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Crash - JG Ballard

 
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Crash - JG Ballard - 9/3/2008 7:08:04 PM   
Lydia_H


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Has anyone read this book before?

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RE: Crash - JG Ballard - 9/3/2008 7:50:07 PM   
Shaunette_ofthe_Dead


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From: Cardiff
Yes -- but I didn't even finish it, because it wasn't very good.
 
I found it trying too hard to be shocking; the graphic descriptions, the fetishistic focus on genitals and car parts and the combining of the two, the accidents...It just put me off. I wasn't up-in-arms disgusted by it, I just felt that it was attempting to shock and sicken the reader for no real purpose.
 
Pretty much every paragraph is descriptions of sexual organs, car crashes and machine parts, and because the English language only has so many words in this sort of area the descriptions end up extremely repetitive and very, very dull. Slogging through pointless chapter after pointless chapter of "penis, crotch, groin, semen, sweat, sex, dashboard, wing mirror, crotch, anus" just ground me down. Trying to read this work was a job of work -- and work that left me feeling a bit sullied, like I should wash my hands after reading it.
 
I didn't even bother finishing: we already know how it ends, after all, and it seemed pointless finding out how the plot drags itself to that point.
 
Along with Millennium People, this book proved that I don't enjoy J. G. Ballard as an author -- the exception that proves the rule is Empire of the Sun, which is an incredibly powerful and gripping novel, and puts this tripe to shame.

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RE: Crash - JG Ballard - 10/3/2008 4:13:19 AM   
Lydia_H


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It is irritatingly repetive at times but I admired Ballard's writing all the same. I found it depressing, I felt envious as I read it, envious of Vaughn and Ballard, knowing I could never be so devoted to a sexual fascination, that their pleasures would be completely unattainable for me. Fetishes are repetitive, hopelessly detailed and obssessive, so I can forgive Ballard for that. I probably won't read another of his books but he's an incredible writer, maybe ultimately Vaughn and Ballard are disgusting people but I so desperately wanted to be one of them, to experience something like that, but to know I couldn't is heartbreaking. Amazing book. Vaughn is one of the most fascinating characters. I can really appreciate the film more now too. 

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RE: Crash - JG Ballard - 10/3/2008 9:12:29 PM   
unhingedmoviepigeon


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Its a tough read but well worth it. Have to admit I saw the movie before reading the book and if nothing else find them both brave attempts at tapping into a nightmare world of sex and technology.
I agree JG Ballard isn't for everyone but I think he's an incredible author and very precise in what he wants to say.


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RE: Crash - JG Ballard - 10/3/2008 10:16:44 PM   
Shaunette_ofthe_Dead


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From: Cardiff
quote:

ORIGINAL: Lydia_H

It is irritatingly repetive at times but I admired Ballard's writing all the same. I found it depressing, I felt envious as I read it, envious of Vaughn and Ballard, knowing I could never be so devoted to a sexual fascination, that their pleasures would be completely unattainable for me. Fetishes are repetitive, hopelessly detailed and obssessive, so I can forgive Ballard for that. I probably won't read another of his books but he's an incredible writer, maybe ultimately Vaughn and Ballard are disgusting people but I so desperately wanted to be one of them, to experience something like that, but to know I couldn't is heartbreaking. Amazing book. Vaughn is one of the most fascinating characters. I can really appreciate the film more now too. 


*backs away slowly*
 
 

 
Nah, didn't get that feeling at all -- I didn't like them, didn't hate them, felt nothing but vague apathy and a slight sense of distaste while reading. Not my cup of tea, but not so shocking or groundbreaking that I felt it worth the trouble.

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RE: Crash - JG Ballard - 11/3/2008 1:34:17 AM   
Lydia_H


Posts: 3799
Joined: 26/11/2006
quote:

Its a tough read but well worth it. Have to admit I saw the movie before reading the book and if nothing else find them both brave attempts at tapping into a nightmare world of sex and technology.
I agree JG Ballard isn't for everyone but I think he's an incredible author and very precise in what he wants to say.


I was a huge fan of the film for years before I finally read the book It's a cozy relationship between them, the performances of Cronenberg's film are such perfect reflections of the characters. The only problem was I was stuck with an American aesthetic when the book is set in England, but that wasn't too big a problem.

quote:


 
Nah, didn't get that feeling at all -- I didn't like them, didn't hate them, felt nothing but vague apathy and a slight sense of distaste while reading. Not my cup of tea, but not so shocking or groundbreaking that I felt it worth the trouble.


Have you seen the film? What did you think of it? It's a shame you didn't finish the book. Although you know from the beginning how it will end, the last few chapters are so powerfully emotional. I think in the end the book and story have very pure intentions.






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RE: Crash - JG Ballard - 11/3/2008 9:11:59 PM   
Shaunette_ofthe_Dead


Posts: 4215
Joined: 7/2/2006
From: Cardiff
Tried watching the film -- also found that dull!  Even James *he will be mine* Spader wasn't enough to make me stick with it. I think it's just Ballard's style that I can't get to grips with; I don't enjoy his writing, and I don't find his characters or plots compelling enough to get over that.
 
Empire of the Sun is the exception-that-proves-the-rule for me; I adore it, it's in my top 10 greatest books of all time, but Crash and Millenium People just have me yawning.

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RE: Crash - JG Ballard - 12/3/2008 1:21:39 AM   
Lydia_H


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Never read Empire of the Sun, the film was ok. Was stunned to see Ballard wrote it though, wasn't much sophistication or class in that script, although maybe someone butchered his book for it. 

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RE: Crash - JG Ballard - 12/3/2008 8:32:15 AM   
hozay


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Joined: 13/10/2005
From: the long,dark teatime of the soul
I'm stunned to discover Ballard wrote Crash,I had no idea.I'll have to track it down because I really enjoy his writing.I haven't seen the film either.He wrote my two favourite compilations of short SF stories,The Disaster Area and Low Flying Craft.He uses some of the most vivid imagery I've ever read and his imagination is just amazes me.I've also read a pile of his other books and enjoyed all of them so I'm looking forward to reading this too.
So much to read,so little time.


< Message edited by hozay -- 12/3/2008 8:33:32 AM >

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RE: Crash - JG Ballard - 14/3/2008 2:01:52 AM   
Lydia_H


Posts: 3799
Joined: 26/11/2006
Wonderful imagery in Crash, I love the way he transforms the urban landscape into something living, something slimy and sordid  Now I've read the book I'm more impressed with Cronenberg's adaptation and the environment and atmosphere he created.

I'm amazed Ballard could write Empire of the Sun because he seems so caught up in the perversion of Crash. Course the main character is called Ballard, but as well it just seems he took an unhealthy pleasure in writing the story It's so gracefully written


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RE: Crash - JG Ballard - 28/3/2008 2:07:23 AM   
Mogwai


Posts: 671
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Northern Ireland
I enjoyed this novel. I always felt, or thought rather, that the repetition, the graphic descriptions are alluding to the slow, grey, mentally monotonous rhythms of the motorway. That there is no definition between the act of sex and the act of driving is the theme that the industrialisation of Britain has changed the sexuality of these characters, and that the entirely non-sexual car is needed in sex. Or something. The descriptions of the sex and car parts go hand-in-hand; both depicted in an entirely technical, cold way.

I think Ballard explains why he used his name in the introduction. I don't know though, haven't read it in yonks.

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