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Crash: A Novel by J. G. Ballard

Crash: A Novel (original 1973; edition 2001)

by J. G. Ballard

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2,488522,453 (3.47)104
Title:Crash: A Novel
Authors:J. G. Ballard
Info:Picador (2001), Edition: 1st, Paperback, 224 pages
Collections:Your library, Read
Tags:postmodernism, fiction, 20th century british literature, contemporary fiction

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Crash by J. G. Ballard (1973)

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Showing 1-5 of 49 (next | show all)
terrible (0), it truly was terrible but I will give it 1 star as I think the author is a good writer, I wish this hadn’t been the first book I read by him.

REVIEW: To say I don't get it, really sums up my experience reading this...... Here is an example I don't get. "By terrifying paradox, a sexual act between us would be a way of taking her revenge", this is said about the wife of the man that he killed in an auto accident. And what is the sci fi part of this book. It is the excessive references to cars, roads, airplanes...to technology. It's excessive and oppressive. It makes it feel like an alien force. Here's another quote, "the day I left Ashford I had the extraordinary feeling that all these cars were gathering for some special reason I didn't understand."

This is a story of a dystopian world where man no longer has feelings or connections to people and is oppressed by technology. The characters in this book are not likable. They are consumed by sex. The scape of roads and freeways, airports and car parks and the various parts of the inside and outside of cars is what turns them on. The author called this a work of pornography and he was not kidding. The pages are filled with sexual references to parts of cars, sex parts such as penises and breasts, vaginas, urethras and body secretions such as sperm, mucus, blood, vomit. You really feel quite awful after reading this book. This is not gratuitous sex, this is icky sex. I could recommend this book to no one.

“The crash was the only real experience I’d been through”
"For a half an hour I sat by the window in her office, looking down at the hundreds of cars in the parking lot. Their roofs formed a lake of metal."
"Overhead, across the metallized air, a jet-liner screamed."
“The marriage of sex and technology reached its climax as the traffic divided at the airport overpass and we began to move forwards in the northbound lane.”

Flyovers, British word for American overpass. ( )
  Kristelh | Feb 6, 2015 |
I HATE THIS SO MUCH. It's profoundly repugnant. Annoys me particularly because the bits that don't turn my stomach are well-written, even ocassionally insightful. ( )
  Evalangui | Aug 22, 2014 |

Gosh. Difficult to know where to start or finish with this very disturbing book about a group of people who are brought together by their sexual interest in car crashes. It's very grittily and credibly set in West London; the car crash scenes are somewhat more erotic than the sex scenes, which are full of somewhat disgusting detail; and the whole is awfully well done, but I'm not sure I would want to read it again, or that I would necessarily recommend it to anyone else. ( )
  nwhyte | Jul 29, 2014 |
I read this after hearing The Normal's Warm Leatherette and learning about its inspiration. Surprisingly not as disturbing as I had imagined it would be. The first chapter is by far the "worst." I'm wondering if I'm just becoming desensitized to the world. I appreciate and relate to the feelings of isolation and technology and how it still translates to today, maybe even more so. ( )
  earthforms | Feb 2, 2014 |
“After being bombarded endlessly by road-safety propaganda it was almost a relief to find myself in an actual accident.”

Firstly I should admit that I don't actually drive a car instead preferring two wheels. Now I can imagine getting a sexual kick from having a throbbing Harley Davidson underneath me especially if I had some young leather clad vixen had her arms wrapped about my waist or perhaps heading off to secret assignation with said vixen but getting sexually aroused by cars and in particular car crashes just doesn't work for me. Cars are merely boxes on wheels and a means of getting from A to B dry. Now I do understand the facination we all probably have with accidents of whatever form and like probably everyone else have made an effort at sometime to see one or at least the aftermath of one but to have felt some sexual arousal by it, Nah! Just nosey.

Now whilst I appreciate that there are all sort of fetishes out there, the idea that there is a seemingly large group of people trawling aroung the outskirts actively seeking out and getting sexually aroused by car crashes seems a bit far fetched. I can also imagine that the motorcar in the book can be seen as a metaphor for all sorts of technology, the fact that numerous people,rather than random deviants, get sexually excited by inanimate objects also leaves me somewhat non-plussed.

On the whole I found the book just an excuse for the author to indulge in an excuse to write an openly pornographic novel which seems to thumb its nose to readers,critics and in particular academics alike. Why in particular acacdemics? Well, I can just imagine in years to come some long-winded, cordoroy wearing professor spouting out so much nonsense about this book ,that the car is really a phallic symbol,that the semen and vaginal deposits spread liberally about represents humanity in a battle against the rise of machines or some other such tosh.

I cannot say that I enjoyed this book but nor can I say that I hated it. I intrigued me enough to want to keep turning the pages until the very end and it gets marks for originality but it is not a book that I will revisit thats for sure. ( )
  PilgrimJess | Nov 27, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (15 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
J. G. Ballardprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Foss, ChrisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moore, ChrisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Vaughan died yesterday in his last car-crash.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0312420331, Paperback)

J. G. Ballard's graphic, violent novel is controversial wherever it is read, even on Amazon.com's own Web page! The book's characters are obsessed with automobile accidents and are determined to narrate the horrors of the car crash as luridly as possible. In the words of the novel's protagonist, the wounds caused by automobile collisions are "the keys to a new sexuality born from a perverse technology." Read this novel and learn why David Cronenberg, who had previously adapted Dead Ringers and Naked Lunch for the screen, fought to turn it into his latest film.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:11 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

The definitive cult, post-modern novel - a shocking blend of violence, transgression and eroticism.

(summary from another edition)

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