Nevil Shute "On the Beach"

Nevil Shute "On the Beach"

Nevil Shute "On the Beach"


Nevil Shute

‘On the Beach’ is about a subject that many writers would be too afraid to discuss. It tells of the terrible effects of a nuclear war. There has been a war between the northern countries of the world and everyone there is dead. But now the winds are carrying radioactive dust all around the world. One by one, the countries of the south are also dying. In the end, only Australia and New Zealand are free from the radiation. But everyone there knows that in a few months it will reach them. Then they will all become sick and die. What can these last few people do? Some continue working; some of them try to enjoy their last few months. Some make new friends, although they know it will be for only a short time.

This book first appeared in 1957. At that time many people in the world were very frightened of nuclear bombs and radiation. After nuclear bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan, the world knew the power of these new, terrible bombs. 70,000 people died immediately, and thousands died later from burns and from radioactive dust in the air.

Writers wrote many stories about nuclear wars. In these stories, wars sometimes begin by accident. A person might be mad, ‘push the red button’ and cause the end of the world. Many films were made on the subject - serious films and even amusing ones. More countries made nuclear bombs. Everybody was waiting for a war to start. Nevil Shute’s book was different from other stories. Shute was not very interested in the causes of the nuclear war. In his book, the war has ended. In most countries in the world, people are already dead. In a nuclear war, Shute is telling us, there are no winners - only losers.


Text Analysis: Unique words: about 1,700 Total words: about 32,760
Hard words: account, admiral, aircraft, cart, coal, cobalt, consider, depend, detect, direct, dirt, fuel, instruction, Lieutenant-Commander, living quarters, loud hailer, mine, navy, nod, nuclear, periscope, prime minister, radiation, signal, siren, store, submarine, surface, tablet, wavelength


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