Ballard, Kingdom Come, an evaluation

Just finished reading Ballard’s Kingdom Come. So now it’s time to browse some interviews and reviews.

These are insightful:,,1867982,00.html (Ursula Le Guin’s trashing of the book). (Look for the interview “Rattling Other People’s Cage’s”.) (Shaviro pretty much sums up the good points of the novel & I agree).

Though this might not be Ballard’s best novel ever, it is an interesting head-on attack of England’s suburban consumerism, and it’s tendency to racism. While reading I was reminded often of the scary Fortuyn-craze — sort of an attempt at political ‘revolution’ by the white suburban consumerist masses — in the Netherlands and it seems as if Ballard took a cue from that (though I don’t think he did really).

Of course there are the small “sociological essays”, a few lines with a theory of modern society. Vintage Ballard. The bits that make reading a Ballard-novel worthwile.

The plot is not as gripping as that in Cocaine Nights or Super-Cannes. And if I were a “normal reader” (but what is a “normal reader”? someone who reads a few pages to be entertained before going to bed, who reads for the plot?) I’d complain that the story is often a mess, especially toward the end, the plot is quite unbelievable and the characters are too flat. But hey, doesnt that come with a SF-view on modern society — a SF view that brings tendencies into focus by enlarging them, by extrapolating?

In any case, Ballard’s picture of England’s suburbia alongside the highway, the M25, is unforgettable.

en,reading matter | October 5, 2006 | 23:55 | Comments Off on Ballard, Kingdom Come, an evaluation |


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