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High-Rise by J. G. Ballard

High-Rise (1975)

by J. G. Ballard

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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1,250356,338 (3.77)61
  1. 40
    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 61 mentions

English (31)  Italian (2)  Danish (1)  All languages (34)
Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
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 |
I read the paperback version a few months before this came out which worked out for me because I tend to get distracted at times listening to audio books (I'm a visual reader). Story wise, this makes me think of Lord of the Flies. Swap out the clan of boys and the island for partying adults and the building it's extremely similar- in a good way. (I liked Lord of the Flies.)

Anyway, I also happen to be a fan of Tom Hiddleston's performances and in this case it paired off really well. The British gentleman quality to his voice for the narration fits great for this story since the story is about civilized people who fall into a tribal type mentality. I found myself giggling at times when he would switch to a higher tone to portray any of the women in the story (mainly anytime he portrayed Ann Royal) and thinking what a great Jeremy Irons impersonation he has to portray Anthony Royal. Overall, it painted a vivid picture and was almost like watching a movie unfold in my head. (speaking of, can't wait for the movie to come out later this year!)

I do like this audio version than the previous one. I listened to a few minutes of the earlier version and it just didn't have the same entertainment value to me. the other narrator had a deeper tone that left the words feeling almost gritty. ( )
  jovemako | Jun 10, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 31 (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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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