Jason's Reviews > The Drowned World

The Drowned World by J.G. Ballard
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Jul 08, 2012

it was amazing
Read from July 08 to 22, 2012

The sense of place is so visceral in The Drowned World that you would do well to keep a cold glass of water and a fan nearby as you read.

It is the story of a not-so-distant future in which the polar icecaps have melted and the noonday sun in London (now a tropical lagoon) may easily top 150 degrees Fahrenheit.

Bear in mind that this book was published in 1962.

Little wonder that the setting would seep into you, dear reader, for it has certainly seeped into the scientific survey team that has ventured South to map the flora and fauna. The lizards have grown large and lost their fear of Man, realizing, instinctively and correctly, that he no longer holds dominion here. Lush green vines and massive fronds are everywhere. The cities we built are under water. Only the top floors of the highest buildings, which just barely break the surface of the lagoons, remain habitable.

The strange descent of the characters as they explore and accept this new reality makes for a cracking good read. We adapt to our surroundings and this hot, drowned world demands a more primitive, aggressive way of being in the world.

This is post-apocalyptic science fantasy at its most literary.


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