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Ebook Chronopolis by J.G. Ballard read! Book Title: Chronopolis
ISBN: 0425041913
ISBN 13: 9780425041918
Language: English
The author of the book: J.G. Ballard
Edition: Berkley
Date of issue: May 1st 1979
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 537 KB
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Reader ratings: 4.6

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This is a collection of the works of J.G. Ballard, who is an author most people either love of hate. He is part of that (now rather old) "New Wave" of sci fi that tried to inject some literary quality into a genre that was dismissed as juvenile. Along with Samuel Delany, Ballard probably came closest to being accepted as a serious writer by non sci fi fans of anyone in the movement.A lot of his work is strongly influenced by his childhood, which was spent in a Japanese POW camp with other British civilians and was described in his autobiography Empire of the Sun and the Spielberg movie of the same name. Two themes that run through his works are isolation and imprisonment. There is also the interesting sense of disconnectedness from the technological world - even when his stories take place in a future where humanity is exploring the stars, his characters are among those left behind on the dying Earth - which really sets him apart from most sci fi of any period. Finally, what stands out as a theme is that Ballard has what I would call an "artistic eye" for detail: he's interested in images and tableaux, which he describes in terms which can make everyday things seem extraordinary and fantastic. If it is possible to write from the right side of the brain, Ballard has done it.
I read this book either when I was in college, or shortly thereafter (I forget which), but I had forgotten nearly every story that was in here. The one exception was "Build Up," a Kafkaesque experiment about a man in a vast, boundless cityspace who has never seen free, unbounded, space and dreams of flying. That one stayed with me, although I had forgotten some details (including the disappointing "punch line" Ballard tacked onto the end). The one I should have remembered (because it is well known and talked about) was "Terminal Beach," a story about a lonely man living on an atoll that had been used for atomic tests, and his slow descent into a kind of madness. Others came back to me like forgotten dreams as I read them. One example of this was "The Garden of Time," in which a classically Gothic aristocrat and his lovely wife stave off a ravaging horde with flowers that hold time still (but not indefinitely). Also "The Watchtowers," which is a kind of comment on the ways in which the Foucauldian Panopticon is a self-made trap. Most of the other stories follow similar themes, with varying degrees of success, but I suppose this review would be incomplete without mentioning the eponymous story, "Chronopolis." This is a story about a boy about the age Ballard was when he entered the prison camp, who lives in a dying society that has abolished clocks, and learns the secret of controlling people by controlling time. He becomes dedicated to reviving the clocks in the part of the city which has been abandoned due to under-population, but ultimately finds himself in prison as a danger to society. The twist ending on this one is reasonably effective, but also ambiguous, regarding the meaning of freedom.


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Reviews of the Chronopolis


MOHAMMED

An interesting book that says more than you can fit

MOHAMMAD

Our favorite book

BETHANY

When you regret the book ends!

MATTHEW

This story is going to be remembered for a long time.

VICTORIA

An interesting book that says more than you can fit




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