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Crash (1973)

by J. G. Ballard

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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3,292753,349 (3.48)151
In this hallucinatory novel, an automobile provides the hellish tableau in which Vaughan, a "TV scientist" turned "nightmare angel of the highways," experiments with erotic atrocities among auto crash victims, each more sinister than the last. James Ballard, his friend and fellow obsessive, tells the story of this twisted visionary as he careens rapidly toward his own demise in an internationally orchestrated car crash with Elizabeth Taylor. A classic work of cutting-edge fiction, "Crash" explores both the disturbing implications and horrific possibilities of contemporary society's increasing dependence on technology as intermediary in human relations.… (more)
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English (69)  Spanish (2)  Romanian (1)  Italian (1)  French (1)  All languages (74)
Showing 1-5 of 69 (next | show all)
Very odd story, worth reading. See also the movie made a few decades past (same title) ( )
  Lapsus16 | Jul 16, 2022 |
Boring!

Did you ever read a novel where you really did wish everyone would be hit by a truck at the end?

This book might just be the pinnacle of objectification, which I am sure is what Ballard wanted, but the tedious clinical detailing of the protagonist's perversions and anatomical and necrotic fantasies were just dull. Not shocking, not titillating, not interesting, not erotic, just dull, dull, dull.

Ballard can write a good SHORT story, and if Crash is any indication, that is where he should stay. ( )
  Gumbywan | Jun 24, 2022 |
Together we showed our wounds to each other, exposing the scars on our chests and hands to the beckoning injury sites on the interior of the car, to the pointed sills of the chromium ashtrays, to the lights of a distant intersection. In our wounds we celebrated the re-birth of the traffic-slain dead, the deaths and injuries of those we had seen dying by the roadside and the imaginary wounds and postures of the millions yet to die.

This book isn't for everyone. It's a story of the violent melding of technology and human sexuality, written with all of the eroticism of a technical manual. It's brutal and vulgar and hopeless, but for those willing to engage with it --and I fully understand why many would not want to--there is a fascinating examination of the relationship between humans and their creations. ( )
  amanda4242 | May 3, 2022 |
This & Ballard's "Atrocity Exhibition" were the peak of his psychopathology of urban living novels. When Cronenberg was making his movie version in Toronto in 1995, I had an acquaintance who was an actor auditioning for the main role ask the casting folks if an obscure composer (myself) wd be considered for the soundtrack. Nope, Howard Shore was always the man. I'd wanted to record samples of all machine noises & substitute them for &/or underlay them w/ all human sounds. Anyway, when the movie came out, I HATED it. For that matter, I hated his version of "[b:Naked Lunch|7437|Naked Lunch The Restored Text|William S. Burroughs|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1219259455s/7437.jpg|4055]" too (although I at least like the way he emphasizes the importance of Burroughs' utterly stupid shooting of his wife). I wonder: Wd I like it more now? Ballard's characters always struck me as lunatic fringe roughnecks & Cronenberg kindof turned them into soft-porn fashion models. Or so it seemed to me at the time. Now, though, it almost seems like C's take is even more critical than B's. As if his movie of "Crash" is like an anti-car ad. Something we cd certainly use. C's version is like a parody of a rich car dealer's sex fantasy. ( )
  tENTATIVELY | Apr 3, 2022 |
Much like the other Ballard texts I have read, I found Crash 'hyper-masculine' and too classically futurist in its disdain for women to enjoy. Ballard seems to me an 'ideas-writer' who creates very clever concepts which, for me personally, fail in execution.
  booms | Jan 24, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 69 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (49 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
J. G. Ballardprimary authorall editionscalculated
Foss, ChrisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Marsh, JamesCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moore, ChrisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Vaughan died yesterday in his last car-crash.
The marriage of reason and nightmare that has dominated the 20th century has given birth to an ever more ambiguous world. (Introduction)
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Together we showed our wounds to each other, exposing the scars on our chests and hands to the beckoning injury sites on the interior of the car, to the pointed sills of the chromium ashtrays, to the lights of a distant intersection. In our wounds we celebrated the re-birth of the traffic-slain dead, the deaths and injuries of those we had seen dying by the roadside and the imaginary wounds and postures of the millions yet to die.
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In this hallucinatory novel, an automobile provides the hellish tableau in which Vaughan, a "TV scientist" turned "nightmare angel of the highways," experiments with erotic atrocities among auto crash victims, each more sinister than the last. James Ballard, his friend and fellow obsessive, tells the story of this twisted visionary as he careens rapidly toward his own demise in an internationally orchestrated car crash with Elizabeth Taylor. A classic work of cutting-edge fiction, "Crash" explores both the disturbing implications and horrific possibilities of contemporary society's increasing dependence on technology as intermediary in human relations.

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