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  • Crash
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on 24 July 2013
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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on 9 May 2017
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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on 24 October 2016
The best, most fluent and captivating book I have read in a long time. The subject matter is bizarre - and I am still chewing over JG Ballard's comments that it is his most autobiographical work - but the novel weaves an elegant path through the peculiar territory. Its conflicted view of the automobile provides fascinating insight into one of the most important cultural phenomena of our time. An excellent and enriching read.
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on 31 March 2016
Disturbing ,provoking ,scatological-one of the great alternative classics of the twentieth century and incredibly influential.Surrealism and Absurdism entwined in unique Ballardian style !
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on 14 December 2016
Depraved, lyrical, apocalyptic, and finally overwhelming. An astonishing novel.
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on 22 September 2014
A fascinating insight into obsession and sexual gratification. Those easily offended would do well to embrace such an honest text.
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on 28 November 2014
great author
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on 14 April 2015
Well written as expected, deeply disturbing
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on 11 September 2012
After reading this book I am looking forward to getting back to normality! Crash is a very weird, highly insensitive account of a man, Ballard, who finds sexual pleasure in car crash injuries. Ballard, the character, is assisted in this goal by the mysterious 'Vaughan' whose ultimate aim is to die during a crash into film actress Elizabeth Taylor. Many people have described this book as unpleasant and repetitive but it should not be written off. There are many pages in the book when Ballard, the author, mesmerizes the reader with effortless and vivid descriptions of a world where concrete and machines dominate the landscape.
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on 20 February 2013
It was a good read but a little hard going as it was a little unorthodox. It would not be everyones cups of tea
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