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The Atrocity Exhibition by J. G. Ballard
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The Atrocity Exhibition (original 1970; edition 2001)

by J. G. Ballard

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1,226259,461 (3.66)42
Member:adamtyoung
Title:The Atrocity Exhibition
Authors:J. G. Ballard
Info:PerfectBound (2001), Edition: Adobe EBook Reader Ed, Unknown Binding
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
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The Atrocity Exhibition by J.G. Ballard (1970)

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Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
I read this book on a plane. I should have read it in a car. I should have read it when it came out in the late 60s (I realize it had quite an absurd publication history, and was published in the States in 71 (?)) However, it turns out history repeats itself, because a lot of what he is worried about still concerns us now: celebrities as a construct (Kim Kardashian), our creation of technology that can destroy us (cars and nuclear weapons), celebrity presidents (Reagan/Trump)... although we haven't had as many traumatic celebrity/presidential deaths in recent years (Princess Diana is the exception here). Ballard's wife's death looms large in this book. I was surprised to find out she died of pneumonia... not a car accident. What explains his bizarre obsession with sex and car accidents? I'll have to read his memoirs to find out I suppose.
I liked this book, but felt as though it was not as good as it could be. The first half has some good ideas and quotes, but doesn't hold together well. The second half felt much stronger. I actually feel like Ballard's annotations are oftentimes better than the text to which it is annotating. He has some beautiful and interesting insights. I feel like Crash is the realization of the potential that is displayed here. Great book (Crash). In that way, this book may be more for Ballard fans than for your typical reader. 3.5/5 ( )
  weberam2 | Nov 24, 2017 |
An impossible book to recommend, yet I'm sure I'll remember it (and on several levels, appreciate it) for a long time. Its vile imagery and opaque structure are made no easier to swallow by Ballard's farcical regurgitation of 60/70s pop culture. If you wish for a more disciplined Burroughs, this is for you. Otherwise, nod politely and move on. ( )
  mrgan | Oct 30, 2017 |
Quite odd, made only less so by the author's annotations. Ballard said in his preface that's the reader could start anywhere and pretty much read it in any order. He repeated many phrases throughout and liked to combine things like body parts and the word "geometry", helicopters and celebrities.

Weird book. Even though he interspersed his strange distractions with some really good (sentence length) compositions, I doubt I'll be reading any of his other stuff. ( )
  Razinha | May 23, 2017 |
While I'm always up for an experimental piece, this collection of short stories, pamphlets and perspectives collected into a 'novel' left me cold .Very much the prequel to 'Crash!', TAE is thought-provoking in form and style, but not for the content itself. The irony of this 1990 annotated version is that Ballard's addendum notes to each chapter are the richest, most insightful writing. ( )
  Parthurbook | Jun 24, 2015 |
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A disquieting feature of this annual exhibition - to which the patients themselves were not invited - was the marked preoccupation of the paintings with the theme of world cataclysm, as if these long-incarcerated patients had sensed some seismic upheaval within the minds of their doctors and nurses.
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The first US edition of this book was pulped in 1970 following legal advice. It was published in 1972 under the title Love and Napalm: Export USA
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0007116861, Paperback)

Easily one of the 20th century's most visionary writers, J. G. Ballard still lives far ahead of his time. Called his "prophetic masterpiece" by many, The Atrocity Exhibition practically lies outside of any literary tradition. Part science fiction, part eerie historical fiction, part pornography, its characters adhere to no rules of linearity or stability. This reissued edition features an introduction by William S. Burroughs, extensive text commentary by Ballard, and four additional stories. Of specific interest are the illustrations by underground cartoonist and professional medical illustrator Phoebe Gloeckner. Her ultrarealistic images of eroticism and destruction add an important dimension to Ballard's text.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:34 -0400)

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