‘Later, as he sat on his balcony eating the dog, Dr Robert Laing reflected on the unusual events that had taken place within this huge apartment building during the previous three months.’
Within the walls of a high-tech forty-storey high-rise, the residents are hell-bent on an orgy of sex and destruction, answering to primal urges that their utopian surroundings can’t satisfy. The high-rise is a would-be paradise turned dystopia, ruled by intimidation and violence, and, as the residents organize themselves for war, floor against floor, no one wants it to stop ...
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The irrational, all-pervading violence of the modern world is the subject of this extraordinary tour de force.
The central character’s dreams are haunted by images of John F. Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe, dead astronauts and car-crash victims as he traverses the screaming wastes of nervous breakdown. Seeking his sanity, he casts himself in a number of roles: H-bomber pilot, presidential assassin, crash victim, psychopath. Finally, through the black, perverse magic of violence he transcends his psychic turmoil to find the key to a bizarre new sexuality.
In this revised edition, Ballard has added extensive annotation that help to unlock many of the mysteries of one of the most prophetic, enigmatic and original works of the late twentieth century.
Water. Man’s most precious commodity is a luxury of the past. Radioactive waste from years of industrial dumping has caused the sea to form a protective skin strong enough to devastate the Earth it once sustained. And while the remorseless sun beats down on the dying land, civilization itself begins to crack. Violence erupts and insanity reigns as the remnants of mankind struggle for survival in a worldwide desert of despair.
Remarkable for its prescience and the originality of its vision, The Drought is a work of major importance from the early career of one of Britain’s most acclaimed novelists.
This edition is part of a new commemorative series of Ballard’s works, featuring introductions from a number of his admirers (including Ned Beauman, Ali Smith, Neil Gaiman and Martin Amis) and brand-new cover designs.