Beyond This Place

Beyond This Place is a novel by Scottish author A. J. Cronin first published in 1950. The first edition for Australia and New Zealand was in 1953. A serial version appeared in Collier's under the title of To Live Again.

Beyond This Place
First US edition
AuthorA. J. Cronin
Cover artistGeorge Salter
CountryUnited Kingdom
PublisherGollancz (UK)
Little, Brown (US)
Publication date
Media typePrint (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages304 pp. (UK hardback edition)
ISBN0-575-00618-8 (UK hardback edition)


It has been adapted for both film and television. The British film version (1959) was directed by Jack Cardiff and featured Van Johnson and Vera Miles.[1] A television adaptation was broadcast on CBS in 1957, and was produced by David Susskind and directed by Sidney Lumet. It starred Farley Granger, Peggy Ann Garner, Torin Thatcher, Brian Donlevy, and Shelley Winters. A Bengali version, Sabar Uparey starring Uttam Kumar, Suchitra Sen and Chhabi Biswas was made in 1955. A Bollywood version, Kala Pani (1958), was directed by Raj Khosla and starred Dev Anand and Madhubala. A Telugu version, Poola Rangadu (1967), loosely based on the novel, was directed by Adurthi Subba Rao and starred ANR and Jamuna. 1970 Tamil movie En Annan starring MGR was also based on this movie.[2]

Plot summary

Paul Mathry, a student about to graduate and embark upon a teaching career, finds out that his father was convicted for murder, a secret that his mother had hidden from him since his childhood.

Driven by an intense desire to see his father, Paul sets out to visit him in prison, only to find out that visitors are never allowed there.

From there, he meets the primary witnesses in the case that convicted his father, not all of whom are supportive to Paul's cause. He encounters several dead ends but he persists, with the help of a store girl named Lena and a news reporter.

His persistent campaign finally bears fruit. Rees Mathry, Paul's father, goes on appeal and is vindicated. The novel ends with Paul's father, a hardened, cynical man, seeing a fleeting hope for self-renewal and a purposeful life.

From the book cover: 'In this, his latest and most exciting novel, A. J. Cronin tells of a son and his father, of a crime of passion and a crime of injustice, of a bond of loyalty that reached across fifteen years towards a man broken, brutalized, and forgotten within prison walls.

Paul Burgess at twenty-one was mature and level-headed, a successful student and a good son to his "widowed" mother. But his life turned to a nightmare when he discovered that he was the son of a convicted murderer who was even then serving the fifteenth year of his life sentence. The suspense mounts as Paul's inquiries not only resurrect long-buried fears and hatred but also bring threats and pressure from high places as he penetrates further into the mystery surrounding the crime and grows more and more convinced of his father's innocence. From then on the story is of Paul's desperate struggle for his father's release, supported only by a few loyal friends and by the girl he loves.

The dramatic force of 'Beyond This Place' is heightened by its social significance and by the warm human understanding that has characterized A. J. Cronin's work from 'Hatter's Castle' onwards. To read it is an experience that will be long remembered.'


  1. "Beyond This Place (1959)". BFI.
  2. Narasimham, M. L. (6 July 2018). "Poola Rangadu (1967)". The Hindu. Retrieved 20 September 2019.
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