Friday, 10 April 2009
Rushing to Paradise
Review of Ballard novel from 1994 - picked up in second hand shop late last year. Not heard of it before - review probably explains why.
A difficult one. A sort of inbetweener for Ballard by his autobiographical work and his last 4 hyper-realist books set in the decaying modern world.
Of course brilliantly written and strong/memorable characters - also a good sense of location in the South Pacific. which at the time of writing in the mid 90s was the centre of dispute with Chirac resuming nuclear testing.
A project to supposedly liberate an island from the French Army and to allow the albatross to return collapses with hellish consequences.
I think it loses its way a bit with its discussion of women taking over society. Arguably sexist particularly with its portrayal of Dr Barbara. Notably in his later works his charismatic bad leading figures are all male. It also has a number of pretty disturbing scenes.
Not sure if it is meant to be an allegory but probably bites off more than he can chew which is quite surprising for JGB, on the whole misfiring