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Super-Cannes

3.68 of 5 stars 3.68  ·  rating details  ·  2,233 ratings  ·  124 reviews
Super-Cannes follows where our executive super-capitalist dreams utopia must lead and shows us how we might yet escape that dark and violent cul-de-sac. Ballard is the author of Empire of the Sun, Crash and his most recent bestseller, Cocaine Nights
Paperback, 391 pages
Published August 1st 2001 by Flamingo (first published 2000)
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Warwick

A wonderful novel, oozing with millenarian angst and chock-full of Ballard’s favourite icons, played from his deck like tarot cards – the Grounded Pilot, the Closed Community, the Unhinged Doctor, the Sexy Car-Crash – with the theme, as always, having to do with the dark poles of eros and thanatos lurking just beneath the veneer of human society.

The plot involves Paul Sinclair, a former airman recovering from a plane crash, who accompanies his young wife Jane to an ultramodern business park on t
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MJ Nicholls
A business complex in Cannes is gradually overtaken by a psychopathic philosophy, threatening a Third World War. As in all JG Ballard novels, the narrator’s perversities are explored, the veneer of wealth and success is lifted, and an underworld of crime and sickness unleashed.

This is Ballard’s longest novel and doesn’t benefit from its chunkiness. In fact, the detective novel plot and overabundant description make this a less successful work from the master of short-form fiction. It also doesn’
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Charles Dee Mitchell
J.G. Ballard established that architecture can drive you in crazy in High Rise, his 1975 novel in which residents of a new, luxury apartment tower degenerate into tribal warfare. Super-Cannes suggests that the proper response to the new, gated, planned business and residential communities he saw despoiling the Mediterranean French countryside he loved would be a form of orchestrated psychopathology.

Paul and Jane Sinclair relocate from London to the Eden-Olympia, where Jane will be on the medical
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Andrea
The first third or so of the novel is entrancing 5-star-worthy stuff. I loved the writing (what I can only describe as smooth-edged and contoured, or how about fluid and curvy?) and the budding premise was promising. But things started sliding (elegantly, style oblige)into a faux detective thriller with too much investigation, description, and explanation without enough real examination of the damned premise.

The premise? A bit simplistic with some interesting correlations, although it is frustra
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Andrea
I heard Ballard had died recently and decided it was time to pick up this book which had been sitting on my shelf for a few years. I had previously read Concrete Island, and was concerned that Super-Cannes would be, like that one, an example a clever idea played out in a somewhat unsatisfying way.

But not to worry... Super-Cannes is magnificent. The real meat here is the theme explored by Ballard, that we are moving into uncharted land in the 21st century- suburbia. The setting is Eden-Olympia, t
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aPriL eVoLvEs (ex-Groot)

Many reviewers sneer at this book because they think the author repeated himself and said it better in his previous novels. Since I haven't read them, I enjoyed this one very much.

Super-Cannes is a literary Art novel. The plot is an imaginary, and dark, exploration about rewarding merit-based achievements with opportunities to unleash racism and class cruelty. I think this is a terribly flawed story; however, I keep see-sawing between three or four stars. I think 4 stars will be where I'll settl
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Denali
Excellent. Actively sought out bus trips to find reasons to not to anything else but read this book.
kt
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Jack
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Nancy Oakes
brief plot summary
On the surface, you'd think you were reading a murder mystery. From beginning to end, Paul Sinclair tries to uncover the answers to why an acquaintance, Dr. David Greenwood, one day went crazy and shot several co-workers & then himself at a corporate business park called Eden-Olympia situated on the Cote d'Azur in France. But in reality, what is under that mystery is more disturbing. Sadly, I cannot reveal more because it would totally wreck the suspense & give away sho
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Mircalla64 (free Liu Xiaobo)
J.G.BALLARD - Super Cannes –
Canguri Feltrinelli novembre 2000
Pp. 372



“La prima persona che incontrai ad Eden-Olympia fu uno psichiatra, e forse il fatto che sia stato proprio uno specialista in malattie mentali a farmi da guida in questa città intelligente sulle colline sopra Cannes non fu affatto un caso……Solo quando imparai finalmente ad apprezzare quest’uomo labile e pericoloso riuscii a pensare di ucciderlo.”
La paranoia che permeava le pagine di uno dei più riusciti tra i libri di Ballard, “
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Andy
This book is a great place to start for people who want to get into Ballard without the scenes in Crash and the Atrocity Exhibition that may make some people squeamish. With that being said, this book is pure Ballard. All the familiar themes are there: Technology affecting people psychologically, video screens providing sexual gradification, and an inescapable sense that archetecture has replaced nature as a sprawling and all encompassing alternative.
One of the main ideas of the book are the "t
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Bruce Reid
Another beautifully written but intentionally sterile dissection of the mad, taboo extremes to which bored inhabitants of high-tech wonderlands can be driven. The only appropriate description for this kind of thing is Ballardian, but going to the well too often plays up the hazard of becoming your own adjective. Beyond some gratingly overintellectualized anti-capitalist posturing, there's nothing here Ballard hasn't done far better and more disturbingly in High Rise or Running Wild, among others ...more
Conor
I had mixed feelings about this. First, I'm kind of glad that it wasn't pure erotica like the movie Crash, based on the Ballard book of the same name. Secondly, it's really easy to see where everything is going about half way through. That's when things start dragging.

I mean, I'm glad I read something interesting and worth while for the first time in a bit, but on the other hand, it could have been a bit more punchy. Besides, having a pseudo villain who explains the master plan while the main c
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Katherine Yeh
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Ron
The narrator and his wife move to a self-contained (and self-satisfied) ultra-modern office park in the hills above Cannes, a corporate headquarters park where everyone works and works, to make the modern economy hum. It is a perfectly designed corporate utopia, and everyone there just loves the work and everyone lives in contentment. Until a doctor one day shoots a dozen or so of his colleagues. the narrator sets out to find out more about the mass murders, and finds that there are some flies i ...more
Miriam
I liked Ballard's _High Rise_ very much. This book is not that. Well, that's not really true. It's High Rise set in Cannes, with more words and bad, nonsensical metaphors.

This book relies on a psychological explanation that goes on too long. It's not really hard to understand that people, especially privileged people, like sex, drugs, and violence, and they like committing crimes on people who are less likely to fight back. The plot revolves around a mystery that isn't really a mystery--what's g
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Lenny Wick
Super-Cannes is super-competent. I waver between a 3 and a 4, but any Ballard deserves the higher ranking. Seriously - he's one of the three most important writers in the Post-War years, and I don't know who the other two writers are.

This one gets dinged for going over well-trod territory. And, indeed, there are portions that seem lifted from Ballard's own interviews (which are always, always worth reading), often in the character Wilder Penrose's mouth. It tends to hammer (and yammer) on where
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aaron
This book is cold and calculated and feels like the white light in a waiting room.

Yet with a delicate knife the author manages to cut a clean incision across the purified, pampered and artificially perfumed skin to expose a raw and savage world of the super elite.

It's fascinating to follow the protagonist as he patiently takes steps deeper and deeper into the sterile and violent world of the ultimate corporate gated community, Super-Cannes.
Hugo
For most of its length, I thought this was going to be a five star book, but the middle is saggy and it flounders badly towards the climax which - though always inevitable from the outset - seems almost tacked on. Otherwise, this is a treat of Ballard's usual themes - fetishisation, alienation and dislocation - and precisely glacial prose, exploring themes of corporate greed, spree kills and modern working environments.
Procyon Lotor
Morte del pensiero greco e vendetta della natura umana. Anni fa, la NASA progett� e costru� un edificio per l'assemblaggio e la custodia protetta di manufatti da inviare nello spazio. Vista la mole tipica dei vettori e navicelle, l'edificio ebbe naturalmente dimensioni e costi colossali ma la sua principale funzione, la protezione, fu assai frustrata: si scopr� che un edificio quantunque totalmente isolato dall'esterno contro pioggia, vento, polveri e altri inquinanti era cos� grande da sviluppa ...more
Trudy
It took me some time to get through as I lost interest in reading for a bit, but like any good book, the twists and turns and sickness get you gripped towards the final part. It does make you curious as to what or, if anything like the antics at Eden Olympia actually do go on in big complexes. The harsh description of the complex itself compliments the harshness of the acitivities of its inhabitants.
Eric Steere
What Ballard has to say in Super Cannes needs to be said, and what he achieved here is a gripping and literary indictment of the neoliberal corporate world, exposing its perversions in an investigative drama. Ballard paints the ugly side of "progress" in society and technology, with the control of these advances and their subsequently engineered and conditioned forms spiral out of control leading to a vicious and violent form of corporate crim, prescribed by the lush corporate park's (aptly name ...more
T4ncr3d1
"In una società perfettamente sana, la pazzia è l'unica libertà rimasta"

Secondo episodio dell'ultima tetralogia ballardiana di romanzi a tesi sulla violenza metropolitana, Super-Cannes si presenta un romanzo a tesi emblematico, perché ne svela tutti i punti di forza e i punti deboli.
Cominciamo con i punti deboli: letto uno, letti tutti. Alla prima lettura, il romanzo a tesi ballardiano mi ha entusiasmato. Alla seconda mi ha annoiato. Alla terza, mi ha fatto venire voglia di chiudere il libro dop
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WordsBeyondBorders
Welcome to 'Eden-Olympia' a very high tech business/residential park which is, as the resident psychiatrist at Eden says

".. isn't just another business park. We're an ideas laboratory for the new millennium"

Beautiful well furnishes offices, excellent residences to with state of the art furnishing, lots of recreational facilities and to top that the park is situated on the hills above Cannes. So it is a veritable modern day Eden right? Hold on, there's a catch here. What is 'Eden' if not an utop
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Lisa
Another enjoyable and yet unsettling look at ourselves from Ballard, that shares more than a few similarities with others of his that I've read - most particularly Kingdom Come and Millenium People.

Eden-Olympia is a corporate park in Cannes where the employees not only work but live. With work having overtaken leisure as the dominant force in many people's lives, there's a rise in the sorts of minor ailments that keep many from making it into work, or blunting their efficiency if they do attend.
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Charles
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, even if it was drawn out too long and a bit unconvincing in some of its characterizations. Also, this novel is (as far as I could ever judge) European in its sensibilities and mindset, though I think its themes and criticisms are equally applicable to America.

Though written much like a conventional mystery, Super-Cannes is an examination and indictment of the hyper-corporate reality, with its deletrious effects of our societal, communal, personal and natural envi
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Becky
Super Cannes is a great book. "Super Cannes" (I can't remember the actual name, there's been a lot of jet lag since I finished this!) is a modern day business park where top execs work and live, a manicured and carefully designed utopia aiming for maximal productivity and minimal diversions. This utopia is shattered when the resident paediactrician, Daniel Greenwood shoots down a number of the major players in the park, seemingly without reason. The story starts when his replacement, a young fem ...more
Grayson Queen
For a while now I've been trying to get around to reading JG Ballard novel (they don't stock them on any shelves for some reason, despite having had them turned int films). So i ran into this one at the library and grabbed it, only briefly glancing at what it was about.

It was a slow read. Not boring, but certainly not enthralling. I had jokingly guess the twist of the story while reading chapter two, though didn't realize it till the reveal (so their was some anticipation).

Something about the ch
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Chris
This was my first Ballard book and I came to it with the understanding that he is a science fiction writer. Super-Cannes was also described as something akin to William Gibson. I guess it might be science fiction if the science in question is psychology. The book concerns the psychological deformation associated with living in a fully planned and controlled corporate park called Eden-Olympia in the hills above Cannes -- hence the title -- and the new "treatment" designed to correct it.

The settin
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Typical Ballard... 1 25 Sep 27, 2008 02:01AM  
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7010931
James Graham "J. G." Ballard (15 November 1930 – 19 April 2009) was an English novelist, short story writer, and essayist. Ballard came to be associated with the New Wave of science fiction early in his career with apocalyptic (or post-apocalyptic) novels such as The Drowned World (1962), The Burning World (1964), and The Crystal World (1966). In the late 1960s and early 1970s Ballard focused on a ...more
More about J.G. Ballard...
Crash Empire of the Sun High-Rise The Drowned World The Atrocity Exhibition

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“The twentieth century ended with its dreams in ruins. The notion of the community as a voluntary association of enlightened citizens has died forever. We realize how suffocatingly humane we've become, dedicated to moderation and the middle way. The suburbanization of the soul has overrun our planet like the plague.” 22 likes
“Sooner or later, all games become serious.” 22 likes
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