The Drowned Worldby J. G. Ballard, Martin Amis
First published in 1962, J.G. Ballard’s mesmerizing and ferociously prescient novel imagines a terrifying future in which solar radiation and global warming have melted the ice caps and Triassic-era jungles have overrun a submerged and tropical London. Set during the year 2145, the novel follows biologist Dr. Robert Kearns and his team of scientists as they
First published in 1962, J.G. Ballard’s mesmerizing and ferociously prescient novel imagines a terrifying future in which solar radiation and global warming have melted the ice caps and Triassic-era jungles have overrun a submerged and tropical London. Set during the year 2145, the novel follows biologist Dr. Robert Kearns and his team of scientists as they confront a surreal cityscape populated by giant iguanas, albino alligators, and endless swarms of malarial insects. Nature has swallowed all but a few remnants of human civilization, and, slowly, Kearns and his companions are transformed—both physically and psychologically—by this prehistoric environment. Echoing Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness—complete with a mad white hunter and his hordes of native soldiers—this “powerful and beautifully clear” (Brian Aldiss) work becomes a thrilling adventure and a haunting examination of the effects of environmental collapse on the human mind.
- Liveright Publishing Corporation
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- 50th Anniversary
- Sales rank:
- Product dimensions:
- 5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.50(d)
Meet the Author
J.G. Ballard was born in Shanghai in 1930 and lived in England from 1946 until his death in London in 2009. He is the author of nineteen novels, including Empire of the Sun, The Drought, and Crash, with many of them made into major films.
Martin Amis is one of Britain's most prolific post-war writers and a professor of creative writing at the University of Manchester. His stories and essays explore the absurdity of the postmodern condition.
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A brilliant story about moderns abuducted by tribal spirtuality. There are several protagonists, and Beatrice is a combination of an elegant Gatsby "Daisy" in the beginning of the novel--and in the end, she is like a 2 Pac Shakur "When we Ride" background semi-divine, elegant female chorus voice. Using "Beatrice" to topple Dante's Inferno, Ballard composes the image of a Madonna-like abduction amidst a Shiva-esk tribal creation with moderns coping. This is where the tribal experience of plants and animals looks grand, huge, overwhelming and sometimes sinister, amidst the spitirtuality of drowning water and the sun rays of an abduction. Beatrice's black hair combines with Kerans bleached white hair to form a miracle of a skunk admist giant reptiles--miracles of a creation. I listened to this book with headphones, Mozart and Bach masses also match as does the New World/New Order tunes such as "The Beach." The writing style of The Drowned World is easy going, yet difficult to get into because of the depth, the swamp of it. Ballard writes, "...He longed for this descent through archaeophysic time to reach its conclusion, repressing the knowledge that when it did the external world around him would have become alien and unbearable..." (p. 100). The Madonna-like abuduction experiences are a few mentions, "...But Beatrice stared out over the fires burning in the square, without looking at him and said in a vague voice: 'Listen to the drumming, Robert. How many suns are there, do you think?'" (p.151). I have the 50th Anniversary edition of this book. I started to read it several times before I began to read it with full attention. Then I read it again with headphones from different tunes that reminded me of some of the passages. The Drowned World by J.G. Ballard was written around 1962, before I was born, and I feel that it sometimes captures the miracles of incubation for biodiversity.