Author(s): Ballard J G
A chilling novel that pays twisted homage to Defoe's 'Robinson Crusoe'. Newly reissued with an introduction from Neil Gaiman. Robert Maitland, a 35 year-old architect, is driving home from his London offices when a blow-out sends his speeding Jaguar hurtling out of control. Smashing through a temporary barrier he finds himself, dazed and disorientated, on a traffic island below three converging motorways. But when he tries to climb the embankment or flag-down a passing car for help it proves impossible - and he finds himself imprisoned on the concrete island. Maitland must survive using only what he can find in his crashed car. As in all Ballard's best work 'Concrete Island' provides an unnerving study of our modern lives and world. With his alienating, 'Ballardian' view of normal events, this is a unique novel from one of the twentieth century's finest writers. This edition is part of a new commemorative series of Ballard's works, featuring introductions from a number of his admirers (including Zadie Smith, Adam Philips, Adam Thirlwell and Robert Macfarlane) and brand-new cover designs from the artist Stanley Donwood.
'This allegory of modern life is both compelling and profound.' Daily Telegraph 'Ballard's violent exact prose carries you along irresistibly. You believe him, you accept his vision, and it is a fearful one.' Sunday Telegraph 'Ballard writes with taut and precise economy, and the moral of his brilliantly original fable is plain: the interstices of our concrete jungle are filled with neglected people, and one day those people could be ourselves.' Sunday Times Praise for J G Ballard: 'A work of very powerful originality. Ballard is amongst our finest writers of fiction.' Anthony Burgess 'One of the few genuine surrealists this country has produced, the possessor of a terrifying and exhilarating imagination.' Guardian 'Ballard has issued a series of bulletins on the modern world of almost unerring prescience. Other writers describe; Ballard anticipates.' Will Self 'Britain's number one living novelist.' John Sutherland, Sunday Times
J.G. Ballard was born in 1930 in Shanghai, where his father was a businessman. After internment in a civilian prison camp, he and his family returned to England in 1946. He published his first novel, 'The Drowned World', in 1961. His 1984 bestseller 'Empire of the Sun' won the Guardian Fiction Prize and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. It was later filmed by Steven Spielberg. His most recent novel is 'Kingdom Come', published in 2006, his autobiogaphy 'Miracles of Life' was published in 2008 to much acclaim.