- Paperback: 208 pages
- Publisher: Liveright; 33510th edition (April 16, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780871404022
- ISBN-13: 978-0871404022
- ASIN: 0871404028
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 174 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #46,631 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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High-Rise: A Novel Paperback – April 16, 2012
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About the Author
J.G. Ballard was born in Shanghai in 1930 and lived in England from 1946 until his death in London in 2009. He is the author of nineteen novels, including Empire of the Sun, The Drought, and Crash, with many of them made into major films.
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There is so much substance packed into this 207-page book.
The entire story takes place inside a 40-story luxury high-rise that houses about 2,000 people – an ostensibly homogenous group of high-income individuals. But as tensions begin to arise between the wealthy dog owners on the top floors and the families on the bottom floors, the residents of the high-rise divide into three groups, driven by power and self-interest. The hostilities gradually increase as they assimilate into their self-imposed hierarchies within the building and devolve into chaos and anarchy.
Ballard cleverly positions the high-rise as both a literal structure and a social structure. But as the characters devolve into a Hobbesian state of nature, the most disturbing thing of all is that they admit to feeling happier. Finally able to exercise their most devious impulses, they slowly reveal more genuine versions of themselves.
Clearly lots of fascinating themes to unpack here – and no surprise coming from J.G. Ballard. Like a Lord of the Flies for adults, this was a dark and twisted read.