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Super-Cannes

3.69  ·  Rating Details ·  3,176 Ratings  ·  177 Reviews
J.G. Ballard. Super-Cannes. London: Flamingo, [2000]. First edition, first printing. Signed by Ballard on title page. Octavo. 391 pages.

Long-regarded as one of the true visionary writers of the twentieth century, J.G. Ballard was one of the first British writers of the post-war period to begin to see, and to map out in his fiction, the future course of our civilization. F
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Hardcover, 391 pages
Published 2000 by London: Flamingo
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Warwick
May 06, 2013 Warwick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, france, cannes

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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Robert
Jul 02, 2013 Robert rated it liked it
Anyone who's read say, half a dozen Ballard novels could probably identify this as such from the first paragraph. A first paragraph that stayed with me through-out the book. Indeed I re-read it twice, once at about the 1/3 mark and once right after finishing the book.

One is rapidly led to believe that this novel deals with all of Ballard's normal tropes; medical doctor characters, nutters, aviation, social microcosms, veneer of civilisation which is easily ripped away. In the case of one of thes
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Ian "Marvin" Grayejoy
Remake/Remodel/Reboot

"Super-Cannes" seems to be a reboot of Ballard's previous novel, "Cocaine Nights".

When I finished it, I re-read my review of "Cocaine Nights" and was surprised at how much of it could be applied equally to this work, with only minimal adjustment.

"CN" is set in an expatriate community on the Spanish coast of the Mediterranean. "S-C" is set in the Eden-Olympia high-tech business park on the French Cote d'Azur.

In "CN", the narrator, Charles, investigates crimes allegedly comm
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Andrea
Sep 20, 2013 Andrea rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
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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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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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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Denali
May 12, 2008 Denali rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: maytomay
Excellent. Actively sought out bus trips to find reasons to not to anything else but read this book.
aPriL does feral sometimes

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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Jack
Oct 27, 2009 Jack rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Andrea
Aug 05, 2008 Andrea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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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Robert
Jun 25, 2016 Robert rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
J.G. Ballard's novel Super-Cannes (2000) perversely imagines a world in which the aggrieved and vengeful are the wildly rich, kept by status and success from expressing their more vile and visceral drives. Eden-Olympia, scene of the action, is a futuristic business park on the French Riviera, where the heads of major multinationals are susceptible to stress ailments (infections, swollen joints, inflammations) that can only be resolved, apparently,by indulging in weekend assaults on the immigrant ...more
cold green tea
May 05, 2009 cold green tea rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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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Einar Nielsen
Nov 15, 2015 Einar Nielsen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read this one for class and it is a well written book, which comes as no surprise as Ballard is a famous author. I found the story engaging and moved along ok, it could have been a bit shorter but it didn't bother me. There were a few great characters and the set up for the protagonist is kind of great in hindsight. It reminded me in parts of High-rise, it seems that Ballard is not a fan of the super rich.

The book raises questions on how we function in a Utopian society or if we can at all. You
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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
Mircalla64
Sep 10, 2012 Mircalla64 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantascienza
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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Chana
I think if I had a shelf called "yech" I would list this book on it. I mean, really? I got sick of hearing it. I got sick of the sickos running this "multi-national business park" called Eden Olympia. What kind of a future were they creating? There were no kids in the book except the shadow kids we hear about being used for sex. There were so many films of crimes, both of sex and just beating the life out of "Arabs" and "immigrants" that it felt like a sick version of the Nixon White House and t ...more
Miriam
Aug 25, 2014 Miriam rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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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Nancy Oakes
Apr 03, 2008 Nancy Oakes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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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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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Andy
Jan 05, 2010 Andy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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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Estibaliz79
Probablemente tengan razón los que se empeñen en ver el paralelismo entre esta novela y 'High Rise', pues como espectadora de la adaptación cinematográfica, hasta yo alcanzo a decir que las similitudes existen: sexo, violencia, un cierto aire retro-futurista, decadencia, lucha de clases encubierta... provocación, sin duda.

Más allá de eso, no puedo comparar cuál es peor o mejor, pero ciertamente esta novela tiene sus cosas buenas y sus cosas malas. A pesar de la fascinación ejercida sobre el lect
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pierlapo  quimby
May 21, 2012 pierlapo quimby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: anglofoni
Magnifico.
Qui c'è tutto il Ballard che conta, il più acuto indagatore delle nuove forme di mala-società (passatemi il termine). Ci si ritrovano le idee che hanno reso riconoscibile e unica la sua disturbante narrativa e, in nuce, quelle poi approfondite in Regno a venire, l'ultimo suo romanzo.
Il dottor Wilder Penrose è un personaggio memorabile. La sua idea di preservare la salute e l'efficienza lavorativa della élite neo-borghese di Super-Cannes attraverso trattamenti terapeutici basati su pro
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Conor
Aug 25, 2013 Conor rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-fiction
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
lenormf
Even though the first half of the book is pretty boring and barely kept me interested, the second half picked up the pace and offered more than I could have imagined. Violence, drugs, prostitution, pedophile rings… the main characters goes through the most unsettling chapters ever.

Overall, the plot is somewhat solid, some transitions in a few chapters didn't really make sense, and the ending kind of generic and unengaged.
Hugo
Dec 20, 2012 Hugo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Trudy
Mar 12, 2013 Trudy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
aaron
Mar 29, 2007 aaron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jason Young
Dec 11, 2014 Jason Young rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, 2016
I was surprised to see that the book was published in 2002. It feels much older with the language Ballard uses, and it makes the book feel like another ex-pat novel, which is probably intentional. However it is not that. The story unfolds well and has interesting, if very flawed, characters. Ballard crushed in any genre he wrote, it's amazing.
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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
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“Sooner or later, all games become serious.” 35 likes
“If their work is satisfying people don't need leisure in the old-fashioned sense. No one ever asks what Newton or Darwin did to relax, or how Bach spent his weekends. At Eden-Olympia work is the ultimate play, and play the ultimate work.” 33 likes
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