FREE Delivery in the UK.
Only 2 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
J.G. Ballard: Conversatio... has been added to your Basket
+ £2.80 UK delivery
Used: Very Good | Details
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Ships from the USA. Please allow 2 to 3 weeks for delivery. Very good condition - book only shows a small amount of wear. Biggest little used bookstore in the world.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

J.G. Ballard: Conversations Paperback – 1 Nov 2005

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Paperback
"Please retry"
£15.99
£10.51 £1.95
Note: This item is eligible for click and collect. Details
Pick up your parcel at a time and place that suits you.
  • Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
  • Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
How to order to an Amazon Pickup Location?
  1. Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
  2. Dispatch to this address when you check out
Learn more

Top Deals in Books
See the latest top deals in Books. Shop now
£15.99 FREE Delivery in the UK. Only 2 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Frequently Bought Together

  • J.G. Ballard: Conversations
  • +
  • Quotes
Total price: £31.98
Buy the selected items together

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.



Top Deals in Books
See the latest top deals in Books. Shop now

Product details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: RE/Search,U.S. (Nov. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1889307130
  • ISBN-13: 978-1889307138
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 13.3 x 17.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 495,214 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

James Graham Ballard (15 November 1930 - 19 April 2009) was an English novelist and short story writer who was a prominent part of the science fiction New Wave movement. His best-known novels are the controversial Crash, an exploration of sexual fetishism connected to automobile accidents, and the loosely autobiographical Empire of the Sun, about his childhood internment by the Japanese during World War II after the invasion and conquest of Shanghai, where Ballard was born in the International Settlement. Both books were adapted into films, by David Cronenberg and Steven Spielberg respectively. So distinctive was his work that the adjective "Ballardian" entered the language, defined by the Collins English Dictionary as "resembling or suggestive of the conditions described in J. G. Ballard's novels and stories, especially dystopian modernity, bleak man-made landscapes and the psychological effects of technological, social or environmental developments." Ballard was diagnosed with prostate cancer in June 2006, from which he died in London in April 2009.


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars
5 star
3
4 star
0
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
See all 3 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
"Re/Search 8/9: J G Ballard", which dates from 1984, is the single best book that's been published on Ballard. This latest offering from Re/Search brings us right up to date, containing a variety of interviews and discussions with the author taken over the period 1983 to 2004. There's lots here on Ballard's usual themes - psychopathology, death of affect, and so on. But the guts of the book lies in the three lengthy interviews in 2003 and 2004, in the course of which Ballard also visits such contemporary issues as 9-11, neo-cons, globalization, the end of the 'Age of Reason', and terrorism. As a counterpoint, there's a series of more informal, and often amusing, discussions that the Re/Search people have had with Ballard over the years they've been associated with him.

Whilst the interviews don't quite reach the heights of those in "Re/Search 8/9: J. G. Ballard", it's a worthy addition to Re/Search's portfolio of books by or about J.G.B., and a great companion to "J. G. Ballard: Quotes".
Comment 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
By Dr. Delvis Memphistopheles TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 22 Jun. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Takes a considerable amount of courage and fortitude to stand apart from the mass, then proclaim the New clothes decked out on each showroom dummy are a con. After being locked in a prisoner of war camp and seeing mass death every day, nothing remains the same. The reality most of us take for granted must seem flimsy and ersatz, when as a kid you know the cardboard construction we take for granted, can instantly become soaked to fall apart. It then lays as a mush and is forgotten.

Ballard saw the nature of the play called life. He inhabited the delusions of the bit actors who believed they were star players. Within the format of this novel he shows how disaster when stripped of middle class pretence of manners, provides the starting pistol for eveyrthing to shatter.

Back in the world, away from his depiction of fiction, he uses the same schemata to x ray the human condition in real time. The interviews can come across as two people, interviewer and James who are in search of the sewer. Both agree on the underlying grossness of the world and descend to unblock the smell. However time has shown,that both views are nearer to the real, than anything pumped out in the media and academia. Paedophillia, emotional breakdown, resentment, baseness, pretence, diverse sexualities, ecological breakdown were all foreseen by James. Just like Phillip K Dick we live in a post Dick/Ballard world. Everyone has been playing catch up since.

My epiphany came at 18 reading High Rise. Something struck beyond the Lord of the Flies for adults comparison. The Golding novel was used as an attempt to beat the brats because underneath it they/we were base creatures. We needed to be thrashed for our own good.
Read more ›
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is yet another of the J G Ballard books from Re/search and this is a gem. Got all of their series now and this is as good as all the others. Covers many different years of his writing. Only a pity there are not more pics and the size was a surprise as I was expecting a bigger book like the earlier J G Ballard Re/Search. Still, a good addition to the bookshelf and one that I have dipped into a number of times
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Converting Conversations. 30 Dec. 2005
By Critical Reader - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This excellent volume from the seminal underground SF publisher RE/Search is a definite must for anybody who is a fan of JG Ballard or of intelligent, thought-provoking discourse in general. Transcripts of conversations with various people with Ballard from over a couple of decades veer, often presciently, over subjects as diverse as internet sex, 9/11, the psychology of George W Bush and Tony Blair, the Stockholm syndrome/masochistic victim mentality methodology necessary to keep Western society running, psychopathology, violence, literature, and a thousand other subjects Ballard always has an original opinion on.

I found myself stopping frequently when reading this book to digest the information (overload) I had just ingested, and it certainly gave me food for thought and many interesting topics of conversation with my wife. Subsequent readings after the first reveal different layers of thought and theory after the initial culture shock of reading about things like religions regulating against a sane, peaceful society wears off. Buy this book. You won't regret it. Seriously. It certainly opened my eyes in a brilliant, innovative way to many latent strands and strains of faulty or faultline thought in modern life, and I'm definitely grateful for that.

Check out [...] for more information on this and J.G. Ballard Quotes.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars sparkling bathers in near-futuristic water-slide playground utopias somehow magically growing out of vast deserts 31 Dec. 2005
By L.S. Hodgkins - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The work that has earned J.G. Ballard his reputation as a prophet of the present runs the full gamut from the perverse to the catastrophic, from the utterly Surreal to the deeply personal. In J.G. Ballard Conversations, a new collection of interviews from RE/Search, Ballard exercises his trenchant observations live and uncensored. Running jags on the politics of paranoia are illumed with scientific/poetic clarity and a critical sense of the absurd on every page. But to say that Ballard is ahead of his time or a proponent of "science fictions" is misleading. The opposition that at one time may have existed between realistic fiction and "fantasy" or "science fiction" has been dismantled. Society's skewed relationship to realist fiction is explained by Ballard as the failing imaginations of contemporary men and women of letters to ascertain a world quickly leaving their ilk in the perfumed car exhaust.

"I think realist fiction has shot its bolt--it just doesn't describe the world we live in anymore. We're not living in a world where you can make a clear separation (as you could, say during the heyday of the 19th-century realist novel) between the external world of work, commerce, industry and a fixed set of values, and the internal world of hopes, dreams and ambitions. It's the other way around--the external world is a fantasy nowadays. It's a media landscape generated by advertising, and politics conducted as a branch of advertising.

There's an envelope of fantasy that is just pouring out of the air all the time, shaping all of our most ordinary perceptions... Fiction surrounds us--it's more than fiction, it's fantasy of a very peculiar kind that creates our environment. And to describe you've got to get away from realism. Yet the bourgeois novel survives and of course it's immensely popular--which is a bit of a problem."

Ballard's ability to lay open our present like a surgeon with a scalpel never fails, although his often satirical wit more closely resembles a butcher hacking us to pieces on his block. The real gravity in reading Ballard's musings lie in mapping his recurring obsessions, which even in the candor of casual conversation articulate the core themes of his novels. Ballard literally seems pathologically transfixed with the collective pathologies of modern society, how these pathologies manifest themselves and grow through individuals and in culture at large. His often fatalistic perspective on how individuals may or may not be able to cope with this transforming psychological landscape is a major concern throughout much of Ballard's thinking spanning years of acute insight:

On page 60, interviewed in 2003,

'I don't want to make an apocalyptic prophecy--I hardly ever do anything but make apocalyptic prophecies [!]--but I see elective psychopathy as the coming thing."

Or on page 136 discussing the politics of unconscious media manipulation embodied in figures like Ronald Reagan, in an interview from the 1980s,

"He clearly has the possibility within himself for people to impose their fantasies on him. That's the key thing... It's almost as if what one needs is a sort of reverse charisma now. Not a light that shines outwards, but the ability, like a black hole, to draw light inwards."

Or on page 100, from an interview in 2003 speaking of more direct modes of herding the masses:

"Psychopathic behavior seems to appears to immensely increase the possibilities of life--that's how whole nations can embrace, quite voluntarily, psychopathic acts. One could argue that both Nazi Germany and Stalin's Russia were elective psychopathies on a nationwide scale... There may be profound masochistic strains running through modern industrial man, that every now and then summon forth these demons like Hitler and Stalin who then do what is expected of them. It's a frightening prospect, but I think the Age of Reason is over."

And on page 166, in a 1991 interview with Lynne Fox, on the larger implications of the Surrealist legacy and whether creative insight into these cultural phenomena can serve as a satirical antidote or if it is never more than a harbinger of the end:

"It would be very difficult to make the Dali/Bunuel films made at the end of the 1920s today because the sight of people dragging dead donkeys through a drawing room would [seem to be] some sort of advertising stunt--a beer commercial. The external world is so strange, so full of fantasy, that you can't use the classic Surrealist approach."

The affinity Ballard feels with the Surrealists comes from the need to map a new mythology, one which recognizes the deeper strata of human consciousness skewered out on the pig poles of the everyday. "I'm trying to suggest that there is a new psychological order awaiting us, I'm as convinced of this as an ordinary individual as I am as an imaginative writer..." (167).

Whether discussing the co-optation of Surrealism by product advertisers, the ever-evolving romance of technology and human sexuality, or how the fictions of our day-to-day existence are now more fantastic than the bravest works of literary endeavor, Ballard's ability as a conversationalist and thinker never leaves a moment dull.

RE/Search has done a marvelous job in assembling and maintaining a recorded archive of an extraordinary and sadly-overlooked point of view. The photographs illustrating this collection create a pervasive feeling of some bizarre and quintessentially Ballardian mental landscape. Airbrushed models pouting their desirous and desiring faces juxtaposed upon dirty and transpiring buildings, sparkling bathers in near-futuristic water-slide playground utopias somehow magically growing out of vast deserts, and campy-looking old laboratory portrait photographs where without much suggestion the scientists could easily be mistaken for costumed sadists committing acts of sexual barbarism upon comely supine machines and more-than-willing control consuls. The publishing brilliance of RE/Search shines through in this perceptive coupling of words and images. This is the same sensibility that expertly paired the illustrations of Phoebe Gloeckner with the text of the Atrocity Exhibition to create the definitive and now infamously classic RE/Search edition of that twisted masterpiece. J.G. Ballard Conversations, with little doubt, will garner a similar following amongst those who know and appreciate Ballard's genius.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars CONVERSATIONS is a rich collection of Ballardian riffs 23 Oct. 2005
By Raye Schwarz - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
J.G. Ballard has spent most of his adult life quietly in a UK suburb. This collection of conversations is like being able to spend a surreal tea time with Ballard himself. Spanning discussions held in the early 1980s up through interviews held in the past few years, CONVERSATIONS is a compendium of Ballardian thought in the raw, composed freestyle like jazz music only between two people speaking.

The 20 year time span allows a good perspective on how political and social patterns predicted by Ballard in his writing during the 60s and 80s have come to pass as cultural reality. A Cronenberg Brundlefly will be quite at home on the wall overhearing these conversations.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another 'must have' book for the Ballard enthusiast. 14 Feb. 2007
By M. Holliday - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
"Re/Search 8/9: J G Ballard", which dates from 1984, is the single best book that's been published on Ballard. This latest offering from Re/Search brings us right up to date, containing a variety of interviews and discussions with the author taken over the period 1983 to 2004. There's lots here on Ballard's usual themes - psychopathology, death of affect, and so on. But the guts of the book lies in the three lengthy interviews in 2003 and 2004, in the course of which Ballard also visits such contemporary issues as 9-11, neo-cons, globalization, the end of the 'Age of Reason', and terrorism. As a counterpoint, there's a series of more informal, and often amusing, discussions that the Re/Search people have had with Ballard over the years they've been associated with him.

Whilst the interviews don't quite reach the heights of those in "Re/Search 8/9: J. G. Ballard", it's a worthy addition to Re/Search's portfolio of books by or about J.G.B., and a great companion to "J. G. Ballard: Quotes".
Were these reviews helpful? Let us know


Feedback