The Beach

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The desire to find something real – to connect with something or someone – is what drives Richard, a young American backpacker who arrives in Thailand with adventure on his mind. Travel, he asserts, is the search for experience, the quest for something different. At a cheap hotel in Bangkok, Richard meets a French couple, Etienne and Francoise. He also encounters Daffy, an older traveler ravaged by years of sun and drugs. Rambling and paranoid, Daffy tells Richard the improbable tale of a secret island, a paradise on earth: the perfect beach, unsullied by tourists. The next day, Richard finds a piece of paper pinned to his door. It is a hand-drawn map of the island described by Daffy. This, Richard realizes, may be the “something different” he has been looking for. Richard persuades Francoise and Etienne to join him and they set off on a journey, following Daffy’s map. Reaching their destination, they find a small community of travelers like themselves, living in secret. They are welcomed into the group, and the island paradise becomes their home, sapping them of all will to return to the world they knew before. Yet beneath the surface, this heaven on earth is less than perfect.
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