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The Inner Man: The Life of J. G. Ballard
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The Inner Man: The Life of J. G. Ballard

2.46 of 5 stars 2.46  ·  rating details  ·  13 ratings  ·  6 reviews
To many people, J.G. Ballard will always be the schoolboy in Steven Spielberg's movie "Empire of the Sun," struggling to survive as an internee of the Japanese during World War II. Others remember him as the author of Crash, a meditation on the eroticism of the automobile and the liebstod of the car crash. The book he styled "the first pornographic novel about science" dra ...more
Hardcover, 378 pages
Published September 1st 2011 by Orion Publishing
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So what am I to make of this biography? It's hardly the worst I've ever read. Yet, I am left highly unsatisfied with much of it. It's factually incomplete in some respects, and far too biased in others.

Being a big Ballard fan, I welcomed the opportunity to read in more detail about his life. You gets hints of Ballard's life experiences in his writings, such as the semi-autobiographical "Empire of the Sun" and "The Kindness of Women". Baxter seeks to distinguish fact from fiction in these works,
Do not buy this book. John Baxter has obviously tried to capitalize on Ballard's death by rushing this poorly researched and dim biography. It was not authorized by Ballard's estate, and it is full of factual errors. Apparently Ballard's daughter, Beatrice, filled six pages of things Baxter simply got wrong. There are no references whatsoever, and all of Baxter's accounts have a hearsay, second-hand quality. Ballard scholars have been able to pinpoint some of the sources in print of much of it, ...more
Confession - I only bought this book to make up an order so that I could benefit from free postage and packing. Then, when I looked at the reviews on Goodreads and Amazon UK, I was glad that I wasn't expecting too much from it.

Ballardians don't like Baxter's biography because it doesn't show The Great Writer in a very good light. Well, let's face it, Ballard had a rare imagination, but a cuddly teddy bear he was not. He beat his female companions and rejected his parents and sister because they
Guy Salvidge
Decent bio, but Baxter seems not to have liked Ballard very much. Why write a biography of him then?
Chris S
A canter through JGB's life. No major depth... but a good overview nonetheless.
the subject matter is wonderful, what a dull read.
Chandana marked it as to-read
Aug 27, 2015
Alejandro Videla
Alejandro Videla marked it as to-read
Jan 16, 2013
Stephanieparker marked it as to-read
May 13, 2012
JanPŁ added it
Dec 29, 2011
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John Baxter (born 1939 in Randwick, New South Wales) is an Australian-born writer, journalist, and film-maker.

Baxter has lived in Britain and the United States as well as in his native Sydney, but has made his home in Paris since 1989, where he is married to the film-maker Marie-Dominique Montel. They have one daughter, Louise.

He began writing science fiction in the early 1960s for New Worlds, Sci
More about John Baxter...
The Most Beautiful Walk in the World: A Pedestrian in Paris Immoveable Feast: A Paris Christmas A Pound of Paper: Confessions of a Book Addict We'll Always Have Paris: Sex & Love in the City of Light The Perfect Meal: In Search of the Lost Tastes of France

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