The Beach by Alex Garland (1996)

BEACH2The Beach, Alex Garland’s modern twist on Lord of the Flies, fillets the post-college urge to “discover” uncharted third-world countries while simultaneously illustrating socialism’s inherent failings. It has become de facto required reading for twenty-somethings and can be found in Eurorail rucksacks and high school backpacks the world over. Borrowing from Vietnam war movies, video games, and earnest slacker culture, The Beach opens with a suicide and only gets darker from there.

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