From the Forensic Diaries of Dr. Richard Greville, Deputy Psychiatric Adviser, Metropolitan Police,
Postscript, December 8, 1993,
By the Same Author,
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Pub. Date: 04/28/1999
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
"A gripping narrative" (New York Newsday), by the acclaimed author of Empire of the Sun and Crash. A terrible massacre has occurred on the grounds of an exclusive housing estate near London: 32 adults have been murdered in a space of 20 minutesand their children are nowhere to be found.
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Awesome. This novella ignited my interest in Ballard, now one of my favorite authors. I love the clinical, document-like style that it was written in, giving it a unique flavor. To the person who gave one star: It is not a mystery story. It's a satire. You weren't supposed to be second guessing what had happened. Learn how to read between the lines.
I purchased this novel because I was attracted to the description of its plot, which is an investigation of the mass murder of the parents of children living in a high-tech gated community in a prosperous British suburb. However, at the same time, I experienced a small amount of dread over how the subject matter would be presented by the author, the late J. G. Ballard. On one hand, he's written some highly unusual, lushly imagined and intensely visionary science-fiction (The Crystal World, Vermillion Sands), but, on the other hand, he's also written stories that are quite shocking in their subject matter and exposition, such as his infamous novel, Crash, which was also made into a ragingly controversial film by the movie director, David Cronenberg. Running Wild is different in a startling and emotionally unexpected way. In writing this novel, Mr. Ballard revealed himself as a family man deeply concerned about the quality of life, mind, and spirit of children and young adults of the unpredictable 21st century. This brief, fast-moving novel, smartly presented as a police procedural, cannot fail to be interesting in the most urgent way to any adult who is alarmed and therefore concerned about the social, educational and spiritual tribulations that young(er) people find themselves grappling with in a fast-paced, capitalistic, consumer-driven and technologically insulated society.
This is quite possibly the worst book I have read in a long time. Luckily it is very short. There is no mystery here - the plot is so thin and obvious that there is no point reading past the first 25 pages. A goldfish could solve the 'mystery' before the main character did. I read it until the end expecting a clever twist but it never came.