Rushing to Paradise: A Novel

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Overview

"[A] chilling . . . tale about humans who gamely follow their own worst instincts.”—Chicago Tribune

Led by a charismatic and slightly unhinged woman, a group of environmentalists wrest control over a small South Pacific island in hopes of cultivating it into their own private Eden. But paradise is not quite what it seems in this “searing” (Kirkus Reviews) send-up of environmentalism, feminism, and extremism of all sorts.

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Rushing to Paradise: A Novel

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Overview

"[A] chilling . . . tale about humans who gamely follow their own worst instincts.”—Chicago Tribune

Led by a charismatic and slightly unhinged woman, a group of environmentalists wrest control over a small South Pacific island in hopes of cultivating it into their own private Eden. But paradise is not quite what it seems in this “searing” (Kirkus Reviews) send-up of environmentalism, feminism, and extremism of all sorts.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In one of Picador's first hardcover titles, Ballard (Crash) offers another of his tautly imagined experiments with 20th-century pathology. Here he traces an environmental crusade from its media-driven invasion of a South Seas atomic test site to its establishment of an endangered species' sanctuary, to its metamorphosis into an atavistic cult. Ballard's futuristic characters are nearly always less individual personalities than mutating preoccupations, and this cast of environmental utopians who quixotically strand themselves to save an albatross colony is no exception. Sixteen-year-old Neil Dempsey, who is drawn into the expedition by the charismatic, inscrutable ``Dr. Barbara'' (Rafferty), is joined by a Hawaiian who dreams of an independent island kingdom, a Boston Brahmin missionary, an animal-rightist airline stewardess and a band of German eco-hippies. Amid Ballard's hallucinatory evocation of the island's native flora, imported endangered fauna and abandoned military and scientific installations, Dr. Barbara proves ready to sacrifice anything or anyone for her unstable cause, whether to the international media, the island jungle or her artificial paradise. Although the nave and uncertain Neil proves a comparatively weak narrative lens for Dr. Barbara and her spiraling projects, Ballard's story moves tensely along, an apocalyptic cautionary tale for the millennium. (May)
Katherine Dunn
"Hillariously cold-blooded satire."
Michael Upchurch
"For over thirty years, Ballard has offered chilling, cautionary yet strangely exhilarating tales about humans who gamely follow their own worst instincts...a superb piece of storytelling, filled with supple turns and twists." -- The Chicago Tribune
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780871403377
  • Publisher: Liveright Publishing Corporation
  • Publication date: 2/4/2013
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 940,633
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.70 (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.

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