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High-Rise
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message 1: by Greg, Muad'Dib (last edited May 11, 2018 03:00AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Greg | 812 comments Mod
This is the discussion thread for the second book of the month, or group read, for May. Please remember to use the spoiler tags where necessary.

The other group read topics for this month (The Puppet Masters and The Science Fiction Hall of Fame: Volume 1) can be found here and here, respectively.


message 2: by Greg, Muad'Dib (new) - rated it 3 stars

Greg | 812 comments Mod
I've read the first chapter and, so far, so good! Opens with a description of the protagonist's unusual behaviour which contrasts with his otherwise normal routine before we go back a few months in time to learn some of the warning signs that things were not well in the new tower block of apartments of which the protagonist (Laing) is a resident.


Susan Budd (susanbudd) | 64 comments I'm hoping to start the book this weekend.


message 4: by Greg, Muad'Dib (new) - rated it 3 stars

Greg | 812 comments Mod
Susan wrote: "I'm hoping to start the book this weekend."

Excellent! I'm enjoying it so far - hope you like it also.


message 5: by Greg, Muad'Dib (new) - rated it 3 stars

Greg | 812 comments Mod
Finished reading the book this morning. I enjoyed it overall but I thought it was very far-fetched in its depiction of the social collapse of the community of a tall apartment building and the apparent indifference to its fate by society outside it. Surely friends and relatives living elsewhere would've become concerned when communication with the tenants in the building stopped, for example, leading them either to visit the building or to contact the emergency services.


Susan Budd (susanbudd) | 64 comments I've been so busy that I'm only halfway through, but I'm enjoying it so far.


Jennifer | 8 comments This was a challenging book. I agree Greg, I didn't understand how life went on life normal outside...


Susan Budd (susanbudd) | 64 comments I loved the book. But one detail puzzled me. On page 200, Wilder's wife Helen was referred to as Judith. Is this supposed to be symbolic of the changes that have occurred in Helen, perhaps turning her from just a pretty face to a deadly assassin?


message 9: by Greg, Muad'Dib (new) - rated it 3 stars

Greg | 812 comments Mod
Susan wrote: "I loved the book. But one detail puzzled me. On page 200, Wilder's wife Helen was referred to as Judith. Is this supposed to be symbolic of the changes that have occurred in Helen, perhaps turning ..."

Well-spotted error (as I think that's all it is). I only have 173 pages in my copy, which was printed in 1985....


message 10: by Susan (last edited Jun 05, 2018 03:03PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Susan Budd (susanbudd) | 64 comments Greg wrote: "Well-spotted error (as I think that's all it is). I only have 173 pages in my copy, which was printed in 1985..."

I considered that a possibility, but it's hard to believe that neither Ballard nor his editors ever noticed it. If Helen was called by the name of another character in the story, it would be easier to overlook. But there is no Judith, so it really stands out. That's why I wondered if it's symbolic. (But if it is symbolic, I don't think it works very well.)


Susan Budd (susanbudd) | 64 comments My review is here.

There's so much more I wanted to cover in my review. There's a lot going on in this book. For example: the female characters. I focused my review on Laing, Wilder, and Royal, but the changes happening to the women are just as interesting. I also didn't get much into the symbolism of the birds. And even the tripartite structure of the book is something I only treated superficially.

Hopefully I will reread this one day and do greater justice to this excellent novel.


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