JBedient's Reviews > Crash

Crash by J.G. Ballard
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's review
Jul 21, 2015

it was amazing
Read in February, 1995 , read count: 2

If you've never read Ballard, and you're curious, this is the book you want to start with. I won't get into the plot or the antiseptic, yet haunting, prose. I'll just say that all the motifs of Ballard are here, and they are presented with crystal clear precision, with touches of what I'd call industrial surrealism.

Some people find the book a little cold and detached -- but that's the whole point -- Ballard is not a Garcia Marquez, he's not painting a romantic picture full of pastels(I'm not knocking magical surrealism, nor pastels). Let me put it this way: if van Gogh & Garcia Marquez have similar styles - bright colors, rustic locales, than Ballard & Dali have similar styles - mechanical eroticisms, strange juxtapositions.

To understand Ballard you can't approach him thinking you're going to read something in the traditional "belles-lettres" sense... don't get me wrong, his word's are beautiful, but they are beautiful in the way a neon sign reflected in a puddle of rain on a darkened city street can be beautiful.

That's my best shot at conveying the sense of style that awaits you within this book...

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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Carla Remy (new)

Carla Remy I loved this when I was 20. I loved the surreal sense of life lived on a highway . I still think fondly on it. But when I tried to read it again, I was grossed out, and everything else I've tried by him I do find very dryly written. So I don't know how I feel...

message 2: by Abe (new) - rated it 5 stars

Abe Something I like your Ballard & Dali comparision, but I have to disagree with entering Ballard's work from this point. One can get a better sense of what Ballard does best, that is strip away the thin veneer between what reality and what we've built to distract ourselves from it, in books like Concrete Island, High Rise, and The Drowned World. Crash is the place to see him do it best, but I think first timers would really benefit from a bit of priming, which the other books provide.

Basically, I am cautioning against starting with Crash because it's too likely to turn people away before they get a sense of what Ballard can really do. Otherwise, I'm with you 5 stars.

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