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High-Rise by J. G. Ballard

High-Rise (1975)

by J. G. Ballard

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1,121307,344 (3.79)51
  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
    Blindness (Harvest Book) by José Saramago (bertilak)
  3. 00
    Life at the Bottom : The Worldview that Makes the Underclass by Theodore Dalrymple (bertilak)

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» See also 51 mentions

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Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
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 |
a good read. I kind of compare it to a Lord of the Flies type story. so if you like that sort of thing, I definitely recommend this one. (note: it's also being produced as a UK film that's being released in 2015. it should be a good movie if they stuck to the text.) ( )
  jovemako | Dec 29, 2014 |
In a city block sized high-rise, residents of 40 floors have access to everything they would need in this mini-city within walls. A bank, a grocery store, a junior school and a restaurant. Although the residents tolerate each other, tensions build as mechanical breakdowns start the eventual downfall of the hierarchical society and mass chaos ensues as tenants form packs and their primal instincts kick in for self-preservation.

Read more at: (http://thenovelworld.com/2014/10/16/book-review-high-rise-by-jg-ballard/) ( )
  TheNovelWorld | Oct 18, 2014 |
Some bit of my brain thinks it’s worthy to read books that you don’t enjoy. I mean, if all you read is page turning YA are you really stretching your brain, or getting other perspectives? And I think you can learn a lot by going back to sci fi that was written a few years ago, to see how things have changed.

But what does that say about this book (other than ‘I didn’t really enjoy it’)? Well, I think it’s helped me to pinpoint what I like about dystopias – I like the glimmer of humanity that keeps going, that grows like grass through concrete. I like the fact that people hope, and cope, no matter how much life throws at them.

This book, on the other hand, doesn’t really believe in people. I found out afterwards that the author had spent a chunk of his childhood in a Japanese war camp, which you could use as a trite explanation for why he writes such bleak novels. There isn’t a character in the story that felt more than a superficial pensketch, forced to move through set pieces. The whole book is soaked in a kind of fatalism, ‘he Knows that he must climb the High Rise’ which is quite powerful in a big picture way, but left me as a reader thinking ‘why?’ quite a lot. I mean, the ‘why’ is ‘because social norms are a veneer and as soon as things flicker and crack we all revert to fighting and sex and torture’, which is the story the author clearly wants to tell, but at the level of the individual things never quite held true. And don't get me started on ranting about the portrayal of women in this book.

Still, if you want a bleak dystopia threaded with themes of class and the isolation of modern life with no sympathetic characters and just a slow descent into misery this might be for you. ( )
1 vote atreic | Aug 8, 2014 |
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» 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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