Cocaine Nights

Cocaine Nights

by J. G. Ballard

Paperback(Second Edition)

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In Cocaine Nights , J. G. Ballard stretches the taught canvas of his transgressive vision over the framework of old-fashioned mystery. The setting: the swank Spanish resort of Estrella de Mar, where young retirees from Europe's chillier climes bask in a lifestyle of endless leisure. Into the queasy beauty of this artificial environment steps Charles Prentice, a London travel writer who has come to visit his brother Frank, manager of Club Nautico—tennis and swim club by day, coked-up discotheque by night. Frank is in jail, having confessed to setting an explosive fire that has taken five alive. Certain the confession was coerced, Charles lances his own investigation. But Frank isn't interested in salvation, and the Spanish police don't want their open-and-shut case corrupted by a meddling Brit. Refusing to abandon his crusade, Charles soon finds himself drawn into Estrella de Mar's dark underworld, and as Cocaine Nights accelerates toward its disturbing climax, Ballard once again reveals his visionary mastery.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781582435701
Publisher: Counterpoint Press
Publication date: 01/05/2010
Edition description: Second Edition
Pages: 332
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.00(d)

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Cocaine Nights 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
schwarzz on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It started out like an ultramodern noir and then slips into something else... It was hypnotic as it morphed into a cultural critique and the ending was not only unexpected but also well thought out, this was not a crappy twist, but instead an (il)logical conclusion.
J.v.d.A. on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I finally got around to buying a book by Ballard and reading it. I hope I bought the wrong one and this silly book isn't a measure of the rest he has written. Wildly drawn and completely absurd premise written in a completely pedestrian manner. Reading this book was a waste of my time.
mrtall on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a strange but oddly powerful novel, which from what I gather pretty much sums up J G Ballard's work.Cocaine Nights is set up as a murder mystery, but that's just a front. It's essentially a 'concept' book that has strong affinities with science fiction. Ballard is interested in what makes a group of people form something greater than themselves; let's call it a 'culture'. His test tube is a community of British expats living in gated 'communities' in Spain. They all stay home and take tranquilizers until something -- someone -- gets them stirred up. But then a tragedy occurs: a rich couple and their hangers-on are burned to death in deliberately-set fire, and our first-person narrator arrives in town to investigate because his younger brother's been arrested for the crime.The 'whodunit' aspect of the book will disappoint murder mystery aficionados, but it's a very good read for anyone who wants to think about how the world really works. It's not clear how Ballard himself would answer the big questions he raises, but it's very enjoyable going along for the ride.A couple of stylistic issues. First, even though he employs a first-person narrator, Ballard's tone is detached and almost hallucinatory at many points. This does not make for a 'sympathetic' reading experience. I also found that the first half of the book lagged quite a bit, but the second half takes off smartly. Finally, Ballard's a bit more didactic than he needs to be in hammering away at his socio-cultural musings. A good and interesting read, none the less. Recommended.