3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Boring for Ballard,
By A Customer
This review is from: Super-Cannes (Hardcover)
Twenty years or so ago Ballard would have done this entire book in a couple of paragraphs. Now he fleshes his ideas out with a scenery that seems to be borrowed from touring companies of Noel Coward and second-rate thrillers. It's as if he's been dipping into his original store that was The Atrocity Exhibition and systematically expanding them all into longer forms. This was the man who produced the condensed the novel. Now he's produced the diluted novel. He can never be anything but interesting and his work shines out of the dross, but if you've been following Ballard's and Moorcock's careers as long as I have you'll see that this whole idea would have been an aside in a Jerry Cornelius story. And Moorcock's Cornelius stories are still as tight and packed with ideas as ever. Ballard is the kind of writer who hones a few ideas into wonderful, precious instruments, while Moorcock gives us the whole cauldron of raw white hot steel and flings it into the world, to see what new shapes he can make. These are my two favourite writers. They have been since I started reading them in New Worlds in the late 1960s. It seems to me that Ballard was always at his best when associated with Moorcock and New Worlds and maybe the same goes for Moorcock -- who was at least able to pay Ballard for his work by writing those hack S&S stories which seem to outsell all the good stuff! Could be I'm nostalgic for the New Wave Golden Age, but I would dearly like to see Ballard tackle a real, rather than a notional, subject again. Gordon Oliver.