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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb selection of interviews, 3 Oct 2012
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This review is from: Extreme Metaphors (Hardcover)
An impressive selection of interviews from one of the greatest writers of recent years. The first interview is from 1967. The book contains one or two interview per year from then on. Some cover the same ground but virtually all the interviews are worth reading for his interesting insights into car crashes, inner space, advertising (wonder what he would think about the dire TV adverts of today), dunes, landscapes, art, concrete bypasses, SF etc.

Certain there are many more interviews out there as apparently J G Ballard was interviewed by some pretty obscure magazines. I would definitely buy an subsequent volumes
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ballard at his most excited and entertaining, 22 April 2014
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This review is from: Extreme Metaphors (Kindle Edition)
Here, a collection of interviews from a master of the medium. No reading of Ballard can go without also experiencing his free talking self articulately explaining how the world is and will be. J.G. has gone where others dared not to tread, has excavated an extreme wilderness of the inner self. It is a world that was establishing itself with the post war era. No other writer has delved more vigorously into what it means to be Modern, what it means to be surrounded by a spaghetti of highways all around, for all life to be evaporated by the sun, or drowned by the sea, or be crystallised into the forest - global warming, industrial landscapes, psychological transformation from the outer to the inner world, through media projections and the slow motion car crash. The new world creates endless possibilities - here explored by Ballard himself talking in a highly lucid and sometimes obsessed way about the way he sees the world. Well edited with helpful introductions giving the context for each interview.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars do you even need to ask?, 16 Aug 2013
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David G. Cercone Jr. "Dandy" (Washington, DC USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Extreme Metaphors (Hardcover)
the great oracle of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st. dark and wise and prescient and witty and warm. if you've ever read any of his fiction, you must read his essays.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Endless stream of wisdom, 18 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Extreme Metaphors (Paperback)
Exhaustive collection of interviews Ballard gave during his career. From big publications to small SF zines. Ballard was a good talker and generous with his ideas. At times I had to put down the book after reading a page because it contains so many ideas you have to process slowly. A must-read for lovers of Ballard's fiction and the more adventurous science fiction reader.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, if repetitive, and incomplete collection, 20 Mar 2013
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Peter Lee (Manchester ,United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Extreme Metaphors (Hardcover)
I've been a fan of JG Ballard for many years, and since his death in 2009 I've missed his writing. This huge, heavy book is a collection of interviews with Ballard between 1967 and 2008, some previously unpublished, and in some ways it helped to fill that gap for me.

It isn't perfect. The interviews seem to focus on a few core books ("Crash", "Empire of the Sun", "Vermilion Sands", "The Atrocity Exhibition") and many are hardly mentioned. There is a lot of repetition, some of the interviews asking similar questions and Ballard's answers often seeming strangely rehearsed, and I hoped that the book would have helped me to find out more about the man rather than those few books, but it is consistently interesting. There do seem to be a lot of gaps in the collection though, and I cannot believe he was never interviewed during those times, and in the postscript an interview is referred to which doesn't appear in the book.

All in all it is a good book for Ballard fans to dip into rather than read from cover to cover as I did.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Visions and Obsessions of the Shepperton Sage, 27 Nov 2012
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JF Lawrence (Southampton, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Extreme Metaphors (Hardcover)
A user's guide to the Ballardennium, Extreme Metaphors is a collection of forensic analyses of the ambiguous, liberating, nightmarish 20th/21st century, a Freudo-Nietzschean-Jungian-crypto-leftist-libertarian hymn to the extremity of our obsessions. We inhabit the dreamworld we have made for ourselves, projected it onto external reality, and we doze happily in our consumerist, media-generated miracle of life while we harbour dreams of flying away, of atavistic immersion in a pre-human state of atemporality, of smashing the whole edifice and finding jouissance in the liberating, empowering destruction of life, limb and the screens of The Great Simulacrum. Ballard doesn't hide flinchingly behind liberal progressivism and fairytales of inherent human decency; with the scalpel of his own obsessions, which are the same as yours and mine, he dissects the post-war corpse of the bright technological future the western world fantasised about before Hiroshima blew the illusion to bits in a mushroom cloud of pure death-instinct. He knows we are animals evolved just enough to cope with the needs of anthropoids that stalked the East African plains 4,000,000 years ago but who didn't quite become smart enough to cope with the creations that language and its concomitant, civilisation with its necessary discontents, made possible for the modern ape, homo ballardiensis.

All of Ballard's concerns and riffs - his ambivalent connections to SF; the collusive emptiness of the English postwar novel; The Atrocity Exhibition and the fractured consciousness of the individual in the mediascape; Crash! and the question of smashing through the illusion of society in a welter of blood, jism and twisted metal on a real and metaphorical motorway; the insurrectionary potential of a bored suburban bourgeoisie - are scrutinised and explored by and with (Ballard saw the interview process as creative and collaborative, a kind of temporary laboratory for his ideas) an impressive roster of astute interlocutors. Extreme Metaphors catalogues Ballard's philosophical interests and salient biographical circumstances (the sources of all those empty hotels and drained swimming pools)from the early 60s up to his final interview in 2008, a moving valedictory to all of us who have admired his work for so long. This collection is essential for all Ballardians, SF fans and anybody who wants to engage with the thought of one of the 20th century's most important and original social critics.
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Extreme Metaphors
Extreme Metaphors by J.G. Ballard (Hardcover - 27 Sep 2012)
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