Who wrote the novel "On the Beach"?
All four answer options are authors of "Beach" titles:
Sarah Gillingham -- "On My Beach" (2015)
Ian McEwan -- "On Chesil Beach" (2007)
Alex Garland -- "The Beach" (1996)
Nevil Shute (1899-1960) published "On the Beach" in 1957 after emigrating from England to Australia and settling near Melbourne in 1950.
The novel details the experiences of a mixed group of people in Melbourne in 1963, following multiple nuclear strikes in World War III that had occurred one year previously. Deadly radiation is spreading south from the Northern Hemisphere and there is little that Australians can do but wait. As the radiation approaches, each person deals with impending death differently.
The title of the book refers to T. S. Eliot's poem “The Hollow Men”, which includes the lines:
In this last of meeting places
We grope together
And avoid speech
Gathered on this beach of the tumid river.
The title page of the book contains extracts from this poem including this quotation and the concluding lines:
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper