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Crash Paperback – 3 Jul 2014

3.5 out of 5 stars 48 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Fourth Estate (3 July 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 000728702X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007287024
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 28,326 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

'A work of very powerful originality. Ballard is amongst our finest writers of fiction' Anthony Burgess

'One of the few genuine surrealists this country has produced, the possessor of a terrifying and exhilarating imagination' Guardian

'Ballard has issued a series of bulletins on the modern world of almost unerring prescience. Other writers describe; Ballard anticipates' Will Self

From the Publisher

Like many of Ballard's other novels, the seeds for Crash were sown in a short story or, in effect, the series of stories that were eventually published as The Atrocity Exhibition (or Love and Napalm: Export USA). Described by Will Self as representing `the zenith of the experimental novel in English' and `a profound and disquieting book' by William Burroughs, The Atrocity Exhibition is composed of seemingly disconnected, almost shard-like tales, some made up of short listed paragraphs. Full of extreme imagery and, as its author admits, `rather obsessive sexual fantasies about the prominent figures of the day', it strove, in its fragmentary structure, to emulate the confused (and confusing) messages of news broadcasts, advertising billboards, television commercials and technical manuals. In an author's note readers were advised to `simply turn the pages until a paragraph catches your eye'.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ballard is a weird man and Crash is a bizarre, sexual, depraved story. The man character (who shares his name with the author) is in a loveless marriage and stable job when he gets into a severe car accident. The accident serves as his sexual awakening, and he is introduced to a group of people whose sexual fantasies revolve around car accidents, wounds, bodily fluids and metal.

If anyone asks me in real life what this book is about, I tell them it's car crash porn, and that's not an exaggeration or understatement. It's well written and enjoyable, but it's the only book I have ever taken breaks from. Sometimes I need a minute (or day) to accept the things I just saw happen and reflect on my life. Worth a read though.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great item, quick delivery, no problems
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
She loved it, thanks x
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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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Format: 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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Format: Mass Market Paperback
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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Format: 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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Extremely nasty writing. Not easy read. Everything reduced into unpleasant language. Ballard must have had some very bad experiences when a kid
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