Monday, April 20, 2009

Tribute to J.G.Ballard

I first discovered J.G.Ballard when I bought a battered second-hand copy of Hi-Rise from a bookshop many years ago. The book was unlike anything I had ever read, the understandable immortailty of the characters was a shock to the system, cognitive dissonance from the written page, this was new and exciting! This lead to me reading many other Ballard books over the years, the highlight probably being Crash, which I still don’t understand but enjoy unlocking the puzzle a little bit more everytime I read it. Just reading about the people that he influenced has been an additional bonus to me, this has opened opened new worlds of art, books and music. The Ballard community is a wonderful framework of sanity to ground myself against in an increasingly crazy world, one that he predicted through his books. Everytime I’m affronted by celebrity “news”, survellience and new consumer fetish cults I have a group of people to turn to who are equally bemused and angry. To new readers if you asked me what book to read first, I would say his autobiography, Miracles of Life (2008). From this gripping, warm and honest book you will get a true measure of the man that was J.G.Ballard.