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The Wind from Nowhere Mass Market Paperback – December 1, 1976

3.4 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books (December 9, 1976)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 014002591X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140025910
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1 x 5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,628,923 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on July 31, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is one of Ballard's earliest novels, and it shows. The plot and characters are flat: the world is swept by an unexplainable storm of winds increasing up to 550 miles an hour, leading to global devastation. Survival hinges on underground refuges. A thoughtfully ill-assorted group of characters, united by chance, find themselves dealing with a peculiar industrialist and his wind-resistant stronghold...or is it? Unlike many of Ballard's later novels with their hallucinogenically lovely or compelling landscapes, The Wind From Nowhere is universally dirty and claustrophobic, almost all of the action cramped in submarines, overcrowded warehouses, or the London underground. Many of the characters are two-dimensional standards of the concluding era of 1950's sci-fi--the lovely reporter, the military men, the university professor. At the same time, there are hints of the Ballard to come; moments of tense sexuality, of down-to-earth brutality, of striking images. Perhaps Ballard was destroying the standard 1950's sci-fi universe to make way for his Triassic jungles, surrealist beauties, sliding deserts and time-wracked astronauts? Anyway, if I was just starting with Ballard, I'd proceed straight to The Drowned World and his other short stories.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
It came from nowhere and had no cause that the scientists could put their finger on. It could have been unusual solar winds some researchers suggested, but really they were only guessing. It began as a stiff breeze, then increasing at a steady five miles an hour a day. It became a storm, then a hurricane, then a ground-stripping fury of titanic, unearthly proportions that threatened to wipe man off the planet. Traveling from East to West it circled the globe, strongest near the equator, weakest at the poles. It resembled those mighty gas flows that hurtle around Saturn. It threatened to completely alter the planet beyond recognition. Amid this natural fury Donald Maitland (doctor), Andrew Symington (radio expert), Steven Lanyon (submarine commander), Patricia Olsen (NBC reporter), Simon Marshall (TV expert) and Deborah Mason (secretary) will all increasingly struggle for survival as the storm grows. Their paths will cross and intermingle. Some will survive, but not all. What is to be the fate of these characters, and indeed of human kind?

This is J. G. Ballard's first novel and it is a fine effort, certainly worth reading. Many will remember this writer as the author of the memorable, social-realist novel Empire of the Sun, but Ballard began his career writing science-fiction short-stories for British magazines like <New Worlds>. Some indeed consider his best work to be the early sci-fi short stories. Knngsley Amis tipped Ballard as "the most imaginative of Wells's successors" and he indeed went on to write a number of memorable sci-fi novels, including
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read this novel when it first came out, loaned it to a friend and never saw it again. It's taken forty years of looking to finally find a copy that didn't look as if a small child had chewed on it for teething. The story always seemed to be an excellent idea for a movie! Thank you for the copy. It goes with my other J.G. Ballard books. If you didn't know, the movie "Empire of the Sun" was based on his childhood. He was taken prisoner by the Japanese when they invaded Singapore or Hong Kong. I forget which city. It was Christian Bale's first acting job!
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This is a pretty good book but has its flaws. I love survival books & this was one of the better ones, but not the best. Character development was adequate as was the pace of the story. I will try more of his stories in the future.
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