On The Beach book cover

On The Beach by Nevil Shute

If you like 1950s-era nostalgia, submarines, and eerily calm post-apocalyptic stories, I highly recommend you read On The Beach.


This is a quieter post-apocalypse story than most.

On The Beach takes place about a year after global nuclear war took out most of Earth’s northern hemisphere. The resulting radiation is heading south, and no one in its path survives. The story is set in Melbourne, Australia — the southern most metropolitan city in the world, where radiation is expected to reach by September.

The book was published in 1957, and the dialogue carries a charming lilt that I often associate with books from this era, like the words are all wearing wasp waist skirts and red lipstick. The characters are interesting, if not a bit plain, and what is really intriguing is how calm they all seem to be in the face of impending doom.

Thought it’s a slower-paced story, it kept me captivated with its fascinating premise and the questions it sparked about whether the end of the world would really be more like this than Outbreak.

Buy On The Beach on Amazon, Indiebound — or borrow it from you local library!
More about the author on Wikipedia

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