Alex Garland delivers what is undoubtedly a superb piece of writing. Rich in narrative, description and imagery, the story centres on the discovery of a select community, hidden away on a secret Thai lagoon. Richard, the main protagonist, is caught in an exotic spiriting adventure, where the inhabitants of the beach fight to keep their precious secret location from the outside world, ending in an ultimate fight for survival. This novel is fast paced, written with conviction and an unquestionable intelligence. A lifetime must read.