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Concrete Island

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Overview

On a day in April, just after three o'clock in the afternoon, Robert Maitland's car crashes over the concrete parapet of a high-speed highway onto the island below, where he is injured and, finally, trapped. What begins as an almost ludicrous predicament soon turns into horror as Maitland—a wickedly modern Robinson Crusoe—realizes that, despite evidence of other inhabitants, this doomed terrain has become a mirror of his own mind. Seeking the dark outer rim of the everyday, Ballard weaves private catastrophe into...

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Concrete Island

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Overview

On a day in April, just after three o'clock in the afternoon, Robert Maitland's car crashes over the concrete parapet of a high-speed highway onto the island below, where he is injured and, finally, trapped. What begins as an almost ludicrous predicament soon turns into horror as Maitland—a wickedly modern Robinson Crusoe—realizes that, despite evidence of other inhabitants, this doomed terrain has become a mirror of his own mind. Seeking the dark outer rim of the everyday, Ballard weaves private catastrophe into an intensely specular allegory.

"This is the excellent stuff of classic castaway adventure, stiffened here by contemporary overtones that call into question social values." San Francisco Chronicle

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Visionary of both style and substance . . . the literary equivalent of Salvador Dalí or Max Ernst."—The Washington Post Book World

"Ballard's novels are complex, obsessive, frequently poetic, and always disquieting chronicles of nature rebelling against humans, of the survival of barbarism in a world of mechanical efficiency, of ethropy, anomie, breakdown, ruin . . . The blasted landscapes that his characters inhabit are both external settings and states of mind."—Luc Sante

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312420345
  • Publisher: Picador
  • Publication date: 10/5/2001
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 532,153
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

J. G. Ballard is the author of numerous books, including Empire of the Sun, the underground classic Crash, and The Kindness of Women. He is revered as one of the most important writers of fiction to address the consequences of twentieth-century technology. His latest book is Super-Cannes. He died in 2009.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2000

    Typical J.G. Ballard Style

    Ballard likes to throw supposedly 'average' characters into skewed situations and have them fight through it. In Concrete Island the character gets sucked right in and learns to love it more than his real life. This is a pretty harsh and realistic picture of the typical, rich, suburban husband. It has a good sense of humor going too.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2000

    Gripping, and Eccentric

    This is a fantastic read, I would recommend to anyone, who is into puzzling conclusions. It keeps you reading, and wanting more. Great book by JG Ballard.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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