Shortly after receiving the map, Richard discovers that Daffy has committed suicide. The beach pdf alex garland company in his search, Richard befriends a travelling French couple, Étienne and Françoise, and the trio sets out to find what they hope might be an untouched paradise. American woman called Sal and her South African lover Bugs, who, along with Daffy, founded the community there in 1989.
They live in a village of hand-built wooden huts and tents, located near a large and beautiful beach and lagoon that is encircled by cliffs and connected to the sea by underwater caves. When Richard, Étienne, and Françoise arrive, it is already 1995, six years after the founders came to the beach. Only a small number of friends and acquaintances have been chosen by the founders to come to the island, and thus newcomers are not welcome, but are not sent away because to do so would jeopardize the secrecy of the community — the residents fear that if word gets out the beach will become overrun with tourists and ruined, like many of Thailand’s other beauty spots. They are also mindful of upsetting the Thai cannabis farmers, with whom they originally agreed to keep to separate territories but who have more recently warned them not to bring anyone new to the island, as the farmers fear discovery by the police. After initial suspicion, the group accepts the trio when they explain about Daffy’s map and his death back on the Thai mainland. Since the community aims to be self-sufficient, work is divided into rosters, for the garden, fishing, cooking, and carpentry. Along with Françoise and Étienne, Richard becomes a part of the fishing detail.
For several months, Richard finds life on the island idyllic, fishing in the mornings and relaxing the rest of the time. Jed — the loner of the group whose mysterious job involves going alone into the jungle. Richard later discovers that Jed has been assigned by Sal to be the island’s guardian: he watches the sea and shores of the neighboring islands for any signs of people attempting to discover the beach. Thai farmers’ side of the island. One day, Unhygienix informs everyone that their rice supply has been infected by a fungus and Sal announces an emergency Rice Run — an occasional discreet trip to the mainland by boat to bulk-buy rice and other essentials.
Due to the laborious nature of the task, no one volunteers for it except Jed, who, to the bewilderment of most others, always takes the job. It is during the Rice Run that Jed finds out that Richard gave a copy of the map to Sammy and Zeph when Jed coincidentally wanders past and overhears the two Americans relaying the urban legend of the beach to some Germans. The Rice Run goes without a hitch but soon, accompanied by three Germans they met on the mainland, Zeph and Sammy make their way to the nearest neighbouring island, which worries Richard because he will be blamed if they successfully reach the community. Soon after, Sal reassigns Richard to the perimeter detail to partner with Jed and keep a close eye on the potential invaders. With a free spot in Gregorio’s fishing detail, Keaty moves in to take Richard’s place.
Richard returns from his sentry duty to find that Bugs has punched Keaty in the face for his mistake. Richard, having never liked Bugs due to his arrogant nature, instigates a heated argument with him in front of the whole group, which leads to a division of the community into several cliques. On this day, only two of the fishing details are still in operation and the best detail, consisting of three Swedes — Christo, Sten and Karl — who fish outside the safe lagoon area, are attacked by a shark. The camp only finds out about this with the return of one of the three, Karl, in the early evening. Karl carries Sten on his back to the village, where Sten is discovered to have already bled to death.