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Kingdom Come Paperback – 3 Jul 2014

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Fourth Estate; Reprint edition (3 July 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007232470
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007232475
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.3 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 103,706 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

J.G. Ballard was born in 1930 in Shanghai, where his father was a businessman. After internment in a civilian prison camp, he and his family returned to England in 1946. He published his first novel, The Drowned World, in 1961. His 1984 bestseller Empire of the Sun won the Guardian Fiction Prize and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. It was later filmed by Steven Spielberg. His memoir Miracles of Life was published in 2008. J.G. Ballard died in 2009.

Product Description

Review

‘“Kingdom Come” is important, germaine, timely and creepy, a tidal wrack of ideas washed up on the artificial beach of our resort culture.’ Will Self

‘As outré as ever, and still as keen to understand the national psyche … Ballard retains a clear-sighted, almost vatic quality’ Spectator

‘As fertile as ever … “Kingdom Come” is impressively packed with brilliant apercus’ Observer

‘Ballard’s vision is scary and utterly real … compelling’ Financial Times

About the Author

J. G. Ballard was born in 1930 in Shanghai. After internment in a civilian prison camp, his family returned to England in 1946. His 1984 bestseller ‘Empire of the Sun’ won the Guardian Fiction Prize and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. His controversial novel ‘Crash’ was made into a film by David Cronenberg. His autobiography ‘Miracles of Life’ was published in 2008, and a collection of interviews with the author, ‘Extreme Metaphors’, was published in 2012. J. G. Ballard passed away in 2009.


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Customer Reviews

2.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 14 Dec. 2009
Format: Paperback
Bad Ballard is better than good [insert name of any 2nd rate modern dystopian novelist], but the fact remains that this is a bad Ballard novel. If you're a fan it's worth reading for the flawless prose, but I'd hate to think newcomers to Ballard would start here and leave with the wrong impression. This book follows similar themes to the preceding three (Cocaine Nights, SuperCannes, Millenium People), but here credulity is stretched just a little too far, and in the absence of strong supporting characters the plot just caves in on itself. The main protagonist, Richard Pearson doesn't convince, but even less convincing are his interactions with the secondary characters (doctor, lawyer, police sergeant, psychiatrist - standard Ballardian middle-class pillars of the community). Within seconds of meeting, poor Richard is being whisked off to crime scenes, philosophised at, flirted with, and generally tossed around from scene to scene so quickly I began to feel giddy. Easy intimacy between characters who have barely met is a Ballardian trademark, but it's difficult to bring this off in a way that convinces and here he fails. Two stars for the prose and one for the consumerism/fascism theme.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By charalambos_charalambos on 17 May 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I don't disagree with the many low raters pronouncements that 'its no cocaine nights or super-cannes' -- yeah ok it isn't... but its got its own intangible, occult, uber-surrey edge to it. I loved it.

For me this is a very fitting final Ballard.

He takes the home counties dark heart out of the chest and holds it up to the face - he gives us one last good look at how contaminated with necrotic decay we are before expiring. He is a hero and a prophet. RIP
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Paul Tapner TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 16 July 2007
Format: Paperback
veteran british novelist jg ballard brings us his latest work. A master at creating dystopias and looking at the realities of modern life settings and the meaning of middle class existence, his latest work involves an advertising executive looking into the murder of his father in a shooting incident at a shopping centre in a sleepy surrey town. A place full of disaffected people looking for excitement in their lives and taking out their frustrations on asian and eastern europeans, it's a very convincing picture of modern britain.

People in the town are trying their own way to bring meaning to modern existence, and the main character gets caught up this. But how far can things go before too many people get hurt?

This is the same plot as his last three novels - a fact acknowledged in the features and interviews at the back, which are worth reading - but it succeeds due to the quality of the very readable prose and the well drawn supporting characters. The plot goes off in a few directions that I didn't expect, and which other reviewers don't appear to have been too keen on, but I found them quite interesting and thought provoking. And at a mere 280 pages of very good prose, this is a short and good read.

It's possibly not the best of his books to start with if you've never read one before, and if that's the case I'd recommend reading them all in order. But for a veteran ballard reader, this is a decent piece of work
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Law Tech on 25 Sept. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I cannot stop thinking about this book when reading about the four day siege of Nairobi's Westgate centre in the paper today. With its horrific mash-up of consumerism and violence Ballard, as usual, got it right.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Smellgrovia on 21 May 2007
Format: Hardcover
I am a huge Ballard fan and so am sorry to say that I really did not enjoy this. I agree with other reviewers in feeling that Ballard has done this so much better in other novels such as Cocaine Nights. I thought the shopping mall run riot was silly at best, and I just could not get involved with the characters or plot. By the end I was skim reading just to finish the damn thing - never a good sign.
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20 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Peter Lee TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 20 Oct. 2006
Format: Hardcover
Oh dear... I'm a huge Ballard fan and his books take up a good proportion of my bookshelves, but this left me completely cold and I confess that I struggled to finish it.

Ballard makes no secret of the fact that "Kingdom Come" is very similar to "Cocaine Nights", "Super Cannes" and "Millennium People" (and, I suppose, "Running Wild" to some degree) and claims that he planned it as a trilogy. If this is the case it is most definitely the weakest of the three.

So what is wrong with it? For me, the main character was unappealing and I really couldn't warm to him at all. On top of this the idea of a shopping centre which was effectively lawless and had its own cultish devotees just struck me as silly. Add to this the staged violent outbursts and the usual mad psychologist and you're left with a frankly dull novel which is a pale imitation of the Ballard whose work I love so much.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Adrian Stranik on 24 May 2007
Format: Hardcover
J.G Ballard's new novel Kingdom Come is set in an ultra-modern shopping centre where the consumerist dream of ideal homes and endless sporting events has reached their inevitable apotheosis as a new form of fascism. The shopping centre in question is the fictional Metro-Centre located off the M25, but Kingdom Come could so easily read as an admonitory tale implying a retail dystopia which is very real and somewhat closer to home.

J.G Ballard is the writer of Crash and Empire of the Sun, both of which have been filmed by the `Bergs' (that's Speil and Cronen) and has been described as the `Seer of Sheperton', an `autobahn prophet' and our `greatest living author'. In his 1968 novel The Atrocity Exhibition he predicted that Ronald Reagan would become president of America a good thirteen years before said governor of California achieved assassination status. Certainly no other writer seems to have his finger as firmly on the pulse of the 20/21st century's psycho-sociological state of play.

But with Kingdom Come Ballard appears to be writing the same book as if caught in a time glitch from one of his short stories of the 1950's. His last four novels have all been set within high-concept living environments where the attainment of a perfect life loses out to an inherent will to violence.
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