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The Wind from Nowhere (Science fiction) Mass Market Paperback – 25 Apr 1974


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Mass Market Paperback, 25 Apr 1974
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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; New impression edition (25 April 1974)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 014002591X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140025910
  • Product Dimensions: 17.6 x 10.8 x 0.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 283,141 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.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By feline1 on 12 Feb 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I've been a fan of JG Ballard for years,
but I only recently discovered that this, his first novel, even exists! The man appears to have disowned it - it's never listed in the bibliographies on the inside covers of his books.
I'm not entirely sure why - he'd already published a couple of dozen short stories in the decade before this novel came out in 1962.
Perhaps it's because the book verges slightly on generic pot-boiler sci-fi... it lacks a bit of the psycho-pathological character analyses Ballard generally builds into his novels, and focuses more on 'describing the action'.
Nonetheless, a classic Ballardian nightmare dystopic future is on offer in these pages - the world brought to its knees by relentless hurricane winds (cf. the global warming disaster of 'The Drowned World', the worldwide drought of, erm, 'The Drought', or the surreal 'crystallizing of time' in 'The Crystal World'). Even in this slightly terse, stripped-down 'consumer sci-fi' version of his talents that Ballard's publishers serve up here, the sheer pervausive scale of his apocalyptic vision is quite gripping. Like all the best Ballard, it's highly thought-provoking, really prodding the reader to realise just how close the civilisation we take for granted could be to total collapse, if a few of nature's parameters shifted a little...
In summary, well worth tracking down a copy.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jeremy Walton TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 30 April 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I picked this up on a second-hand stall a while ago, and was quickly drawn into its opening vision of an ordinary world which has been affected by an extraordinary thing (in this case, a continously increasing wind). I liked the way in which the tension was gradually racked up along with the speed of the wind, as the characters struggled to come to terms with what was happening outside their shelter.

Although parts of the book haven't dated well (e.g. the casual way in which sex is fleetingly introduced and the standard bad guy with his plans for world domination both reminded me of Ian Fleming), the central idea remains compelling - perhaps even more so in this age of climate concern. And it was nice to come across a quote from Mark Twain that neatly sums up our powerlessness in the face of natural forces: "Everyone talks about the weather, but no-one does anything about it".
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jane Aland VINE VOICE on 12 April 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A worldwide hurricane wind sweeps the Earth, steadily gaining another 5 miles per hour speed everyday, until society itself is brought to the brink of destruction...

JG Ballard's self-supressed debut novel bears surface similarities to his other early novels ('The Drowned World', 'The Drought', 'The Crystal World') with the earth being wracked by a natural disaster, although here the author seems slightly more concerned with action than the psycological affect of the altered landscape on his characters. Nevertheless, this is still a gripping science fiction novel boasting some memorable imagery as the titanic winds destroy the cities of Earth, and it's only real flaw is the rather sudden and anticlimactic ending.

Inevitably this 'The Wind From Nowhere' doesn't quite rank up their with Ballard's later more polished work, but this is still a good solid read that will be enjoyed by fans of the author, and it's supression by the author is frankly unjustified. Well worth a look.
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