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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
1,387425,481 (3.77)69
  1. 50
    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 69 mentions

English (39)  Italian (2)  Danish (1)  All (42)
Showing 1-5 of 39 (next | show all)
Like many of JG Ballard's books this takes a group of people and watches the usual social norms between them break down. In this case set in a tower block. It's obviously a bit over the top and all escalates very quickly (literally the first sentence is a man on a balcony eating a dog), but has some great insights into human nature. It's pretty dark and violent and unpleasant, but also quite funny. When we discussed this at my book group we met at the Barbican and had a lot of fun discussing the parallels between the developments. ( )
  AlisonSakai | Oct 9, 2016 |
Ooof. Tense. And outright weird. But cool. V. cool. Narration by Mr. Hiddleston didn't hurt it none, either. ( )
  electrascaife | Oct 3, 2016 |
I know it's a book from 1975 but it's still like someone asked Bret Easton Ellis to write his version of the Lord of the Flies. Of course it's not a realist book, anyone can say thousands of things why it couldn't happen like that, but it doesn't matter. This is a great story about the isolation of a micro society and its sinking back to the Stone Age level, a great parabola about how fragile a society and the human psyche can be. A must! ( )
  TheCrow2 | Sep 17, 2016 |
Time seems to have taken its toll here. When this was written, high rise blocks had not yet fallen from grace as the new style in urban living. Within a short time they became a form of sentence for the poorer classes. A few years down the line and Ballard seemed to be a great prophet wit the state of the average block resembling what was left here. But the residents weren't the yuppies of the book but the hopelessly unemployable for whom prison wasn't really worse. High class apartment blocks didn't go that way and now, with the rearrangement of management fees and such, you couldn't seal a block like this.
On the other hand, thus still stands as the urban adult answer to "Lord of the flies". The absurdist touches of the business executive that comes home to the comfort of a stone age cave with all that comes with it have some echoes in a recent spate of reality shows and do say something about Ballard's sense of humour.
Not as important as it once was but still meaningful.
1 vote WAMccabe | Aug 30, 2016 |
A fable, and a fairly heavy-handed one at that. Deeply rooted in views on psychology and society of the 70s, so it hasn't aged all that well. Still a very interesting read, even if it does not quite live up to its reputation. ( )
  CharlesFerdinand | Aug 28, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 39 (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 (25 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
J. G. Ballardprimary authorall editionscalculated
Della Frattina, BeataTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Della Frattina, BeataTranslatorsecondary 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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