Crash

Crash

Book - 2001
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In this hallucinatory novel, an automobile provides the hellish tableau in which Vaughan, a "TV scientist" turned "nightmare angel of the highways," experiments with erotic atrocities among auto crash victims, each more sinister than the last. James Ballard, his friend and fellow obsessive, tells the story of this twisted visionary as he careens rapidly toward his own demise in an internationally orchestrated car crash with Elizabeth Taylor.

A classic work of cutting-edge fiction, Crash explores both the disturbing implications and horrific possibilities of contemporary society's increasing dependence on technology as intermediary in human relations.

Publisher: New York :, Picador,, [2001]
Edition: First Picador USA edition.
ISBN: 9780312420338
0312420331
Branch Call Number: FIC BALL
Characteristics: 223 pages ; 21 cm

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VonHafenstaaad
Mar 12, 2020

A fascinating and grotesque Jim Ballard novel--it delves deep into the sexualization of violence, and the machinations of masochism with tremendous skill. Ballard places himself in this dark panorama, where he meets Vaughn, a man who gets off on car crashes. It's not easy to make it through Ballard's excruciatingly detailed passages that chronicle the a litany of sexually infused car crashes, events where the human body is disassembled and forever destroyed. Ballard's difficult novel asks us to consider the ways in which modern technology is distorting our relationships and our bodies--it is a relentless parable about the dark recesses of the man-machine matrix.

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RoyalJellyIII
Mar 12, 2020

With 1973's CRASH, I believe Ballard began a track of social examination that leads from his science fiction work of the 1960s to his current speculative fiction novels. The interaction of man and technology is one of Ballard's favorite topics, and here we see the explorations of man and the automobile. With the birth of the freeway, Ballard somehow looks forward, correctly imagining the future role of the car as surrogate partner and habitat for humanity, laboratory of pathology. Vaughn and his black Lincoln are a rolling experiment, blurring the separation of driver and vehicle. Set in London, the story seems to be unconciously channeling the American/Californian car experience, where life is what you live in your car and your house is where you store your belongings. The victim of a car accident, the titular Ballard and his wife Catherine are drawn to Vaughn and his pursuit of the perfect car wreck, trying to expand and explore their own lives in the wake of their experiences following Ballard's crash. A unique psychological exploration.

edithwharton Dec 20, 2011

A masterpiece of the perverse. J.G. Ballard, as I have found out only recently, was a brilliant - though demented - author. With this novel he gets into the minds of some very bent characters who are sexually aroused by the carnage of automobile accidents. The depths he delves into these peoples minds is scary. The most deviant ideas are presented matter-of-factly in some of the most precise prose I have ever read. This book is highly recommended, though definitely not for everyone.

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kimwalz
Feb 04, 2014

kimwalz thinks this title is suitable for 17 years and over

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