A Natural Curiosity :: Kingdom Come by J.G. Ballard
Saturday, March 02, 2013

Kingdom Come by J.G. Ballard

imageSomeone at Book Court in Brooklyn is obviously a fan of J.G. Ballard.

On my last visit there I saw several Ballard novels I’d never seen or heard of before, and was prompted to read the recently published dystopian story Kingdom Come.

On page 2, Ballard sets up the book with a flair and efficiency that convinces you immediately that the man knows what he’s doing.

Like many central Londoners, I felt vaguely uneasy whenever I left the inner city and approach the suburban outlands. But in fact I had spent my advertising career in an eager courtship of the suburbs. Far from the jittery, synapse-testing metropolis, the perimeter towns dozing against the protective shoulder of the M25 were virtually an invention of the advertising industry, or so account executives like myself liked to think. The suburbs, we would all believe to our last gasp, were defined by the products we sold them, by the brands and trademarks and logos that alone defined thier lives.

Yet somehow they resisted us, growing sleek and confident, the real centre of the nation, forever holding us at arm’s length. Gazing out at the placid sea of bricky gables, at the pleasant parks and school playgrounds, I felt a pang of resentment, the same pain I remembered when my wife kissed me fondly, waved a little shyly from the door of our Chelsea apartment, and walked out on me for good. Affection could reveal itself in the most heartless moments.

But I had a special reason for feeling uneasy—only a few weeks earlier, these amiable suburbs had sat up and snarled, then sprung forward to kill my father

Posted by geoff on 03/02 at 09:09 AM
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