Editor: Jeanette Baxter
One virtue of this edited collection of essays on J. G. Ballard is the interview with the author. Another is Toby Litt’s Afterword. His claim that Ballard is not a writer but a builder of tunnels must be something of an embarrassment to the other contributors who clearly do not share Litt’s opinion. There are substantial and scholarly essays on the influence of surrealism on Ballard, his relation to Baudrillard, his cinematic imagination, the representations of London and other landscapes and the role of violence in his work. A timeline of Ballard’s life and an extensive bibliography complete this stimulating volume.
Who is it for? Cerebral undergraduates and postgraduates studying contemporary fiction.
Presentation Few of the essays are easy to read but most repay the effort. Students will find the summaries at the beginning of each chapter a big help.
Would you recommend it? As an introduction to the range and complexity of Ballard’s work, yes.