> Skip to content
About the book
  • Published: 1 December 2009
  • ISBN: 9780099530251
  • Imprint: Vintage Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 320
  • RRP: $14.99

On The Beach

A stunning new reissue of the internationally bestselling novel

After the war is over, a radioactive cloud begins to sweep southwards on the winds, gradually poisoning everything in its path. An American submarine captain is among the survivors left sheltering in Australia, preparing with the locals for the inevitable. Despite his memories of his wife, he becomes close to a young woman struggling to accept the harsh realities of their situation. Then a faint Morse code signal is picked up, transmitting from the United States and the submarine must set sail through the bleak ocean to search for signs of life.

On the Beach is Nevil Shute’s most powerful novel. Both gripping and intensely moving, its impact is unforgettable.

  • Pub date: 1 December 2009
  • ISBN: 9780099530251
  • Imprint: Vintage Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 320
  • RRP: $14.99

About the Author

Nevil Shute Norway

Nevil Shute Norway was born on 17 January 1899 in Ealing, London. After attending the Dragon School and Shrewsbury School, he studied Engineering Science at Balliol College, Oxford. He worked as an aeronautical engineer and published his first novel, Marazan, in 1926. In 1931 he married Frances Mary Heaton and they went on to have two daughters. During the Second World War he joined the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve where he worked on developing secret weapons. After the war he continued to write and settled in Australia where he lived until his death on 12 January 1960. His most celebrated novels include Pied Piper (1942), No Highway (1948), A Town Like Alice (1950) and On the Beach (1957).

Also by Nevil Shute Norway

See all

Praise for On The Beach

“The most evocative novel on the aftermath of a nuclear war”

The Times

“Fictions such as On the Beach played an important role in raising awareness about the threat of nuclear war. We stared into the abyss and then stepped back from the brink”


“Still incredibly moving after nearly half a century”


“Timely and ironic..an indelibly sad ending that leaves you tearful and disturbed”

Los Angeles Times

“On the Beach didn't offer a literal second chance at life. But, as a nuclear cloud drifted over to people in Australia, it did show how knowledge of the end can dislodge the truest of feelings from their hiding places and give them a second chance”

Boston Globe


Washington Post

“Remarkable books...I share a fierce personal regard for Nevil Shute”

Richard Bach

“A novel which, while aiming at popularity, respected its readership and was possessed of a decent level of craft”

Philip Hensher, Spectator

“this book by Nevil Shute, is one of the finest of the period. ... the drama comes from Shute's ability to capture how different people choose to come to the end of their lives, sometimes heroically, sometimes selfishly, but always gripping the reader's imagination and twisting the emotion. A taut, tightly written tale by an underrated, indeed largely forgotten writer."”

Mail on Sunday

“Shute's most considerable achievement”

Daily Telegraph

Related titles