The Crystal World

( 4 )

Overview

J. G. Ballard’s fourth novel, which established his reputation as a writer of extraordinary talent and imaginative powers, tells the story of a physician specializing in the treatment of leprosy who is invited to a small outpost in the interior of Africa. Finding the roadways blocked, he takes to the river, and embarks on a frightening journey through a strange petrified forest whose area expands daily, affecting not only the physical environment but also its inhabitants.

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The Crystal World

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Overview

J. G. Ballard’s fourth novel, which established his reputation as a writer of extraordinary talent and imaginative powers, tells the story of a physician specializing in the treatment of leprosy who is invited to a small outpost in the interior of Africa. Finding the roadways blocked, he takes to the river, and embarks on a frightening journey through a strange petrified forest whose area expands daily, affecting not only the physical environment but also its inhabitants.

The forces of nature are pitted against humanity when Dr. Edward Sanders discovers strangely luminous jewels, which threaten to petrify the inhabitants of an African jungle.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780374520960
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publication date: 12/28/1988
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 216
  • Sales rank: 646,592
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.51 (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 lives in England.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Many stories in one, beyond interesting.

    There are several stories in this fiction short novel--a doctor trying to cure leprosy in Africa, the dark jungle absorbing minerals to the extent that the plants almost become black holes, the crystallization of the jungle and some of its inhabitants, the mysteries of the indigenous, and more. There is so much power in this jungle, but to some it is oppressive as they see just the colors or lack of color and not the messages. The characters live in some sort of mythic environment, but do not see it as they are into the steadfast reality of their every day existence that includes deaths and serious illnesses. One can get totally lost in this book.

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  • Posted February 21, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Haunting Concept

    Ballard isn't really my kind of writer, and I never really bonded with any of the characters in this book in any way. But the idea of the story... I can't escape it. Months later and I find myself thinking of his crystal forest whenever the sun is setting and the trees turn that really vivid color of green. His vivid descriptions and the strange longing for the crystal world are compelling and frightening and never really resolved in my head.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2002

    Just plain brilliant!!!

    I found this book in the early 70's in a Science fiction book store in lower Manhattan. I've read it 4 or 5 times. While the earth is crystallizing a man journeys to the Congo to find his freinds who have told him what is going on.. The jungle is also crystallizing and is made more beautiful by it, but also more dangerous. The people there, knowing their world is coming to an end are acting strangely. Ballard's telling of the story is probably better than aynthing else he ever wrote.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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