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Millennium People

3.36  ·  Rating details ·  1,843 Ratings  ·  172 Reviews
Compelling, disturbing, and eerily prophetic. Millenium People affirms J. G. Ballard's legacy, in the words of China Mieville, "probably the most original English writer of the last century."

The explosive J.G. Ballard renaissance, which began with the 2009 publication of The Complete Stories of J.G. Ballard, continues with the appearance of Millennium People, Ballard's fir
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published July 5th 2011 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published 2003)
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Jun 24, 2015 rated it it was ok
Pressure Drop
Weirdish, drifty tour of turn-of-century London, a future-now drama where everything is wound a little too tightly for words. Which is fine, as we are subject here to nothing less than harrowing, relentless, millennial dread, and at epidemic levels.

War Ina Babylon
Ballard wants to do --surprise-- a world out of balance, that creaks and shrieks and runs off the tracks wherever it possibly can. On the one hand a millennial, 9-11-adjacent dystopia, and on the other an older author's d
Jenny (Reading Envy)
First published in the UK in 2003, Millennium People was not even released in the USA until 2011. I thought I'd complained about publisher antics before! I'm not sure if they thought a story set in England wasn't universal enough, but the book would have been a disturbingly prophetic read in 2003.

Ballard discusses what happens when people reach a place of complacency, and the danger of the middle class. One of the major characters tries to prove that it is only random violence that helps us und
Nov 10, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read a comment piece this week about how the London-centric nature of the British media distorts the national argument. It put forward the theory that those working for newspapers, TV and radio don’t really appreciate that the views of their friends and neighbours in Islington or Hampstead are not necessarily shared by the wider populous. That piece (by whom, and where I read it, are details I’m afraid I cannot remember) stayed vivid in my mind as I read this novel about residents of well-to-d ...more
Oct 22, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

THE MILLENNIUM PEOPLE is a wry take on Karl Marx's revolutionary theory. Marx felt that the end of the political status quo would occur when the workers on the bottom of the economic pyramid called it quits, and turned to violence, however Ballard sees the impetus for revolt coming from the more well-off middle class. Ballard envisions radical social change as a kind of, "Upholstered Apocalypse".

David Markham's ex-wife is killed by a terrorist bomb at Heathrow Airport, and this seems to be conn
Alessandro Pontorno
Il ricordo che serbavo di Ballard dalle mie letture giovanili era quello di uno scrittore capace di estremizzare il lato oscuro dell'essere umano, trasformando in violenza, horror, fantasia o ucronia quelle pulsioni animali che normalmente vengono tenute a bada dalla morale, dalla legge, dal buon senso.
Ballard è, culinariamente parlando, un piatto gustoso, ma un po' difficile da digerire a lungo andare.
Dopo alcuni anni mi è tornata voglia di assaggiarne ancora, ma -a differenza dei libri che più
Jul 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Ballard transplants Dostoyevsky's Possessed, Conrad's Secret Agent, and DeLillo's Mao II into the gated-residential purgatories of riverside London in 2003's Millennium People, one of his most polished and disquieting satires.

Upfront Disclaimer: If you're put off by mordantly hyperbolic similes or characters who pontificate like Kevin Spacey in Se7en, you'll probably want to skip this one (and everything else by JGB). Dust on a coffeetable is described as "a nimbus that seemed like an ectoplasmi
May 01, 2016 rated it liked it
In many ways, I saw this as almost a companion piece to DeLillo's White Noise--both take on the kind of ennui of the middle class, a search for meaning, albeit in very different ways. But since I just read White Noise, the comparison stood out. Both were funny, although Ballard's work always seems a bit darker with less satire... more of an alternate reality feel with the microscope on British society. The plot felt a little forced, like it was more of a vehicle for so many wonderful observation ...more
Robert McCaffrey
Mar 03, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is a satirical novel of dull prose and scant humor, and Ballard's characters merely embody his vague (though interesting) ideas about the newly affluent and over-mortgaged professional class. Their rebellious antics are repetitious and never believably motivated, perhaps because the characters have no depth, even if they are easily recognizable as types. Ballard's penultimate novel and very likely my last.
from audiogo for review

Listened 12/22/11 - 1/9/12
3 Stars - Recommended to readers familiar with genre
8 CD's (approx 9 hours)
Audiobook Publisher: AudioGo

The middle class residents of Chelsea Marina are rebelling. Tired of being squeezed, they are influenced by neighbor Richard Gould to make a stand - by refusing to pay their mortgage and heating bills, smoke bombing random pedestrian businesses, and setting fire to their homes as the police come to evict them.

Meanwhile, David Markham - this stor
Steve Petherbridge
Can the middle classes revolt like the Marxist proletariat against what they perceive as oppressive living conditions? JG Ballard puts forward this supposition in Millennium People. It resonated with me, as in Ireland, the middle classes have been imposed with the task of rescuing the failed Celtic Tiger Economy, brought about by a combination of mismanagement, failed oversight and some corruption by the ruling cabal of politicians, property speculators, rich businessmen, civil servants and othe ...more
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J.G. Ballard: Millenium People 10 25 Mar 29, 2013 03:47AM  
  • Ascent
  • The Old Men at the Zoo
  • The Influence
  • Bold as Love (Bold as Love, #1)
  • Mother London
  • Hello Summer, Goodbye
  • A Glastonbury Romance
  • The End of the World News
  • The Night Sessions
  • After London: or, Wild England
  • Wieland, or, The Transformation
  • The Victorian Chaise Longue
  • The Coming Race
  • Ingenious Pain
  • Pig Tales: A Novel of Lust and Transformation
  • Red Shift
  • Rogue Moon
  • A Voyage to Arcturus
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...
“Remember, the police are neutral - they hate everybody.” 10 likes
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