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On the Beach

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On the Beach first coverFirst edition
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First publication

Literature form

Literary, post-apocalyptic

Writing language

Author's country

Approx. 94,500 words

Notable lines

Lieutenant Commander Peter Holmes of the Royal Australian Navy woke soon after dawn.

— First line

"It's not the end of the world at all," he said. "It's only the end for us. The world will go on just the same, only we shan't be in it. I dare say it will get along all right without us."


"Maybe we've been too silly to deserve a world like this," he said.
The scientist said, "That's absolutely and precisely right."


"I'm glad we haven't got newspapers now. It's been much nicer without them."


"I want to drink hard liquor, as you call it, before lunch. I've got a mouth like the bottom of the parrot's cage. You wouldn't want me to throw a screaming fit in front of all your officers."


"You know," he said, "now that I've got used to the idea, I think I'd rather have it this way. We've all got to die one day, some sooner and some later. The trouble always has been that you're never ready, because you don't know when it's coming. Well, now we do know, and there's nothing to be done about it. I kind of like that. I kind of like the thought that I'll be fit and well up till the end of August and then—home. I'd rather have it that way than go on as a sick man from when I'm seventy to when I'm ninety."


Then she put the tablets in her mouth and swallowed them down with a mouthful of brandy, sitting behind the wheel of her big car.

— Last line


Critique • Quotes • At the movies

See also:

The Hollow Men

Nineteen Eighty-Four

J.D. Salinger

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