures of the islands and bays of Thailand was all it took to develop my visual version of ‘The Beach’. It was a very edgy paradise, exactly the kind that I like.

After I finished the book I watched the movie based upon it. I must say it wasn’t a bad adaption of it. But! It wasn’t a very good one either. I found that a lot of essential parts of the book were left out in the movie, even one of my favorite characters didn’t make it! Which is Jed by the way. I also missed the multiple reapperances of Mr. Duck. The makers of the movie didn’t only leave things out but put some things in that weren’t in the book. They probably did all of this to make it more suitable for a wider audience. Leonardo did a freaking good job with his portrayel of Richard though, I certainly have to admit that. Nontheless, I think it’s a shame Sammie that you couldn’t finish the book. But I also like the fact that this proves that everybody has a different taste in books. Some people love the books that just aren’t for you.
In addition to the story I also like that the book has short chapters. Because of this the pace of the book seems faster and you tend to read more at a time.
Final Verdict: I highly recommend reading this book, especially if you like your books edgy. And if you don’t like reading (how dare you) I’d recommend the movie as well. Although the perfect picture is of course reading the book first and watching the movie after.
smaxx pointsmaxx pointsmaxx pointsmaxx pointsmaxxpoint-1:2
( What are these things? Find out here)
*A lot of days back
P.S. Listen to this song while reading! It’s the soundtrack of the movie but fits perfectly well at some parts & don’t forget to check out the review of Sam!
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