Title :: Crash
Author :: J.G. Ballard
Completed :: Mar 27 2008
Challenges :: Decade : 1001 Books
Rating :: 2/5 extreme measure for an extreme situation...

Wow! Well I'm sure this is not a book I would have picked up on my own after reading the back cover. I only read it of course because it's on the 1001 List. As I think I mentioned in an earlier post it was a bit difficult to get through because it is pretty graphic and more than a bit pornographic. I don't think the pornographic bit would have bothered me much (not that I usually read that sort of thing mind you... although those Anita Blake novels tend to get a bit dirty...) but it was mixing it with the element of gruesome deaths and injuries that made it squemish. The element of someone getting off basically while imagining a car crash doesn't do it for me and frankly is a bit frightening. I will say though however, the writing is so graphic that it definitely achieves the picture it is trying to draw. Ballard definitely has a way with words and as this was my first Ballard novel I'm curious to see how his writing style would effect another book of a different nature, since there are a few of his works listed as 1001 contenders.

I thought I would share a bit from the author's note to hopefully give you a better idea of what the novel is about. Mind you the successful movie, Crash starring Brendan Fraser, Sandra Bullock and several other actors is not based on this book although there was a movie of the same title released some time in the 90s starring James Spader.

...I feel that the balance between fiction and reality has changed significantly in the past decades. Increasingly their roles are reversed. We live in a world ruled by fictions of every kind - mass-merchandizing, advertising, politics conducted as a branch of advertising, the pre-empting of any original response to experience by the television screen. We live inside an enormous novel. It is now less and less necessary for the writer to invent the fictional content of his novel. The fiction is already there. The writer's task is to invent the reality.

Throughout Crash I have used the car not only as a sexual image, but as a total metaphor for man's life in today's society. As such the novel has a political role quite apart from it sexual content, but I would still like to think that Crash is the first pornographic novel based on technology. In a sense, pornography is the most political form of fiction, dealing with how we use and exploit each other, in the most urgent and ruthless way.

Needless to say, the ultimate role of Crash is cautionary, a warning against that brutal, erotic and overlit realm that beckons more and more persuasively to us from the margins of the technological landscape.

Other Thoughts ::
: you're next - reviewed this book? Leave a comment with the link!

. listening . me, my yoke and i . damien rice . 9 .


posted by Ashleigh @ 22:07,


At 12 April 2008 at 02:57, Blogger Carl V. said...

Doesn't necessarily sound like a book I would pick up to read but man do I love the cover.


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    ashleigh (ash'lė) n.
    1: egyptologist; currently living in the uk attempting to obtain a phd in egyptology, hoping in the end there will be a job.
    2: literary; reading to escape reality, to improve conversation, for inspiration.
    3: crafter; crocheting and needlework, creating heirlooms, keeping the world warm.
    4: dreamer; head in the clouds, full of fantasies, wishing to be someone else, somewhere else.
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