Moonbeam Farquhar Metheringham IV’s review of On the Beach by Nevil Shute

One encountered this book back in one’s tender teens when it was a set text for some examination or another. One’s peer group was set the task of reading this dull tome and writing about its dystopian view of nuclear holocaust.

Being a child of extreme sensitivity one approached the story of the end of the world with some trepidation. But one need not have worried, sailing through this pages affected one with no more than brain-crippling boredom…

Synopsis: Some people are in Australia waiting to die. In the end they do so.

Review: This is a book in which nothing happens. Repeatedly. Nobody does anything much. Basically they all stooge around waiting to die. There is no romance, no sex, no adventure, nothing to stir the soul.

Our teachers attempted to inculcate in us the belief that this was a case of masterly understatement. They failed. Even one’s contemporaries, whose hard-handed masculinity sent shivers of excitement and fear down one’s spine to one little pink toeses, apostrophed this as dull and uninteresting. Although one clearly remembers that it was not they who were bent over the headmaster’s skinny thighs and beaten for their opinions.

Conclusion: This book would be an excellent cure for insomnia.

Stars: Zero (one can still feel the cane across one’s tender flesh).

Moonbeam Farquhar Metheringham IV

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