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High-Rise by J. G. Ballard
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High-Rise (1975)

by J. G. Ballard

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1,293356,060 (3.77)64
  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 64 mentions

English (32)  Italian (2)  Danish (1)  All languages (35)
Showing 1-5 of 32 (next | show all)
A lovely dystopia focussing on a well to do highrise community in Britain... how things fall apart, and what comes out the other side. Well written and prescient enough given that it was written in 1975. Faultlines run deep... ( )
  TomMcGreevy | Jun 26, 2016 |
Laing listened to her spirited description of the continuous breakdown of services within the building, the vandalizing of an elevator and the changing cubicles of the 10th-floor swimming-pool. She referred to the high-rise as if it were some kind of huge animate presence, brooding over them and keeping a magisterial eye on the events taking place. There was something in this feeling – the elevators pumping up and down the long shafts resembled pistons in the chamber of a heart. The residents moving along the corridors were the cells in a network of arteries, the lights in their apartments the neurones of a brain.

High-Rise has been on my Kindle for a while, so I decided to read it before the film came out. It starts with Laing barbecuing a dead dog on his balcony and saying that things in the block are finally getting back to normal, so it's immediately obvious that his view of things may be a little skewed! I enjoyed watching the way the social structure disintegrates, slowly at first then ever faster, but it's a satire rather than something that could ever really happen.

Now to see the film. ( )
1 vote isabelx | Mar 20, 2016 |
It was ok I guess. ( )
  ColinThompson | Oct 18, 2015 |
This is a re-read, prompted by having watched the 1987 Doctor Who TV story Paradise Towers, which was a (not very well realised) pastiche of Ballard's novel. It is as creepy a piece of dystopian fiction as I remember it, and undoubtedly one of Ballard's best, but the sheer lack of realism struck me even more forcibly than on the first reading. The high-rise may be a closed community psychologically, but the residents could physically remove themselves from the situation at any time. This is, however, not the main point of the novel, which, like most other Ballard novels, is to take an ordinary environment and have ordinary people living in that environment do extraordinary and increasingly bizarre things, following the course of their collective bizarre behaviour to its logical conclusion. This gives the novel, and most of his other works, a feeling of otherworldiness about them, which is simultaneously appealing and repelling (heightened in this case by my having a bad cold when reading this!). ( )
1 vote john257hopper | Sep 17, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 32 (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 editionsconfirmed
Della Frattina, BeataTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Della Frattina, BeataTranslatorsecondary 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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