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Book Title: Un gioco da bambini|
ISBN 13: 9788880894537
The author of the book: J.G. Ballard
Edition: Baldini & Castoldi
Date of issue: 1999
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 18.91 MB
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Reader ratings: 4.6
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This mordant mystery novella by science fiction writer J.G. Ballard is only a “mystery” because the hideous crime at its core is the product of a socially unbearable evil. The thirty-two adults of the affluent enclave of Pangbourne Village have been brutally murdered, but their thirteen children—visible in the security footage up to the moment camera cords were cut—have disappeared from the scene. Could the children have been kidnapped? If so, why has there been no ransom demand? Or...could there be some other explanation?
The bitter humor of this short work comes from the fact that the detailed forensic description of the murder scene should convince any intelligent observer (no, what follows is not a “spoiler”) that the children of this gated community have conspired to slaughter their parents, virtually in unison, in response to an agreed-upon signal. Yet the professional investigators and the public refuse to face this fact, and instead devise more than a dozen improbable theories to avoid the horrifying truth.
The cold, ironic Ballard—whose strength as a writer is his vivid, prophetic descriptions of an earth deformed and destroyed by natural disaster—has distinct virtues as a writer...and distinct weaknesses. He is superb at painting morbid tableaux, very good at concocting the specious reasoning of minds polluted by a particular toxic atmosphere, but he is singularly weak whenever he attempts to describe a sustained sequence of actions.
Running Wild may be divided roughly into three parts: 1) the detailed, clinical description of the crime, consisting of many distinct murder scenes, 2) the enumeration and exploration of the many theories of motive, and 3) the reconstructed narrative of the moment of murder, consisting of dozens of small detailed action sequences. Unfortunately, given Ballard's strengths and weaknesses, this means that the first part of the book is chilling and expertly constructed, the second part—though not quite as good—is darkly and amusingly ironic, but the third--lacking both color and movement--is only fitfully effective. And any book which begins much better than it ends inevitably disappoints.
Still, this Thatcher era satire (“The Iron Lady,” unnamed, appears briefly in its postcript) speaks to our age of economic disparity, gated communities and helicopter parenting. Running Wild, like much of Ballard's science fiction, is prophetic.
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Read information about the authorJames Graham "J. G." Ballard (15 November 1930 – 19 April 2009) was an English novelist, short story writer, and essayist. Ballard came to be associated with the New Wave of science fiction early in his career with apocalyptic (or post-apocalyptic) novels such as The Drowned World (1962), The Burning World (1964), and The Crystal World (1966). In the late 1960s and early 1970s Ballard focused on an eclectic variety of short stories (or "condensed novels") such as The Atrocity Exhibition (1970), which drew closer comparison with the work of postmodernist writers such as William S. Burroughs. In 1973 the highly controversial novel Crash was published, a story about symphorophilia and car crash fetishism; the protagonist becomes sexually aroused by staging and participating in real car crashes. The story was later adapted into a film of the same name by David Cronenberg.
While many of Ballard's stories are thematically and narratively unusual, he is perhaps best known for his relatively conventional war novel, Empire of the Sun (1984), a semi-autobiographical account of a young boy's experiences in Shanghai during the Second Sino-Japanese War as it came to be occupied by the Japanese Imperial Army. Described as "The best British novel about the Second World War" by The Guardian, the story was adapted into a 1987 film by Steven Spielberg.
The literary distinctiveness of Ballard's work has given rise to the adjective "Ballardian", 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." The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography entry describes Ballard's work as being occupied with "eros, thanatos, mass media and emergent technologies".
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