- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Fourth Estate; Reprint edition (3 July 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0007232470
- ISBN-13: 978-0007232475
- Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.3 x 19.7 cm
- Average Customer Review: 2.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 213,745 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Kingdom Come Paperback – 3 Jul 2014
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‘“Kingdom Come” is important, germaine, timely and creepy, a tidal wrack of ideas washed up on the artificial beach of our resort culture.’ Will Self
‘As outré as ever, and still as keen to understand the national psyche … Ballard retains a clear-sighted, almost vatic quality’ Spectator
‘As fertile as ever … “Kingdom Come” is impressively packed with brilliant apercus’ Observer
‘Ballard’s vision is scary and utterly real … compelling’ Financial Times
About the Author
J. G. Ballard was born in 1930 in Shanghai. After internment in a civilian prison camp, his family returned to England in 1946. His 1984 bestseller ‘Empire of the Sun’ won the Guardian Fiction Prize and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. His controversial novel ‘Crash’ was made into a film by David Cronenberg. His autobiography ‘Miracles of Life’ was published in 2008, and a collection of interviews with the author, ‘Extreme Metaphors’, was published in 2012. J. G. Ballard passed away in 2009.
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Top Customer Reviews
For me this is a very fitting final Ballard.
He takes the home counties dark heart out of the chest and holds it up to the face - he gives us one last good look at how contaminated with necrotic decay we are before expiring. He is a hero and a prophet. RIP
By J.G. Ballard
4th Estate/Harper Collins
In his astonishing new novel J.G. Ballard has discovered the apocalypse in the form of washing machines, stereo units and every other form of what his characters have dubbed, with both political and religious fervour, Consumerism.
Ballard's novels have often touched a nerve, from his erotic-schizoid Crash to his semi-autobiographical The Empire of the Sun. Much of his earlier work was decidedly fantastical and often generically dubbed science fiction. But in his recent novels Ballard has been investigating the present. Often dubbed a Futurist, his conclusions are unnerving indeed.
In some ways Kingdom Come is a return to form for Ballard. His three previous novels - Cocaine Nights, Super-Cannes, Millennium People - seemed somewhat anchored by his attempts to grapple the strangeness of contemporary suburban life. But in Kingdom Come Ballard is both terrifyingly insightful and at his most phantasmagorical best.
Kingdom Come in its 280 pages seems to achieve a strangely heroic, epic scale. In essence it is the story of a rather ineffectual, unemployed advertising executive, Richard Pearson. But when Pearson's father is murdered in a labyrinthine shopping mall in suburban Brooklands near the Heathrow Airport he sets out to investigate why the initially accused shooter has been set free. Thus begins a surreal journey into the heartlands of English suburbia, thuggish sports riots, racism, terrorism, hostage-taking, contemporary politics, consumer greed, religious extremism, family relations and far more.
Where Kingdom Come succeeds is in its fine high-wire act of balancing pure farce, surreal imagery and real world events.Read more ›
However, there are two main problems. Firstly, weak characterisation means that it is impossible to engage with, or care about the story. We are told that the people of this dystopia need consumerism and insanity above all else, but the reader never gets to the chance to explore this through the experiences of the characters. And neither do we end up caring about the victims of violence: there is too much of it, and not once do we get the chance to empathise with its victims. By the end of the novel, I couldn't care less who lived and who died. It is also quite preposterous that Ballard has two main characters sleep with each other and form a bond, yet hardly has any dialogue between them in the last 70 pages of the book, when they are supposedly in great danger.
The second problem with the novel, is the logic of the dystopia Ballard creates. In an attempt at originality, Ballard creates a world in which fascism emerges from the masses, rather than being created top-down by politicians. This occurs because Britain is a country of bored citizens whose main value-system is based around the purchase of consumer goods. How a general indifference, and an obsession with consumerism leads to a bottom-up revolution is not explained.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
As pointed out by many other reviewers, J.G. Ballard’s final work of fiction is not his best, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worthy of your attention. Read morePublished 5 months ago by M N Hill
Anyone familiar with Ballard will expect to read about a social commentary whim taken to the hypothetical extreme and this lives up to the expectation. I enjoyed reading it. Read morePublished 6 months ago by dubchimp
Before I started reading this book I was reading Dostoyevsky's 'Crime And Punishment', what a contrast. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
Not one of Ballard's best but I feel deserves better than the 2.5 star on Amazon. I love all of Ballard's books.Published 12 months ago by ChrisMeigh
He is a great author and although the book was written well, I found Ballard's dystopian view of our world too depressing - not that I don't agree with a lot of what he says. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Kate W
Not up to J G Ballard's usual standard. We know he was ill while he was writing it
and it all got very muddled and the story didn't go anywhere. Lots of repetition. Read more
Cover 3/5. I have the cover similar style to Miracles of Life. Font on the small size. Read more
I cannot stop thinking about this book when reading about the four day siege of Nairobi's Westgate centre in the paper today. Read morePublished on 25 Sept. 2013 by Law Tech