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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surreal and Astounding
There are few people who have mastered the art of the SF short story to the extent that they do it consistently and brilliantly. An early example was HG Wells. My contemporary favourite is Ian Watson, and between them was JG Ballard. It's a tragedy that Ballard seems these days to have turned away from SF in the direction of mainstream and is now concentrating (one...
Published on 1 Nov 2007 by Rod Williams

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A case of Lone Star
Iam a Big fan of Kinkys Music, Iam a Country music fan.
Kinkys books are Very interesting to read!!!!
Published on 7 Dec 2010 by Martin English


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surreal and Astounding, 1 Nov 2007
This review is from: The Day of Forever (Paperback)
There are few people who have mastered the art of the SF short story to the extent that they do it consistently and brilliantly. An early example was HG Wells. My contemporary favourite is Ian Watson, and between them was JG Ballard. It's a tragedy that Ballard seems these days to have turned away from SF in the direction of mainstream and is now concentrating (one imagines exclusively) on novels.
There are those who debate whether Ballard's work was ever Science Fiction. Certainly, it confuses booksellers, as some place Ballard's work in the mainstream fiction section, some on the SF shelves, with a bet-hedging minority of shops placing selections in both camps.
Certainly works like `The Crystal World' which has certain scientific and fantastic elements within it, can be classed as SF while `Crash' (although listed in Pringle's `100 best SF Novels') is rather more difficult to place within an SF context.
I'm simply tempted to accept most Ballard as SF simply on the grounds that it doesn't really seem happy anywhere else.
I feel quite inadequate in even attempting to write some form of critique of Ballard's work, particularly his short stories. His novels, although hard work in some cases, are often more accessible.
These are some of Ballard's stories from the Early Nineteen Sixties (and one from '59) which deal - to a greater or lesser degree - with Time.
`The Day of Forever' is a strange tone-poem of piece, set on an earth in which Time, judged by the daily cycle of the world, has virtually stopped. In the town of Columbine Sept-Heures, it is constant twilight, a place where Halliday hopes to dream of the woman in Delvaux's surrealist painting, `The Echo'.
The story itself is a lush and atmospheric word-painting, detailed with some of Ballard's trademark archetypes; the beautiful and enigmatic woman, the drained swimming pools and architecture unveiling geometries of hidden meaning.
`The Prisoner of The Coral Reef' is a brief and odd piece of romantic fantasy in which man finds a fossil-shell and on holding it to his ear hears sounds from the saurian ages and the scream of a man from trillions of years hence, held prisoner in time by an enigmatic woman.
`Tomorrow is a Million Years' is a rare weak story from Ballard, and one which is more standard in structure, with a twist ending.
Time is the theme of this tale, in which man discovers `time winds' on a dead planet, which resurrect nostalgic myths and icons from Earth's past.
`The Man on the 99th Floor', although a slight story, still show's Ballard's obsession with architecture and a world slightly distanced from our own in a tale of murder and hypnosis.
`The Waiting Grounds' (the earliest story in this collection) is one of his rare forays into pure SF, set in an observatory on a barren planet where alien monoliths reveal the secrets of creatures beyond Time and Space.
`The Last World of Mr Goddard' is a Dick-esque construction in which an elderly man seemingly has his entire local community in a box in a locked safe, attempting to control them as a kind of anonymous God during the evening whilst still walking amongst them during the day.
`The Gentle Assassin' is a rather cliched time-paradox story in which a scientist travels back in time and attempts to foil an assassination in order to save his young wife's life, only to discover that his attempt results in her death.
`The Sudden Afternoon' is a well-written description of one consciousness slowly taking over another, but is otherwise unremarkable.
In `The Insane Ones' an irrational dictator bans all therapy and psychiatric treatment, to the extent that preventing a suicide becomes a crime. It's an interesting concept, but one which really to deserves to be explore more fully. The ex-psychiatrist is put in the awkward position of feeling himself compelled to treat a man whose desire is to kill the irrational dictator.
`The Assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy Considered as a Downhill Motor Race' is one of Ballard's more memorable and controversial creations, heralding an obsession with the President, and indeed with other media icons, who turn up in later stories and novels.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Musician, Author, Sleuth....Governor ?, 8 Sep 2006
This review is from: A Case of Lone Star (Paperback)
"A Case of Lone Star" is Kinky's second book, and was first published in 1987. As with his other books, Kinky has cast himself as the amateur-PI hero, while some of the other characters have been based on actual friends. As with real-life, the book's Kinky is a cigar-smoking, cat-loving, espresso-guzzling, whiskey-drinking, ex-country and western performer. He shares his loft on Vandam Street with his cat - who he occasionally leaves in charge. Conversations between Kinky and the cat tend to be somewhat one-sided, while the cat consistently refuses to answer the telephone.

Much of the action takes place in the Lone Star Caf' - a famous New York establishment that's played host to musical legends such as the Blues Brothers, the Rolling Stones and Kinky Friedman. The book opens with Kinky being contacted by Cleve, the manager of the Lone Star. Cleve has a slight problem with Larry Barkin, the frontman of Larry Barkin and the Barkin Brothers. Unfortunately, Larry isn't in any fit state to go on for the second set, having been murdered in his dressing room after the first set. A note that had arrived through the post the previous day - previously discounted as just fan mail - is now being viewed in a different light. It contained the lyrics of an old Hank Williams number that tied up with the scene of the crime. Bill Dick, the club's owner, asks Kinky to help with the club's woes.

Five people had been in Larry's dressing room after the first set. Three of them are known to Kinky : Chet Flippo (an old Texan friend of the Kinkster, who'd recently written a book about Hank Williams), Mike Simmons (an excellent country singer, who is not only partial to the sauce but also to Hank Williams' music) and Ratso (the Watson to Kinky's Sherlock). However, he knows nothing about the other two : a beautiful British photographer - or a lovely limey shutterbug, as Kinky puts it - and a bald cocaine-dispensing lawyer.

"A Case of Lone Star" has much in common with the other books by Kinky I've read. While it's not an entirely serious 'whodunnit' it is a fast moving, enjoyable and very easily read book. It's also packed with superbly delivered one-liners - though the humour may not quite appeal to everyone.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A case of Lone Star, 7 Dec 2010
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This review is from: A Case of Lone Star (Paperback)
Iam a Big fan of Kinkys Music, Iam a Country music fan.
Kinkys books are Very interesting to read!!!!
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The Day of Forever
The Day of Forever by J. G. Ballard (Hardcover - 1 Mar 1986)
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