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The Drowned World
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July 2018: Dystopian > The Drowned World | JG Ballard | 1-2 stars

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message 1: by Idit (last edited Jul 31, 2018 05:03AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Idit | 1028 comments This is SUCH a ridiculous book!
Our world is gone. The poles have melted and the water had risen and buried civilisation and humanity as we know them. Huge plants and prehistoric animals and insects are coming back. Not many people are left, and those that survived have migrated to the poles (north and south), because everywhere else the temperatures are rising.
A military expedition floating above a drowned city. Kerans - a young doctor - is part of the group.
This is his story. And few other characters.

It seems like some people start having atavistic dreams and memories. The sun is calling them south. Too bad south is so hot. And getting hotter.

The book DID NOT withstood time. It is like a spoof but is actually serious.
It has some interesting ideas. A post apocalyptic world with lots of water. the changes in the humans who remember their prehistoric predecessors and yearn to go to the sun.
There are pirate-ish looters, there’s something about a womb-like sunken planetarium. lots of alligators
So it really could have been ok.

Instead…
I’ve never read any of JG Ballard books, but I saw Crush (a movie by Kronenberg that’s based on one of his books) in my studential days. Its philosophy interested me at the time. It was fun dissecting his ideas with friends. He clearly think a lot about humanity advancing, merging with its surrounding (machines in Crush, reacting to the climate in this book).
I was prepared for whatever quirky philosophy he would have thrown my way. But I wasn’t prepared for the plot to suck, the ideas to be half processed and the focus to keep changing.
He was obsessing with style - both of writing (big words where they aren’t needed) and of the characters - what they wear, the interior design of their rooms, the rococo chair described in detail…
It was vain, empty, shallow and pointless and nothing was in keep with the inner logic of the world he created.
The looters were bizarre, the sole woman character was pathetic and clearly did not interest him. And the ending was… silly. In fact the whole thing was silly.

Ignore everything I wrote so far. Here’s my review: It’s a very silly book.


message 2: by KateNZ (new)

KateNZ | 2207 comments I loved the review, Idit - both versions!


message 3: by Idit (new) - rated it 1 star

Idit | 1028 comments Thanks Kate :)


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