Re: RARA-AVIS: JG Ballard

From: Nathan Cain (
Date: 25 Jul 2008

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    I have read Cocaine Nights, which is definitely a crime novel, might be of interest. It's been a while since I've read it, but it deals with a happy, shiny resort community in Spain that has some dark secrets. It marks a continuation of Ballard's theme of mankind's alienation from one another in modern society, but shifts the author's focus from automobiles (Crash and Concrete Island), to artificial communities ( resorts, gated communities, skyscrapers). Ballard is a difficult, and not always enjoyable, but important author.

    And anyone with an interest in experimental literature should read The Atrocity Exhibition, a book that so appalled people when it appeared in the 70's that the entire American print run was pulped before distribution. It deals with how the media fractures and alienates. In fact, Ballard's main obsession is our technology drives us apart. The Atrocity Exhibition is the source of his famous short piece "Why I Want to Fuck Ronald Reagan."

    On Fri, Jul 25, 2008 at 6:25 PM, Randy Krbechek <> wrote:
    > At 7/25/2008, Sean Shapiro wrote:
    >>Has anyone read JG Ballard's 'Cocaine Nights' or 'Running Wild'?
    >>Would anyone care to suggest that they qualify as noir?
    > Sean -
    > I have not read those titles, but I have read "Concrete Island" and
    > "Crash," both of which I recommend. If not noir, they certainly
    > drink from the cup of nihilism. In one of the titles, the
    > protagonist wakes up after a car crash and is stuck in a highway
    > median from which he can't escape. See this link to Wikipedia, which
    > calls it a "twisted adaptation of Robinson Crusoe."
    > Bye.
    > Randy Krbechek
    > Fresno, CA

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