On The Beach by Neville Shute (1957)
A review by Tim Clark
Do not believe that the publication date of this deeply thought provoking book makes it irrelevant – this is a book for the now and probably, maybe hopefully, maybe not, for a very long time to come. This fiction is real life horror about the aftermath of nuclear conflict, not in terms of the instant devastation caused by detonation of the bombs, but rather the long-term impact of the fall-out from atomic war and the idea that the world might in fact end with a whimper, rather than a bang. The creeping, insidious radiation and the inescapable doom for humanity does not make this a light read, but it is a beautifully written and utterly compelling masterpiece.