Multi-hyphenate Alex Garland started off as a well-known writer. His novel The Beach was made into the Danny Boyle-directed, Leonardo DiCaprio starrer we all famously know as the movie that almost killed Leo’s career – safe to say it’s not a much loved film. However, Garland’s novel does no wrong.


The Beach is the story of a backpacker (DiCaprio) in Thailand on a relentless search for a mystical, near mythical isolated beach far from the madding crowd. The novel focuses on his adventures there, along with the beach’s expat residents. Critics from the time compared Garland’s work to such masterpieces as Heart of Darkness and Lord of the Flies.

Alex Garland photographed in London last month by Phil Fisk for the Observer New Review.