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Super-Cannes

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  3,724 ratings  ·  203 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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3.69  · 
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 ·  3,724 ratings  ·  203 reviews


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Warwick
May 06, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: france, fiction, 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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Ian "Marvin" Graye
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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Robert
Jul 02, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: general-fiction
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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aPriL does feral sometimes
Many reviewers sneer at ‘Super-Cannes’ because they think the author J. G. Ballard 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
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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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Andrea
Sep 20, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, reviewed
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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Denali
May 12, 2008 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.
MJ Nicholls
A business complex in Cannes is overtaken by a psychopathic philosophy that threatens a Third World War. This is by-the-numbers Ballard—perversities are explored, the veneer of wealth and success is lifted, and an underworld of crime and sickness among the middle classes is exposed. The chunkiest of his novels, with an overabundance of waffling description, this a less successful work from the master of short-form fiction and lean dystopia. It also doesn’t help that this novel is a retread of Co ...more
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 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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Jack
Oct 27, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Robert
Jun 25, 2016 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 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.
Andrea
Aug 05, 2008 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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Leo Robertson
Jan 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this one!

I've always said about Ballard previously that the elements of his novels are out of whack. The descriptions are always amazing but the story never adds up. The descriptions are AMAZING though. The Drowned World is something I'm afraid to read again because the world of it lives in my mind, which I always think is a fragile thing.

Anyway, this one gets all the elements. The world weaves with the story immaculately! An incredible Ballard experience.

I maintain that his characters
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Terence
Nov 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, dystopia
Such a great read, incredibly potent for our times, how wealth and boredom generate violence. It is definitely Ballard at his best kind of mired in a detective story.
Anna
Jul 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: postmodernism
Can a perfect world exist?

In an exploration of the dangers of capitalism, violence and the essence of being human, Ballard tells the interesting story of Paul, who follows his wife to an ultra-capitalist business park called Eden-Olympia, substituting the infamous David Greenwood, who ended his stay by going on a murder spree and committing suicide. Paul takes on the role of detective, and as the story unfolds and more and more becomes clear about why Greenwood did what he did, a veil of perfect
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Riley Haas
This is a provocative page turner that raises lots of questions about where late 20th century capitalism is headed. FYI, it's also the first Ballard novel I've read, but I have seen both of the films that were adapted from his books. I found it entertaining and mostly provocative, but I did have a few issues.
For one thing, Sinclair is not that likeable to begin with. I hope that was a deliberate choice but there is a part of me that thinks maybe I just don't like Ballard (if Sinclair is meant to
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Bob
Dec 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Another of Ballard's dystopian novels set in a dense living situation - rather than a skyscraper, it is a residential/business park on the French Riviera packed with representatives of multinational corporations and their in-house medical staff.
A private pilot, semi-retired after having been sidelined by an injury, moves there with his younger physician wife and has a lot of free time on his hands to attempt to unravel the mystery of why his wife's predecessor went on a mass-shooting rampage som
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Einar Nielsen
Nov 15, 2015 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
Peter
Sep 18, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Representative democracy had been replaced by the surveillance camera and the private police force.”

This novel revolves around a gated capitalist paradise, Eden-Olympia. Eden-Olympia, with its ornamental ponds, sports centres and cafes, is a hi-tech business park nestling in the hills above the French Riviera, home to the new elites of major multi-national companies like Siemens and Mitsui etc. Its inhabitants, monitored by surveillance cameras and guarded by the complex's own security force, h
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RealTV Monotones
Aug 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: deux, v
A man follows his newlywed wife to an elite corporate park in the south of France just months after a mass shooting has taken place. They inhabit the home of the deceased murderer and quickly the specter of the mass-murderer inhabits the narrator's head. What follows is a spin into unadulterated darkness - a modern day Alice in Wonderland scenario where one has to question the complicit nature of the narrator as he immediately senses things are deeply wrong and yet decides to push further, seemi ...more
Brett Green
It reads like something of a time out of place but very much in our time. Or is that so? Like Ballard - who I remember once saying his greatest fear for the future would be that we'd be living in some sort of Baudrillardian world w/o events - I find the world of Super-Cannes both alluring and repulsive, credible/mundane, and utterly sensational; irrationally bursting forth only to the extent to which it is repressed. I guess we sort of all find ourselves wanting more of what we want with less of ...more
Nancy Oakes
Apr 03, 2008 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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Grigory
The main premise and novel setting are really interesting and fascinating. Sadly except a first dozen or so pages and a couple of dialogues throughout the book the rest is only vaguely connected to it.
The rest is a bizarrely overstretched detective story where the main hero goes door to door private detective style and asks the same questions. Every two out of three people tell him they don't know anything and the third gives him a sinister hint to "drop it". Closer to the end the narrative tak
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Lydia
Jul 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
JG Ballard's Super-Cannes is a crime story set near Cannes in the South of France. Most of the action takes place in and around the Eden-Olympia business park, a closed community where Jane, a paediatrician, has taken a short-term contract. Her husband Paul, who is convalescing after a flying accident, tells the story.

Prior to the couple's arrival the previous paediatrician had run amok and killed 10 people, and as Jane becomes more engrossed in her work, Paul becomes obsessed with finding out w
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Andy
Jan 05, 2010 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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Steffi Tupe
It was a hard book to put down. The story moves quick and the icy, matter-of-fact prose pulls you into the mystery of ominous Eden-Olympia, led by the outcast and narrator, Paul Sinclair, an unemployed pilot recovering from a minor flying accident. Sinclair investigates the terrorist attack carried by the man (now dead/killed himself) whose job his wife has just recently taken over. On every page a new piece of information is revealed, a new emotion or eeriness is felt, and Sinclair's sanity, qu ...more
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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.” 44 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.” 41 likes
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