On the Beach Criticism

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On the Beach received mixed reviews when it was published in 1957. Most critical reaction focused on the antiwar theme. In a review published in a 1957 edition of the Atlantic, critic Edward Weeks wrote:

Only a very humane writer could have told a story as desolate as this and made It seem at once so close and implacable The book held a kind of cobra fascination for me. I didn't want to keep looking, but I did to the end.

The eminent critic Edmund Fuller deemed On the Beach "[a]n austere, grim, moving, important book that could become real." Fuller asserted that Shute had skillfully written a suspenseful novel in spite of the fact that the reader knows how the book will end

His success in this is manifest in the concern we feel for his characters; for concern, identification, and anguish—not surprise—are the...

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This section contains 480 words
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Buy the On the Beach Study Guide
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On the Beach from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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