9780393072624

The Complete Stories of J. G. Ballard

Ballard, J. G.

ISBN 10: 0393072622 / 0-393-07262-2
ISBN 13: 9780393072624
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Publication Date: 2009
Binding: Hardcover
Editorial Reviews for this title:
Synopsis:

“More than one thousand compelling pages from one of the most haunting, cogent, and individual imaginations in contemporary literature.”—William Boyd

The American publication of The Complete Stories of J. G. Ballard is a landmark event. Increasingly recognized as one of the greatest and most prophetic novelists, J. G. Ballard was a “writer of enormous inventive powers,” who, in the words of Malcolm Bradbury, possessed, “like Calvino, a remarkable gift for filling the empty deprived spaces of modern life with the invisible cities and the wonder worlds of imagination.”

Best known for his novels, such as Empire of the Sun and Crash, Ballard rose to fame as the “ideal chronicler of disturbed modernity” (The Observer). Perhaps less known, though equally brilliant, were his devastatingly original short stories, which span nearly fifty years and reveal an unparalleled prescience so unique that a new word— Ballardian—had to be invented. Ballard, who wrote that “short stories are the loose change in the treasury of fiction, easily ignored beside the wealth of novels available,” regretted the fact that the public had increasingly lost its ability to appreciate them.

With 98 pulse-quickening stories, this volume helps restore the very art form that Ballard feared was comatose. Ballard’s inimitable style was already present in his early stories, most of them published in science fiction magazines. These stories are surreal, richly atmospheric and splendidly elliptical, featuring an assortment of psychotropic houses, time-traveling assassins, and cities without clocks. Over the next fifty years, his fierce imaginative energy propelled him to explore new topics, including the dehumanization of technology, the brutality of the corporation, and nuclear Armageddon. Depicting the human soul as “being enervated and corrupted by the modern world” ( New York Times), Ballard began to examine themes like overpopulation, as in “Billenium,” a claustrophobic imagining of a world of 20 billion people crammed into four-square-meter rooms, or the false realities of modern media, as in the classic “Why I Want to Fuck Ronald Reagan,” a faux-psychological study of the sexual and violent reactions elicited by viewing Reagan’s face on television, in which Ballard predicted the unholy fusion of pop culture and sound-bite politics thirteen years before Reagan became president. Given Ballard’s heightened powers of perception, it is astonishing that the dehumanized world that he apprehended so acutely neither diminished his own febrile imagination nor his engagement with mankind, evident in every story, including two new ones for this American edition.

So eerily prophetic is his vision, so commanding are his literary gifts, the import and insight of J. G. Ballard’s deeply humanistic and transcendent works can only grow in years to come.

Review:
“More than one thousand compelling pages from one of the most haunting, cogent, and individual imaginations in contemporary literature.”—William Boyd

Never before published in its entirety in America, with many stories new to American readers, The Complete Stories of J. G. Ballard is a monumental achievement by one of our greatest literary geniuses. Featuring such classics as “Prima Belladonna,” “The Drowned Giant,” and “The Assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy Considered as a Downhill Motor Race,” the book evokes Poe and Kafka, Borges and Bradbury in its astonishing ability to render psychosis and modern paranoia in phantasmagorical detail on the printed page.

Praise for J.G. Ballard:

“Ballard will be remembered as the most original English writer of the last century . . . [and] as a one-man genre; no one else is remotely like him. . . . He was sui generis. What was influential, though, was the marvelous creaminess of his prose, and the weird and sudden expansions of his imagery.”—Martin Amis, The Guardian

“When I was a boy, I loved J. G. Ballard. And when I was a teenager, I loved J. G. Ballard. And as an adult, I loved J. G. Ballard.”—Neil Gaiman

“For anyone bored with the stale conventions of mainstream fiction, his 90-odd short stories of stilled time, desolate beauty and personal fulfillment in extreme situations will be sheer delight.”—John Gray, The New Statesman

“[W]ho would argue that ours is not a time of nihilism and that Ballard is not the ideal chronicler of our disturbed modernity?”—Jason Cowley, The Observer

From the Back Cover

Editorial reviews may belong to another edition of this title.
 

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Book Description: WW Norton Co, United States, 2009. Hardback. Book Condition: New. 236 x 157 mm. Language: English Brand New Book. The American publication of The Complete Stories of J. G. Ballard is a landmark event. Increasingly recognized as one of the greatest and most prophetic novelists, J. G. Ballard was a writer of enormous inventive powers, who, in the words of Malcolm Bradbury, possessed, like Calvino, a remarkable gift for filling the empty deprived spaces of modern life with the invisible cities and the wonder worlds of imagination. Best known for his novels, such as Empire of the Sun and Crash, Ballard rose to fame as the ideal chronicler of disturbed modernity (The Observer). Perhaps less known, though equally brilliant, were his devastatingly original short stories, which span nearly fifty years and reveal an unparalleled prescience so unique that a new word Ballardian had to be invented. Ballard, who wrote that short stories are the loose change in the treasury of fiction, easily ignored beside the wealth of novels available, regretted the fact that the public had increasingly lost its ability to appreciate them. With 98 pulse-quickening stories, this volume helps restore the very art form that Ballard feared was comatose. Ballard s inimitable style was already present in his early stories, most of them published in science fiction magazines. These stories are surreal, richly atmospheric and splendidly elliptical, featuring an assortment of psychotropic houses, time-traveling assassins, and cities without clocks. Over the next fifty years, his fierce imaginative energy propelled him to explore new topics, including the dehumanization of technology, the brutality of the corporation, and nuclear Armageddon. Depicting the human soul as being enervated and corrupted by the modern world (New York Times), Ballard began to examine themes like overpopulation, as in Billenium, a claustrophobic imagining of a world of 20 billion people crammed into four-square-meter rooms, or the false realities of modern media, as in the classic Why I Want to Fuck Ronald Reagan, a faux-psychological study of the sexual and violent reactions elicited by viewing Reagan s face on television, in which Ballard predicted the unholy fusion of pop culture and sound-bite politics thirteen years before Reagan became president. Given Ballard s heightened powers of perception, it is astonishing that the dehumanized world that he apprehended so acutely neither diminished his own febrile imagination nor his engagement with mankind, evident in every story, including two new ones for this American edition. So eerily prophetic is his vision, so commanding are his literary gifts, the import and insight of J. G. Ballard s deeply humanistic and transcendent works can only grow in years to come. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780393072624

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