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Concrete Island by J. G. Ballard

Concrete Island (1974)

by J. G. Ballard

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9971813,716 (3.7)24
On a day in April, just after three o'clock in the afternoon, Robert Maitland's car crashes over the concrete parapet of a high-speed highway onto the island below, where he is injured and, finally, trapped. What begins as an almost ludicrous predicament soon turns into horror as Maitland-a wickedly modern Robinson Crusoe-realizes that, despite evidence of other inhabitants, this doomed terrain has become a mirror of his own mind. Seeking the dark outer rim of the everyday, Ballard weaves private catastrophe into an intensely specular allegory.… (more)

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» See also 24 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
This is a well told story based on an interesting idea. While the first part of the story had a very good flow, the second part seemed to be a bit forced. It was as if the behavior of the characters was a bit over the top. ( )
  grandpahobo | Sep 26, 2019 |
A haunting tale, throbbing in its urban insecurity, matters of quotidian angst reach crisis. Each daytrader becomes a Crusoe. It is imperative that the reader control its breathing. Once the cast expanded, about half way through, the tension dropped considerably and a different game was unleashed, different and not near as compelling. This becomes a dialogue about conformity, productivity. Matters become controlled when steered by a bank account. I still enjoyed Concrete Island immensely. ( )
1 vote jonfaith | Feb 22, 2019 |
No se si realmente es ciencia ficción, sin embargo es una excelente novela, con personajes hermosamente perturbados. ( )
1 vote maxtrek | Jan 30, 2019 |
Another Robinsonade ... ( )
  AlanPoulter | Jun 18, 2017 |
I completed a story recently in which a man gets on an airplane and lots of bad stuff happens. The plan for the story going in was that almost all the activity would take place on the plane; yet, I had so much fun writing it, I thought about turning it into a novel. But how do you turn a four and a half-hour plane flight into a novel, while keeping all the activity on the plane?

While pondering that, I flashed back to Stephen King's Gerald's Game, which I read years ago and don't remember much about, but do recall it took place almost entirely with a woman handcuffed to a bed. While writing my airplane story, I remembered Gerald's Game and thought, HOW DID HE MAKE THAT NOVEL LENGTH?

At any rate, try as I might, my airplane story clocked in at about 14,000 words. I could make it no longer. Which brings me to J.G. Ballard's Concrete Island.

The action in Concrete Island begins almost immediately, when a man has a car accident on a busy highway and his car slides down a steep incline into a deep culvert created by the intersections of lots of busy highways. Nobody sees him go in.

The edge of the culvert high above is surrounded by bushes and shrubs. The man below can hear cars wooshing by, but his shouts and screams go unheard. The inclines are such that he can't climb his way out. Thus begins the tale of a modern-day Robinson Crusoe, trapped on a desert island in the middle of civilization, who must learn to fend for himself for the days, weeks, or months it might take for him to be rescued . . . that is, if he's ever found at all.

I admit it's been a long time since I read this one, but I do remember it being hellishly entertaining, and I remember thinking what a simple idea to turn into a long and interesting novel. Maybe someday, I'll be able to do that.

Not yet. ( )
3 vote BrendanPMyers | Jun 23, 2014 |
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