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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not a comfortable nor a cathartic experience - but not meant to be.
I had avoided reading this book as I must have had some lingering memory of the surrounding controversy. It was definitely not a comfortable or cathartic experience but then it was not meant to be. ‘Clinical’ was one word used positively and negatively by critics of Crash and with a little background reading I discovered how appropriate it was. J.G Ballard...
Published 15 months ago by Tina Stockman

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Crash review
A fascinating insight into obsession and sexual gratification. Those easily offended would do well to embrace such an honest text.
Published 1 month ago by Lior Blum


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not a comfortable nor a cathartic experience - but not meant to be., 24 July 2013
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This review is from: Crash (Kindle Edition)
I had avoided reading this book as I must have had some lingering memory of the surrounding controversy. It was definitely not a comfortable or cathartic experience but then it was not meant to be. ‘Clinical’ was one word used positively and negatively by critics of Crash and with a little background reading I discovered how appropriate it was. J.G Ballard spent a portion of his childhood in a Japanese prisoner of war camp (chronicled in the novel and film, Empire of the Sun) and later trained as a doctor. In the light of this, perhaps his detached, unfaltering attitude to bodily functions, disease, damage, obsession and general human mess is understandable. I found it an adult book addressing difficult social issues. The essential idea seemed to be that we live in a society that morbidly adores the car and is undeterred or even excited by the destruction it causes both to the human body and the environment. Ballard offers an unsettling and alienating interpretation of this adoration as a physical longing to join flesh with metal, forcing the audience to confront what this perverse and ultimately fatal attraction might look like and to consider its consequences.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book..., 7 April 2013
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This review is from: Crash (Paperback)
This book divides opinion, and understandably, but if you like to read to be challenged and pulled outside your comfort zone, then this is one for you. You'll feel squeamish, you'll feel uncomfortable, but by the end you'l realised you've been on a journey few other authors would dare to take their readers on. The only writer doing something similar at the moment would appear to be Morton Bain (Psychopath!).
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic, 17 Nov 2012
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This review is from: Crash (Kindle Edition)
One of Ballards most disturbing (and sensationalised) books, I bought this to replace a copy I loaned out
years ago and never got back. Re-reading it, (sometimes a mistake), it still has the power to make one squirm
and the promise to make one keep turning the page, sometimes against one's better judgement.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Postmodern Classic, 21 Feb 2003
This review is from: Crash (Paperback)
To say that J.G Ballard's classic postmodern novel is merely out for the 'shock value' it can extract from its reader is completely missing the point.
This isn't an erotic novel, the sexual content is handled in such a way to make it clinical, almost replulsive to the reader (sexual organs are described with as much enthusiasm as a steering wheel column). Sex becomes just another mechanical act, like driving a car, the repetition only serves to highlight that fact. The endless cycle and the numbing realisation that as a postmodern audience we become deadened to the horrors that surround us that are brought into our homes by the media is also central to understanding this text.
Ballard's novel brings to light the desensitised nature of human beings who watch mass murders on the nightly news with as much affect as the advertisement for soap powder which follows.
Ballard's novel is an implossion of fantasy and reality. Bringing together the society that thrives on spectacle to the point that watching a car crash has become prime time viewing. The death of affect - the fulfilment of human passions onto material technologies rather than people, resulting in a displacement of passion and an inability to connect is also central to this text.
After this read The Passion of New Eve by Angela Carter.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining ride, 27 Jan 2009
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This review is from: Crash (Paperback)
I'd been wanting to read Ballard for ages but after begining a novel I would find his style over-done, amateurish.
Having persevered with this novel though I can say I am a Ballard convert.
He has a particular perspective, in this novel, of mixing the organic with the technological. Which I suppose he has inherited from his medical background.
The story is entertaining. But I have not given it 5 stars 'cause it is not totally satisfactory. It does become a little repetitive and the ending seems a wee bit anti-climactical....
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant even though lots of people say so, 12 Aug 2008
Relentlessly aggressive and pornographic in a psycho-geographical kind of way. Brilliant even though lots of people say so. Deeply unsettling and explicit even though countless commentators have initiated it into the bland halls of literary classic. Not misogynistic even though it is, in a way, all about misogynism and inadequate manhood. Its vivid portraits (after Francis Bacon?) of genitalia and instrument panels, blood and torn flesh and semen and scars, all of that, is brought forth by a detached and clinical eye. Which is (a good bit of) the point. I found it both more engrossing and repetitive than I expected. And occassionally moving. The refluxes of libidinal modern landscapes mirror the obsessions of Ballard and Vaughan, rendered universal by their compulsions to repeat (even if some of the rest of us aren't particularly keen on sex and death in the twisted wrecks of four-lane motorways and airport bypasses). As Ani Difranco says: "my c*nt is a wound that won't heal" - that's what Crash is like. Despite (or because of) this unforgiving repetition, it seems to have more essence of Ballard than anything else that I've read of his. Yes, its original. Yes, its revolting. Yes, it offends the right kind of people. But this is a deeply affecting and memoral book for more reasons than that.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A caustic look at a 20th century sexual nightmare, 13 Mar 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Crash (Paperback)
Ballard yet again has explored parts of the human psyche that few dare to probe.He matches de Sade and Mirbeau in his illustration of new sexualities and sexual landscapes, caressing the lost edifices of a primitive erotic language, hidden in the modern technology that rules our everyday lives.Crash still remains one of the few novels that dares to explore the modern influence on sexuality, still as shocking and brilliant as it is beautiful.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great novel that you can't recommend, 25 Jan 2014
This review is from: Crash (Paperback)
I enjoyed this book and I enjoyed this edition because it has interesting sections at the back detailing how the author feels about the book, its place in literary canon, how it compares with the technology of today and responses to the book when first published. I read all of it but I can see how and why people gave up. It is disturbing in the sense that the narrator talks in a very detached and detailed way about the physical wounds from car crashes and how car crashes are related to sexual feelings. The first couple of chapters made me green around the gills and I had to keep pushing through. And that is the point of it. It's not a quick lunchtime read.

The book doesn't want to shock you for the sake of provocation, however; it wants to shock you awake. I read through the one-star reviews thinking that they would all be people who just didn't want to imagine these images, but I was shocked to read that people thought it was badly written. It isn't. The descriptive language and rhythm make it a work of beauty. Ballard is erudite and has an inarguable talent for prose, even making the vocabulary of car interiors beautiful.

It is a hard book to read, but it's not without merit. And it makes no apologies. The erotic link between the crashes and the sexual relationships in the book didn't quite come across to me. Due to its graphic content, I wouldn't recommend this book, but I'm glad I read it and it is certainly very relevant to today's digital age. This edition also contains a really interesting essay from Ballard on that subject.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Crash review, 22 Sep 2014
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This review is from: Crash (Kindle Edition)
A fascinating insight into obsession and sexual gratification. Those easily offended would do well to embrace such an honest text.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not for the faint of heart..., 8 Mar 2010
By 
Amy Harding "Literature Lion" (Cardiff University, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Crash (Paperback)
Crash is a very strange book. It is without doubt the most perverse, disgusting and horrific book i've ever read. However, at the same time i've really been drawn into Ballard's world. A world that i'm struggling to get out of my head. Crash deals with some very strong and explicit issues whilst exploring issues of identity, sexuality and technology in a modern world. This novel is dripping with details you don't want to think about... and yet you just can't stop yourself. In some ways Crash is only making you explicitly think of things which have lurked at the back of your mind. Without condoning or condemning the actions of the characters in Crash i have to say i continue to be fascinated by the dark and grisly side of life that is explored.

At the same time if you do not like reading extreme pornography, extreme mutilations and indepth discussions of the consequences i'd stay away from Crash. Whilst i can take the explicit content, the facet that continues to disturb me is the way that the narrator can calmly imagine himself in a sexual situation with the wife of a man he has just accidentally killed. The humanity is left intact as the technology mutilates... which is a disturbing marriage!
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Crash by J. G. Ballard (Paperback - 3 July 2014)
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