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High Rise (Flamingo Modern Classic) Paperback – January 3, 1998
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Intrusion: A Novel
A loving couple, grieving the loss of their son, finds their marriage in free fall when a beautiful, long-lost acquaintance inserts herself into their lives. Learn More
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Top Customer Reviews
"High Rise" centers around four major characters: Dr. Robert Laing, an instructor at a local medical school, Richard Wilder, a television documentary producer, Anthony Royal, an architect, and the high rise building all three live in with 2,000 other people. Throughout the story, Ballard switches back and forth between these three people, recording their thoughts and actions as they live their lives in the new high-rise apartment building. Ballard made sure to pick three separate people living on different floors of the forty floor building: Laing lives on the twenty fifth floor, Wilder lives on the second floor, and Royal lives in a penthouse on the fortieth floor (befitting his status as the designer of the building). Where you live in this structure will soon take on an importance beyond life itself.
At the beginning of the story, most of the people living in the building get along quite well.Read more ›
Though I enjoyed the novel, I feel it goes on a bit farther than it should. Essentially, it is a take on the old 'worldship' stories, modified for an era that does not dream of the stars, all of which that I've read have been in a novella length, and well-served for it. While Ballard tries to fill every page with worthwhile words, one can almost see him straining to keep the work at novel length, rather than taking the pay cut that comes with short fiction. And, truly, a few repetitive scenes do little to distract from the overall story, and readers will get their money's worth with High-Rise.
WARNING: dog lovers, this novel contains several scenes, including one quite pivotal one, of violence towards dogs. As previously noted, the prose never becomes grotesque, but still be warned.
I hadn't read Ballard in years. I remembered loving Concrete Island and Crash. Running Wild, I did not like so much and High-Rise reminded me more of Running Wild. They're both stories where upper class Western humans are driven to extreme violence by their over-planned, over-coddling environments.
In both books we are expected to accept that these environments would cause this behavior, but without a lot of convincing proof. In High-Rise we must suspend disbelief that feuding neighbors would devolve into warring tribes. And, because the residents could leave the High-Rise at anytime, we must also suspend disbelief that they would choose this dangerous fight for survival over the comforts of their previous bourgeois lives.
For the first 50 pages or so Ballard mostly just alludes to events in the building that might cause this dystopian state. We have to guess at the specifics and I was left wondering if he was unable to come up with anything convincing and if this book was just a sketch of an idea, not yet filled in. Eventually he does deliver with specifics including disputes over the elevators and swimming pool and only then did the book pull me in.
High-Rise and Running Wild are both very short books and we don't have time to get to know the characters very deeply but that doesn't really matter because Ballard's fantasy is that everyone in these scenarios would react this way regardless of their particular emotional situations.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
So I decided to purchase this book because I saw Tom Hiddleston was in the movie coming out, if he was in it this book had to be good right? Ermm.... Read morePublished 13 days ago by Amazon Customer
Ballard pulls his punches and censors himself throughout. It's as though he wants to write horror, but just barely alludes to the very worst crimes the characters can inflict on... Read morePublished 16 days ago by IFK
It starts well enough and the writing is great.
The premise is also interesting and I think the story would have been perfect for a short story or an essay. Read more
The book is very well written and interesting and yet it didn't captivated me and I couldn't go past the first 50 pages. The book is perfectly fine just
not my cup of tea.
Sorry I wasted my time reading it but I am grateful I won't be watching the movie and wasting more money.Published 1 month ago by Cynthia M. Ahlstrom
Pretty dark even for Ballard. "Kingdom Come" on steroids. Loved it.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Great novel specially because it was written in the 70's, great futuristic viewPublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer