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High-Rise by J.G. Ballard

High-Rise (1975)

by J. G. Ballard

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,612536,535 (3.75)89
  1. 60
    Lord of the Flies by William Golding (bertilak)
    bertilak: Two books about 'civilized' people becoming tribal and violent. However, Ballard is a disinterested diagnostician and Golding is a moralist.
  2. 00
    Here (away from it all) by Polly Hope (SomeGuyInVirginia)
  3. 00
    Blindness by José Saramago (bertilak)
  4. 00
    Life at the Bottom : The Worldview that Makes the Underclass by Theodore Dalrymple (bertilak)

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» See also 89 mentions

English (49)  Italian (2)  Danish (1)  All languages (52)
Showing 1-5 of 49 (next | show all)
High-Rise opens with a man cooking his neighbor's dog over a fire on the balcony. The High Rise has gone feral.

This book has been called an allegory, prescient, visionary. Apparently, the frustrations of class division and the annoyances of malfunctioning utilities are the triggers for the breakdown of civilization. That is quite a stretch and I didn't buy it. But Ballard is great at description, and it is a lot of fun reading about the High Rise turning into a strange and savage place, populated by residents that are ruled by instinct and animal urges, no longer able to reason or interact with the outside world. ( )
  JanetNoRules | Sep 17, 2018 |

It’s a dystopian story of middle-class life in a tower block degenerating into a primitive society ruled by violence and caste division, with a small contribution from the media - or rather from the journalist who is one of the residents who shares the social degeneration. It is a bit Lord of the Flies for grownups - but at the same time, it is vivid and frightening; a direct riposte perhaps to the cosy catastrophes of John Wyndham, and surely inspiration for Judge Dredd who came shortly afterwards. Of course, this is partly a reimagining of Ballard’s experiences in WW2 prison camps, but it’s also interesting how much the building itself is a character in the book. I see that the film was mostly shot in good old Bangor, Co Down; I must give it a try. ( )
4 vote nwhyte | Sep 1, 2018 |
Decided not to finish the book after it became apparent that the unrelieved grimness was not only not going to improve but was going to steadily deteriorate. A bit dated, but that's not why I stopped. I just felt I'd already learned as much as I needed to about Ballard's views of the inherent beastliness of humans. ( )
  abycats | May 11, 2018 |
Creepy, intense, super great. I was getting pretty irritated by how passive and cowering all the female characters were until I got to the end. Viva la murder club! #MATRIARCHY. ( )
1 vote plumtingz | Dec 14, 2017 |
Disturbed by how much this reminded me of college dorms. ( )
  michaeljoyce | Dec 4, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 49 (next | show all)
The first sentence of J. G. Ballard’s High-Rise ranks, in my estimation, among the most striking ever written.

» Add other authors (16 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ballard, J. G.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Della Frattina, BeataTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hiddleston, TomNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Marsh, JamesCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ochagavia, CarlosCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thole, KarelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Later, as he sat on his balcony eating the dog, Dr. Robert Laing reflected on the unusual events that had taken place within this huge apartment building during the previous three months.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
When a class war erupts inside a luxurious apartment block, modern elevators become violent battlegrounds and cocktail parties degenerate into marauding attacks on "enemy" floors. In this visionary tale, human society slips into violent reverse as once-peaceful residents, driven by primal urges, re-create a world ruled by the laws of the jungle.
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From the author of 'Crash' and 'Cocaine Nights' comes an unnerving tale of life in a modern tower block running out of control. Within the concealing walls of an elegant forty-storey tower block, the affluent tenants are hell-bent on an orgy of destruction. Cocktail parties degenerate into marauding attacks on 'enemy' floors and the once-luxurious amenities become an arena for riots and technological mayhem. In this visionary tale of urban disillusionment society slips into a violent reverse as the isolated inhabitants of the high-rise, driven by primal urges, create a dystopian world ruled by the laws of the jungle. This edition contains a 2006 interview with the author, and a new introduction by Ned Beauman.… (more)

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