The Complete Stories of J.G. Ballard

by J. G. Ballard

Hardcover, 2009




New York : W.W. Norton & Co., 2009.


Collects all ninety-two of the late author's stories--including "Prima Belladonna," "Dead Time," and "The Index"--Which span five decades and explore everything from musical orchids to human cannibalism to the secret history of World War III.

User reviews

LibraryThing member Mijk
Librarything cannot seem to access to the well-known Complete collection of Ballard's short stories published in two chunky volumes in 2001 (Flamingo) and again 2011 (Fourth Estate). This man's writing shaped me and my generation inside our heads. These stories were our future and they are our present. Ballard's imagination is still prescient today. The plots and characters may be somewhat (!) underdone, but the writing is often superb. I often see the world in the terms Ballard uses, from the displaced, not-even-alienated standpoint he adopts. I return to these stories as I do to Chekhov's (though in a very different way), always finding something new .… (more)
LibraryThing member romanccm
sort of an awkward writer, but with ideas way ahead of his time.. which is roughly now
LibraryThing member clong
Ballard’s voice is unique and compelling. This massive volume offers story after story after story, most of them quite good and several of them astonishing. My favorites included “Prima Belladonna,” “The Watch-Towers,” “The Illuminated Man,” “The Day of Forever,” “Storm-Bird, Storm-Dreamer,” “The 60 Minute Zoom,” “The Smile,” and “The Ultimate City.”

These are stories of obsession and alienation, of humanity disoriented by a rapidly changing world. Many of them seem to tread the same conceptual ground over and over; many of them probe disturbed psychological ground in which time seems to slow or even stop. Many of them feature bloody ends to dysfunctional relationships. While many of them are set in a world changed by technology, very few of them feel anything like traditional science fiction.

Ballard’s settings are typically bizarre and often very dark. The early stories are occasionally quite funny, but the later stories are uniformly bleak. At times they are rather in your face. Everything about Jung that seems even remotely plausible turns up here again and again.

Good stuff.
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LibraryThing member moonimal
I'd never heard of Ballard when I read a review of this collection, so I approached this work as an introduction to him, which is precisely the wrong thing to do.

It is the 'complete' stories, after all, which means there are gems and clunkers in here. I started out with 'The Drowned Giant', a story about how people react to the discovery of a giant washed up on shore. The story was a weird little portrait of a strange world, though not heavy on the characters. Still, I liked it enough to want to read more.

But, what to read next?

I opted for some help from the web, and found the excellent 'The Best Short Stories of J. G. Ballard', and I'm working through that one from front to back.

If you're a Ballard fan, I'm sure this book is for you. If not, try the shorter collection, reviewed by me elsewhere on this site.
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LibraryThing member jkdavies
This is a huge collection of short stories; clocking in at over 1,100 pages. Most of them were written in the 1960's & 70's; and unfortunately it shows; there is a dated feel to many of them, fascinating as some of the dystopian visions are.
High points included rediscovering Chronopolis, a story read years ago about a world where clocks do not exist (I use world advisedly - many of the stories take place in city-worlds, abandoned city-worlds, liminal zones); also the Vermillion Beach stories.

I've not really got into the habit of picking a book up and putting it down without having read the whole of it; and this is certainly too big and too concentrated a collection to read that way. Interesting, good in parts, in others a little same-y.
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