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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Prophetic
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...
Published 14 months ago by charalambos_charalambos

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars all over the shop(s)
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,...
Published on 14 Dec 2009 by Amazon Customer


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars all over the shop(s), 14 Dec 2009
This review is from: Kingdom Come (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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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Prophetic, 17 May 2013
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This review is from: Kingdom Come (Paperback)
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
4.0 out of 5 stars not so sleepy surrey, 16 July 2007
By 
Paul Tapner (poole dorset england) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Kingdom Come (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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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Pale Imitation, 21 May 2007
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Smellgrovia (Blackheath, London) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Kingdom Come (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
1.0 out of 5 stars What has gone wrong?, 20 Oct 2006
By 
Peter Lee (Manchester ,United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Kingdom Come (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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15 of 20 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Missing the Point, 16 Aug 2007
By 
Matthew Walker (Oxford) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Kingdom Come (Paperback)
This novel is a huge let down. As another reviewer points out, the prose is of excellent quality, and so too the setting. In fact, the first 100 pages are very enjoyable, with the main character Richard Pearson negotiating himself through an urban nightmare of consumerism, racism, and violence in order to find out who shot his father.

However, there are two main problems. Firstly, weak characterisation means that it is impossible to engage with, or care about the story. We are told that the people of this dystopia need consumerism and insanity above all else, but the reader never gets to the chance to explore this through the experiences of the characters. And neither do we end up caring about the victims of violence: there is too much of it, and not once do we get the chance to empathise with its victims. By the end of the novel, I couldn't care less who lived and who died. It is also quite preposterous that Ballard has two main characters sleep with each other and form a bond, yet hardly has any dialogue between them in the last 70 pages of the book, when they are supposedly in great danger.

The second problem with the novel, is the logic of the dystopia Ballard creates. In an attempt at originality, Ballard creates a world in which fascism emerges from the masses, rather than being created top-down by politicians. This occurs because Britain is a country of bored citizens whose main value-system is based around the purchase of consumer goods. How a general indifference, and an obsession with consumerism leads to a bottom-up revolution is not explained. As another reviewer has already hinted at, we already live in an increasingly authoritarian society, what with CCTV cameras, internment, and rules against public protest, and one could argue that it is easier for a government to pass such measures when citizens care less about politics and more about the development of a new mobile phone. It seems to me that consumerism breads apathy, rather than mass violence, allowing for top-down authoritarianism to develop.

Like other readers, I struggled to finish this book. It is conceptually weak, and more damagingly, fails to show the reader what it would actually feel like to live in this world. Orwell brilliantly demonstrates this in 1984 by placing human emotion at the centre of his story. Ballard on the other hand, fails completely.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Ideal Atrocity Exhibition, 24 May 2007
This review is from: Kingdom Come (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. In the fourth of what I'd call the `modern life is rubbish' "quadrilogy" (Thank you 20th Century Fox) Cocaine Nights, Super Cannes, Millennium People and now Kingdom Come all begin with a seemingly meaningless murder in a perfect enclosed society with an outsider arriving to solve the mystery which turns out to be no real mystery at all because it's always a barely concealed conspiracy involving all the residents; and it's not Ballard's first exploration of ideal living environments which, in `Ballard world', inevitably degenerate into chaos; High Rise was written during his `golden period' in the early 70's, as a reaction to the explosion of tower blocks which threatened to be the de rigor living experience of the future.

This said, even when Ballard doesn't appear to be trying he still urinates from a great height on the likes of your Iain Banks' and Alex Garland's. Which I suppose goes some way to illustrating that the great are only great when they have to be. But Kingdom Come is recommended reading for residents of `designer towns' like Milton Keynes (U.K) and Celebration (U.S) who yearn for meaning in increasingly meaningless times.

Adrian Stranik
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3.0 out of 5 stars First Ballard after Miracles of Life ...., 1 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Kingdom Come (Paperback)
Presentation

Cover 3/5. I have the cover similar style to Miracles of Life. Font on the small size.

Content

The M25 and Brooklands area will never be the same again. Ingredients interesting and well mixed if all rather slow. I am hooked in if only to see who killed Richard's father. Useful writing as I am trying to create a different social and government background in some of my books.

I read on ... Will have to see if I read any more of his books after reading Empire of the Sun.

Completed. Too long, too slow but I think the book will remain memorable because of the overall story and background. No reason to read again.

Alexander of the Allrighters and Ywnwab!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Prophetic writing, 25 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Kingdom Come (Paperback)
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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1.0 out of 5 stars Pedestrian existentialism..., 28 July 2013
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This review is from: Kingdom Come (Paperback)
Sorry, but I found this extremely mundane and pedestrian. I was unable to read the entire book owing to the fairly irritating way it was written, in terms of the layout of chapters and the repetition of plot one was already aware of from reading previous chapters.

For example, we, the reader, are advised that his father has been shot... ad infinitum. Not to dwell on the contents, or give anything away, should there be any one who actually has the slightest interest in reading it... all I can say is that not the story but the book itself was dystopian and prompted me to assign it to the waste paper basket, I just hope the dust cart operatives don't find it... I'll be a laughing stock!
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Kingdom Come
Kingdom Come by J. G. Ballard (Paperback - 3 July 2014)
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