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J G Ballard (1 Viewer)

strangedaze

Senior Member
Author of the controversial Crash and Atrocity Exhibition, among others.

Any fans? Thinkning about picking up the former today at the campus bookstore.

Andrew
 

Stewart

Senior Member
JG Ballard is one of the great British contemporary authors. In his early novels, the stylie on show was incredible. Novels such as The Drowned World and The Crystal World were atmospheric and great exercises in pushing forward with ideas and what ifs...Later, his ability to use metaphor was amazing; consider experimental novels such as High-Rise and Concrete Island.

Later novels, admittedly, Super-Cannes and Milleniumn People haven't been as good, but were still well written.

His short stories, now collected in one huge volume, are worth buying as you can trace his development from a sci-fi writer in the 1950s through to the social observer he is today.
 

Shepard

Member
I love his stuff, but he varies in theme. He goes from ripping off Bradbury to ripping off Burroughs. When he finds a middle ground (Crash) it shines. Empire of the Sun is a nice 'normal' novel cum autobio.
 

this_reckless_pace

Senior Member
I'm a huge Ballard fan. There is a consistency in the themes running through many of his books - from his early works back in the sixties like The Drought and The Drowned World, right up to the more recent Super Cannes. He seems fascinated by the environment in which we live, and how man reacts when it changes around him.

An ordinary man trapped in a concrete island between motorways, the earth becoming a desert when the rain stops, strange environments we create for ourselves like high rise apartment buildings or gated communities on the Mediterranean, and of course, well off Europeans forced into a Shanghai prison camp during World War II.

My own opinion is that all Ballard's work is a variation of Empire of the Sun; that he's really been writing one long, never ending autobiography, asking the same questions again and again.

His prose is unmistakable. Here's a great line from the first page of Cocaine Nights:
As the custom officials rummage through my suitcases I sense them trying to unpack my mind and reveal a contraband of forbidden dreams and memories.
 
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