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Running Wild Paperback – April 30, 1999
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
The short work contains all those oh-so-Ballardian elements--the sense of alienation, the vacuousness of privilege, the obsession with transgression, the cracks in the surveillance society--but nothing is developed quite as brilliantly or as chillingly as in, say, High Rise or Cocaine Nights or Super Cannes.
Part of the book's weakness is that it's styled as a Procedural or a whodunnit but if you're even vaguely familiar with Ballard then just reading the blurb in the Amazon description will tell you all you need to know to clock the Amazing Twist before you ever read a sentence. This would be less of a problem had the implications and nuances been explored more spectacularly, or even more robustly. As it was, the book fell a little flat.
The narrator of the book (especially compared to Cocaine Nights and Super Cannes) is not particularly engaging or interesting. He's just a competent, reliable, camera-like narrator.
I think perhaps at the time it was written, just the nature of the crime itself might have unutterably shocking and scandalous. Unfortunately, reality has outpaced Ballard's own dark, dystopian imagination and I found myself thinking, "Okay, dude, but if the wickedest premise you can bring to the table is a massacre style killing of a gaggle of over-achievers who live in a gated community then you're really gonna have to bring your A game when you unpack it all in your narrative." And that's a pretty depressing comment on what it means to be a human being in the developed world in 2015, je suppose.
Readers who really like Ballard should like this book just fine--I mean, I did, even though this review is a little downbeat--but if you're looking for a book to start with I'd really recommend High Rise instead.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Pangbourne Village was an exclusive gated community for affluent families. It was thirty miles west of London. Ten families lived within its cloistered confines. Read morePublished on March 1, 2014 by R. M. Peterson
Some short novels beg to be fondled long after being read. This volume is just such a lush curio.
I also find this to be Ballard's most readable, or should I say... Read more
The only bad thing i can say about this book is that it is very obvious what the plot-twist is going to be - so obvious that it isn't even a real surprise, but this book is still a... Read morePublished on February 6, 2003
Quick. If you want a quick read for a rainy afternoon, this is it. Don't expect much. There are no surprises, there is little to look forward too. Read morePublished on October 4, 2002 by i-read
this was the most boring book i have read in quite some time. i read it in a total of about three hours, constantly looking for some sort of twist or something other than the... Read morePublished on September 16, 2002
This book was severely, severely disappointing and shouldn't ever be compared to the excellent work of Chuck Palahniuk. Read morePublished on August 6, 2002 by Nathan E. Duckworth
In 1988 this book on the ficticious pangbourne massacre was published. Since that time the columbine massacre and quite a few other massacres involving teens has occured and will... Read morePublished on January 20, 2002 by Haseeb
This was an interesting enough idea: rebellion from an obscenely contrived utopia. An editorial review described the story as being "glib." I agree. Read morePublished on October 9, 2001 by Oz du Soleil