Jeff T.'s Reviews > Concrete Island

Concrete Island by J.G. Ballard
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May 10, 09


What drives this book is the reader's appreciation of the machinations Ballard employs to keep his 35-year-old architect anti-hero stranded on a traffic island after he runs his Jaguar aground when he sails off the highway. What begins as bemused pity bordering on Schadenfreude at Robert Maitland's inability to deliver himself from his predicament morphs into disdain and self-critique as Maitland's laid-bare civilizations are perverted by his conflicting desperation to escape and return to himself. Concrete Island is an exploration of Western notions of entitlement and dominion dramatized by a castaway in plain view. The island is a wreck of civilization and self, a distinction Maitland gradually loses in the tall grass coursing around him.

RIP J.G.B
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