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Millennium People: A Novel Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
This is not to say that "Millennium People" is not literary or poetic; indeed, this book is at once less vulgar than many of his early novels, and more eloquent, with few digressions and superb attention to detail, especially with regard to his characters' psychological eccentricities and nuances. Still, this book's greatest appeal lies in its cultural, psychological, and philosophical insights. For example...
On Travel: "All these trips? Let's face it, they're just a delusion. Air travel, the whole Heathrow thing, it's a collective flight from reality. People walk up to the check-ins and for once in their lives they know where they're going. Poor sods, it's printed on their tickets."
On Hollywood: "Hollywood flicks are fun, if your idea of a good time is a humburger and a milk shake. America invented the movies so it would never need to grow up. We [Brits] have angst, depression and middle-aged regret. They have Hollywood.Read more ›
Moving away from his familiar theme of how the jaded West has to keep ratcheting up how it gets his kicks, he deals with senseless terrorism. Prescient, especially in light of the March 2004 attack on a hotel in Baghdad, which set a new low in terrorism in that it didn't seem to have any victims targeted. That is, Iraqis and Arabs were killed. Its aim seemed simply to create chaos like in Millennium People. While the plot is not Ballard's best, he still imbues his characters with these drop-dead little quirks that illuminates them in one line of text.
Millennium People does little to discredit him in this reviewer's eyes as the leading serious novelist in the English language. A must read for followers, and not a bad start for those new to Ballard.
Psychologist David Markham finds out that his ex-wife, Laura, is killed by a bomb in Heathrow Airport. It is also discovered that it's not done by a terrorist group, but by a possible Bourgeois cell living in London. Who are these people, and what do they want? Markham tracks down clues that leads him to a group of people living in a complex called The Estate of Chelsea Marina. He infiltrates the group and meets a cell leader, a female bomber, a priest and his girlfriend. These people are tired of being the backbone of society. They revolt by giving up their Volvos, smoke bomb travel agencies and museums, refuse to pay the mortgage, and leave their responsible jobs.
Eventually, Markham meets the leader of the revolt, Dr. Richard Gould, who persuades David Markham to join the group. This part I found hard to believe, since the change from protagonist to antagonist is accomplished in a matter of a few pages. Here is a man looking for his ex-wife's killer, now willing to participate in wanton mayhem! The ensuing disturbances are sometimes light weight, other times jumbled. The conclusion of this book is somewhat muddled and leaves a taste of incongruity in your mouth.
I know that J.G.Read more ›
Over the Golden Mountain." Edgar Lee Masters
"Millennium People" has an interesting story line. Set in the UK shortly after the Millennium, psychologist David Markham is mourning the murder of his ex-wife. She was the victim of a terrorist bombing at Heathrow Airport. Determined to get to the bottom of the matter he begins his own personal investigation. He quickly finds himself thrown into a strange world: a world filled not with foreign interlopers from abroad or proletarian rebels but, rather, one filled with disaffected tea-sipping, Volvo-driving, over-extended mortgage holding members of the British middle classes. For reasons explained in the book they are just fed up, prisoners of their own success apparently. And, contrary to what one would expect of a stereotypical British member of the bourgeoisie, they seem easily led to increasingly violent acts. Finally, Markham meets the `hidden hand' behind the angst and from there the story comes to a rather dramatic conclusion.
By the time I was one-third of the way through J.G. Ballard's "Millennium People" I was reminded of Lindsay Anderson's 1968 movie If... (The Criterion Collection) in which a young Malcolm MacDowell play a privileged teen who, chafing at the oppression of an old, elite English boarding school, leads a group of children of the middle and upper classes on a violent revolt. Millennium People struck me a story of what those teens might get up to if they had decided to rebel against their stolid, middle class, middle-age surroundings.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Violence, boredom, suburban angst, existential anxiety. These is the bread and butter of Ballard's late novels. Read morePublished 2 months ago by TheHappyGentleman
As excellent and prophetic as his other work. As relevant now as ever.Published 4 months ago by John Furgason
It started off very slow, and continued very slow, and then.. Ended showing the how pointless the book wasPublished 8 months ago by Dexter Gaspard
"Millennium People" pales in comparison to "Empire of the Sun" and "Crash." In addition, the book's characters and premise are not believable and the ending is incongruousPublished on June 29, 2012 by bonnie_blu
Existence may be inexplicable. Consciousness is an inexplicable miracle. Time is our enemy because we will inevitably lose our consciousness. Read morePublished on November 30, 2011 by Original fan
This is a disturbing book, narrating the emergence of high middle class pointless terrorism, as a way to fulfill the emptiness and lack of meaning in contemporary consumerism. Read morePublished on November 30, 2011 by Newton Rocha
I won this book in goodreads.com First Reads giveaways. This was a very interesting book to me. It accurately depicts what COULD happen in any culture if you push people far... Read morePublished on September 27, 2011 by The Cover (And Everything in Between)
i'm sure i'm going to get some crap for this, but i've only read 52% of it, and i give up. i may end up finishing it out of sheer boredom; it is on my kindle, and frankly, it... Read morePublished on August 17, 2011 by s.miles
the late J.G. Ballard is a sort of Don Delillo of Britain. A cultural anthropologist he expertly connects up the loose wires that lie beneath our troubled modern psyches. Read morePublished on June 15, 2009 by Sirin
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