On November 15th, @4thEstateBooks celebrated the birthday of one of their most influential authors, the late J.G. Ballard. For #BallardDay, J.B. talks about Ballard’s most famous title and why – as a born and bred dweller of the capital – it relates to her vision of London.
Reader: J.B., Female, 25, lives in London
Book: Concrete Island by J.G. Ballard
Photo sent from: London, United Kingdom
Why did you pick it; what’s this book about?
Can’t really call myself a Ballard fan – this was 100% a curiosity buy/London based dystopian craving.
It follows Robert Maitland (the type of man I imagine wouldn’t be out of place braying at a Mayfair members’ club), who is trapped on a traffic island off the M4 after surviving a car crash. Stripped of all the trappings of a cushy West London life, he’s confronted with the best and the worst of his personality and slips (wilfully) further away from society.
A reflection of the harshness of city life that, on some level, resonates with me… There’s also the slightly sadistic enjoyment of watching a person of immense privilege and questionable morals slip through the cracks.
Editor’s note: Don’t forget to head over to the @4thEstateBooks Twitter feed to see the various homages (including a Ballard Ballad) written for the author.