The Drowned World

The Drowned World

Paperback(50th Anniversary)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780871403629
Publisher: Liveright Publishing Corporation
Publication date: 05/20/2013
Edition description: 50th Anniversary
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 121,855
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.50(d)

About 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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Drowned World 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
marek2009 on LibraryThing 21 days ago
The only other thing I¿ve read by Ballard is a short story about a man waiting at an abandoned Cape Kennedy as time slowly comes to a standstill. This book is very similar, although the setting is a London flooded by the melting of the ice caps. This makes ancient strains of plant life appear, & man regresses in some vague atavistic way, with clear influences of Heart of Darkness.
Petroglyph on LibraryThing 3 months ago
This novel left a bad taste in my mouth -- and I mean that in a good way. The scorching sun heat and the lethargic sweating that most characters are reduced to was palpable throughout most of the novel. This one packs quite a punch. The setting is a dystopean future. Increased solar activity has sharply raised the temperature on earth, causing a global flood. The world is reduced to an unpleasant swamp and the climate reverts to a Triassic jungle marsh. Abandoned high-rises stick out of the silty water like rotting teeth, overgrown by fantastically mutated plants and inhabited by giant iguanas, bats and caymans. What remains of humanity has set up refugia in the formerly frozen polar areas, which are rapidly becoming the only habitable zones on the planet: ambient temperatures in temperate zones are routinely up in the 110s F (i.e. 40s and 50s C). This is the background for a series of events set in now-abandoned London. A final army outpost scavenging for resources is getting ready to leave the place for good, but the biologists sent along to catalogue the diversity of animal and plant life can't be bothered to give self-preservation any serious thought. Atavistic behaviour takes over, memories from the reptile part of the brain awaken. What is left of the world is inherited by the lizards and the insane. Creative, morose, and gripping. Recommended.
john257hopper on LibraryThing 3 months ago
I much preferred this to The Drought - the settings turn out to be more familiar and the characters seemed somewhat easier to relate to (though likeable would be going too far). The central idea of regression to thought patterns displayed millions of years ago by earlier life forms is a fascinating and quite sobering one.
Parthurbook on LibraryThing 3 months ago
Everything you've ever heard about Ballard's view of the world is here in his first novel: distopian, lyrical and prophetic - all from a man bringing up three children on his own in a semi-detached house in Middlesex. JGB uses rich language to conjour a vivd sense of a broken planet and the pull of our more primordial tendencies. Dark and beautiful all at once.
lmichet on LibraryThing 3 months ago
If you know and like 1960s science-fiction, you will adore this book. If you don't, it might take a bit of work, but I predict you'll like it just the same, despite its shadowy racism and the jibber-jabber psychojargon Ballard adopts to explain his conceit. Instead of just going Lord of the Flies and having his characters degenerate in the face of the outer world's post-civilization brutality, he has his characters deliberately psychoanalysing themselves at every step. It gets a tad tedious, but the setting is excellent and there's a bit of action-adventure stuff going on here, too. Anyway, it's just plain clever all around. If you like Ballard, this is definately something you should take a look at; if you don't know what you think of him yet, this is also a good place to start.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago