The Khao San Road, Bangkok - first stop for the hordes of rootless young Westerners traveling in Southeast Asia. On Richard's first night there, a fellow traveler slashes his wrists, bequeathing to Richard a meticulously drawn map to "the Beach".
"What is Paradise?"
The classic story of paradise found - and lost. Richard lands in East Asia in search of an earthly utopia. In Thailand he is given a map promising an unknown island, a secluded beach - and a new way of life. What Richard finds when he gets there is breathtaking: more extraordinary, more frightening than his wildest dreams. But how long can paradise survive here on Earth? And what lengths will Richard go to in order to save it?
Set in the Philippines and spanning three generations, this novel follows three stories whose characters' fates are intertwined: gangsters on a chase through the streets of Manila; middle-class parents putting their children to bed in the suburbs; and a couple of street kids and the wealthy psychologist who is studying their dreams.