Finding Tension in the Ordinary in Shute's On…

Dramatic tension does not always come from violent action. Sometimes it is born and grows in the heart of the ordinary. I’ve just finished reading Nevil Shute’s On the Beach, a post-apocalyptical novel published in 1957. But if you are thinking a rag-tag band of survivors battling robots or zombies or bands of roving animals through the rubble and ruin of once-proud cities, it isn’t that at all. [Spoiler alert.] Everybody behaves very civilly. And everybody dies. As in everybody dies, the entire human race.

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