RandomAnthony's Reviews > Kingdom Come

Kingdom Come by J.G. Ballard
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May 02, 2012

liked it

Last night I stayed up late (well, for me) and finished Kingdom Come's last 100 pages. I don't normally stay up late, but I did last night because:

1) I wanted the book to end.
2) I wanted to see how the book ended.
3) I couldn't sleep.

So, while reading the novel's last pages by the light of Nook screen, I decided that I like but don't love this book. Kingdom Come focuses on the transformation of a depressing lower-middle class airport suburb's into a bonkers, riotous state via the raw emptiness and unconscious madness of endless consumerism. One can assume that Ballard did not see hanging on in quiet desperation as the English way; he'd more likely characterize the English way as torched shopping malls, jackbooted football supporters, and the shattered windows of vandalized minority-owned stores.

Kingdom Come revolves around a Londoner's attempts to uncover the details of his father's death in an pparently random mass shooting at the Brooklands Metro-Centre, the imposing, cathedral-like retail mecca that forms the novel's geographical and metaphorical core. Most of the characters' dialogue rings hollow, however, more like setpieces where people talk through the novel's themes without having much of what could be called realistic conversation. The murder plot functions as a vehicle for Ballard to indict and highlight the dark life inherent in industrial suburbs. Kingdom Come is strongest when bathed in details of decay and breakdown. The overarching storyline didn't do much for me. Kingdom Come would make an excellent, expensive film. And I'll continue to read Ballard. This was his final novel, from what I understand, and crackles here and there with strange fire. Good but a football field or so away from great.
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Reading Progress

May 2, 2012 – Started Reading
May 2, 2012 – Shelved
Finished Reading

Comments (showing 1-7 of 7) (7 new)

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Stacia (the 2010 club) Number 3 is the reason why I end up finishing at least half of my books.


RandomAnthony I take Lunesta for that, Stacia. But I was kind of wired and worried the Lunesta wouldn't work straight-up, so I remained awake close to midnight, when I took the magic little blue pill and crashed.


Stacia (the 2010 club) Does it really work that well? I'm currently up to taking 3 over the counter pills to force sleep and it still takes me up to 2 hours before I doze.


RandomAnthony Okay, I can see I'm speaking with an insomniac professional here so I can speak the language of non-sleep. What are you taking, Stacia? On most nights I combine Lunesta with one hydroxine. Bad nights I throw in another hydroxine and 5mg of melatonin. The main problem with Lunesta is its expense...I don't think there's a generic version and even with decent insurance the pills run 30 bucks a month. My doctor once asked me how often I take the Lunesta and she seemed surprised when I replied, "Um, every night." But I struggle to sleep without it. And I'm fucked up when I don't sleep.


message 5: by Misha (new)

Misha I wish I could take Lunesta. My doctor won't prescribe it because of my sleep apnea. I take 5mg of melatonin almost nightly. Sometimes it helps. Sometimes it doesn't. I finish most books around 3 or 4 am.


Stacia (the 2010 club) Ah man. Now I may have to become the insomniac professional. Thanks for that...

Misha, I'm the same way with melatonin. If I go a while without taking it, my body will allow it to work. If I try to take it consistently, I become immune.

RA, I switch between 3 different over the counter aids. When I notice one not working anymore, I swap to another type. I am considering getting a medical marijuana license. A friend of mine gave me some of his candy and it seemed to work well for sleep purposes but I do wake up with headaches afterward, which is odd.

I hear ya about getting sick. If I have a couple of bad nights in a row it will cause serious migraines and I'll end up shaky.


message 7: by Clay (new)

Clay Scott Brown Kingdom Come would make an excellent, expensive film. And I'll continue to read Ballard. This was his final novel, from what I understand, and crackles here and there with strange fire. Good but a football field or so away from great..

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Well written lines!


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