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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

2.58  ·  Rating details ·  19 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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Sep 13, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: nonfiction, 2011
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, has a document of about six pages of things that Baxter simply got wrong. 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 (all secondary), an ...more
Mar 30, 2014 rated it it was ok
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,
Jan 19, 2015 rated it liked it
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
Nov 08, 2013 rated it liked it
the subject matter is wonderful, what a dull read.
Guy Salvidge
Nov 21, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Decent bio, but Baxter seems not to have liked Ballard very much. Why write a biography of him then?
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Murray Ewing
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Sep 08, 2011
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Aug 26, 2011
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May 01, 2012
Chris S
A canter through JGB's life. No major depth... but a good overview nonetheless.
Ross Notman
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Aug 05, 2015
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Dec 27, 2011
Hunter Braithwaite
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Jun 16, 2014
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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...

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