#BallardDay #myfriendsarereading … Concrete Island

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
Citizenship/nationality: British-Ghanean
BookConcrete 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. 

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