Nobody in the small M25 town of Brooklands seems to be playing straight with him. A clutch of local luminaries - solicitor, headmaster, psychiatrist - all say they saw the alleged killer at one of the entrances, nowhere near the fatal mezzanine, until it starts to feel like a miniature JFK cover-up. Then there's the mystery of why the giant Brooklands Metro-Centre seems to be turning the cultureless local population into sport-loving thugs in St George's cross shirts who attack Asian businesses.
Ballard's central idea is that consumerism slides into fascism when politics simply gives the punters what they want, becoming a matter of consumer-style choices, choosing not to have a mosque next door, for example. Along the way, there's an almost satirical indictment of contemporary life, or what would be an indictment in a writer with less futuristic sympathies than Ballard. I liked it and felt a certain pride that I had helped to set its values. If the mall is evil, its nostalgic opponents - a secretive cabal of locals, one of whom bombs Pearson's car - are little better.
Their leading light is a fascistic reactionary of the 'kingdom of Surrey' variety. Pearson himself, although relieved to find his father isn't the Nazi sympathiser he seemed, puts his talents behind an actor turned politician to whip up the new mall fascism, regretting the racist attacks but loving it all as an exercise in PR and marketing. The book is mired in ambivalence and the only things it takes a clear line against are racism and sport. Sport is 'the big giveaway' of dangerous boredom: If they still need to let off steam, burn down a few newsagents.
Ballard's characters are prone to improbable speechifying: Ballard holds up a mirror to suburban mind rot, revealing the darker forces at work beneath the gloss of consumerism and flag-waving patriotism. Paperback , pages. Published February 4th by Liveright first published To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
To ask other readers questions about Kingdom Come , please sign up. Lists with This Book. Mar 25, Fabian rated it liked it. Ballard's last novel proves to be It has all the Ballard tropes we've come to expect oracular prognostications of the near future, human versus nature versus human melees, oversimplified speech and wacky, token weirdos in secondary roles , but this time their arrangement seems to be glossed over completely, humanity's de-evolution favored and only favored by anarchy In Ballard, the best use of architectural terror occurs in "High-Rise"; ironically, the best love stories J.
It has all the Ballard tropes we've come to expect oracular prognostications of the near future, human versus nature versus human melees, oversimplified speech and wacky, token weirdos in secondary roles , but this time their arrangement seems to be glossed over completely, humanity's de-evolution favored and only favored by anarchy In Ballard, the best use of architectural terror occurs in "High-Rise"; ironically, the best love stories occur in "Crash"; and the best use of violence intermingling with beauty can be witnessed in "Empire of the Sun.
Not his best by half, it seems at times as complex though not as entertaining as the "Planet-errrium" episode in South Park. Last night I stayed up late well, for me and finished Kingdom Come 's last pages. I don't normally stay up late, but I did last night because: So, while reading the novel's last pages by the light of Nook screen, I decided that I like but don't love this book. Kingdom Come focuses on the transformation of a depressing lower-middle class airport suburb's into a bonkers, riotous state via the raw emptiness an Last night I stayed up late well, for me and finished Kingdom Come 's last pages.
Kingdom Come focuses on the transformation of a depressing lower-middle class airport suburb's into a bonkers, riotous state via the raw emptiness and unconscious madness of endless consumerism.
Kingdom Come: The Final Victory
One can assume that Ballard did not see hanging on in quiet desperation as the English way; he'd more likely characterize the English way as torched shopping malls, jackbooted football supporters, and the shattered windows of vandalized minority-owned stores. Kingdom Come revolves around a Londoner's attempts to uncover the details of his father's death in an pparently random mass shooting at the Brooklands Metro-Centre, the imposing, cathedral-like retail mecca that forms the novel's geographical and metaphorical core.
Most of the characters' dialogue rings hollow, however, more like setpieces where people talk through the novel's themes without having much of what could be called realistic conversation. The murder plot functions as a vehicle for Ballard to indict and highlight the dark life inherent in industrial suburbs. Kingdom Come is strongest when bathed in details of decay and breakdown. The overarching storyline didn't do much for me.
Kingdom Come would make an excellent, expensive film. And I'll continue to read Ballard. This was his final novel, from what I understand, and crackles here and there with strange fire.
Kingdom Come: The Final Victory (Left Behind, #13) by Tim LaHaye
Good but a football field or so away from great. View all 7 comments. If you've never read him before make sure you pick up one of his books this week so that you can get a taste of one of those rare, truly unique artists. For the first time in a long time, I am completely baffled by a book.
The fourth and last installment of JG Ballard's psychopathology cycle, Kingdom Come , has left me full of questions and my mind racing for answers. Straight away I wonder what Ballard is saying about psychopathy?
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Is it the root of human greatness, or We lost J. Is it the root of human greatness, or is it the stain of human malevolence? Is psychopathy what makes certain people brilliant and action oriented? And if so how can that be a bad thing? Certainly the psychopaths in Kingdom Come are drawn together, which mitigates the seeming unlikelihood of so many people thinking similar things about the world in one place not so unlikely. Paticualrlary when those people share many of the same ideas but no one agrees with any other.
This eventually leads to their downfall, but is that downfall a cautionary tale for Ballard or simply the logical end to their story with a wish that it could be otherwise? And what about fascism? Is Ballard suggesting that fascism is the end "ism" of humanity, or simply the inescapable "ism" that all roads lead to. He sees it as a psychopathic "ism," that much is clear, but is he saying it is necessarily a bad thing?
At times he almost seems to be suggesting that a "soft fascism" would be a good thing, or is a good thing. In fact, Ballard seems to be suggesting that we are already deep into a fascism that we simply can't see for being in it. Then there is consumerism, an "ism" bound tight to Ballard's soft fascism. Is consumerism a good thing? Is it necessarily bad?
Does it replace our gods? Is that how our religions are making a comeback, by turning their religions into something that can be consumed like any other commodity. Is that the true method of today's politics. Does consumerism define everything we are today? If it does is there any escape? And do we even want to escape? Ballard seems to be saying that violence is the only place where humans truly excel, and a necessary part of what makes us human. It also seems to be the key to the full exploration of our senses.
So what is Ballard's position on all this? There is a lot of forgiveness for violence in Kingdom Come, an unreal forgiveness, but is Ballard suggesting the key to using violence and allowing it? Or is he condemning violence and showing that forgiveness is a potential path for overcoming violence? There is a brief interview with Ballard at the back of my edition of Kingdom Come that does nothing to clear up these questions, and that's a good thing. I don't want these questions cleared up. I don't want to be fed with an i.
I want to remain frustrated and wondering, and I imagine Ballard wants that too. I am considering using this in class soon, but I know it will meet with great resistance from my students. Most students prefer the answers to be clear. No matter how much healthy debate is raised by this book, and it would conjure a semesters worth of debate, most students would rather not take the trouble. Indeed, I expect very few students to finish reading the book at all. But I may still use it anyway.
It's always worth a try. View all 6 comments. Familias felices paseando con bolsas de grandes almacenes en la mano. Grupos de amigos uniformados con la camiseta de su equipo, celebrando por la calle un nuevo triunfo.
- Observer review: Kingdom Come by JG Ballard | Books | The Guardian!
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Columnas de humo sobre el barrio inmigrante Dec 02, Mattia Ravasi rated it really liked it. That said, the story is interesting and thrilling and suites the treaty quite well, and for a book so sure that human beings all suck, it's not too terribly bleak. You might need to be 10 in my Top 20 Books I Read in An interesting and unsettling piece of brain candy and a thrilling novel too. Not the most believable dystopia around, but no dystopia looks believable until it happens. My car had problems, so I took the bus.
The nearest stop to my destination was at a large shopping mall. I took this book with me, so I found myself sitting in a mall, reading a high moral tale about the insanity and inanity of the group mind that develops among those who pledge allegiance to a shopping center. Oh, I love this book. It is filled with fine writing, and explosive ideas. I am convinced that if Ballard were alive now, he would take great delight in the Occupy movement and other resi My car had problems, so I took the bus.
I am convinced that if Ballard were alive now, he would take great delight in the Occupy movement and other resistance groups. In these pages, he takes on middle class British values, and smashes the idol of consumerism, which many worship. The plot is straightforward, but it is so exuberant and extravagant in the telling, that the reader immediately becomes immersed in the world of the Brooklands Metro Center. The main gist of the story is this: When the man goes to Brooklands to clear out his father's flat, he discovers that more has been going on there than a single act of random violence.
When he stays in town to try to uncover what happened to his father, chaos ensues. Along with attacking consumerism, Ballard also hunts down racism with a vengeance, pursuing the dire situation in which the Pakistani community finds itself when confronted by roving gangs of football supporters who would have been right at home in Hitler's eisenstadt gruppen.
When the footballers move from attacking minorities to attacking people in upper class neighborhoods, class warfare enters the picture as well. It took a visit to Shanghai for me to get around to reading Ballard. Now that I have begun, I am a committed Ballardian. For some reason I had always held off on later Ballard, but this premise was just too great to ignore. A shopping mall that breeds off of fascism.
It's a pretty excellent story, told in a familiar detective style way that Ballard is famous for. Coming off of the uneven "Concrete Island", "Kingdom Come" is way more taught, the characters had more direction and definition and the protagonist shifts towards a collaborator.
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In that way it reminds me of "Supper Cannes", anyway if you've put it off li For some reason I had always held off on later Ballard, but this premise was just too great to ignore. In that way it reminds me of "Supper Cannes", anyway if you've put it off like I did, don't. It has these incredibly prescient moments that really resonate dealing with the nexus of violence, mob mentality, racism, and consumerism that even though it is explicitly about England it feels like it could be the come down of a Trump rally.
Oct 20, R.
This book was supposed to be a dystopian novel about sports hooliganism turning into the militant branch of "soft fascism" through the subtle prodding of an ad agency and a charismatic closed-circuit shopping channel spokesman; I think we can drop the "dystopian" label it smacks of fantasy; the tarnished raygun shooting a warning shot into the toxifying atmosphere - Ballard has extrapolated so keenly, that the whole text seems to be an eventuality, not the see-saw "soft maybe" of prophecy.
Som This book was supposed to be a dystopian novel about sports hooliganism turning into the militant branch of "soft fascism" through the subtle prodding of an ad agency and a charismatic closed-circuit shopping channel spokesman; I think we can drop the "dystopian" label it smacks of fantasy; the tarnished raygun shooting a warning shot into the toxifying atmosphere - Ballard has extrapolated so keenly, that the whole text seems to be an eventuality, not the see-saw "soft maybe" of prophecy.
Somebody once wrote that the best sci-fi is set five minutes into the future, Kingdom Come takes place about thirty seconds into the future with touches of deja vu from one minute earlier. When one of your characters is named Tom Carradine and another is named David Cruise, well, you're just asking for trouble. Luckily, "David Carradine" a. Though, Tom Cruise would be an excellent choice to play washed-up actor turned transgressive media icon David Cruise.
Because, you know, Hollywood is just buying up all the Ballard novels for the Silver Screen Treatment. But, seriously, Christian Bale is the right age now to reprise his Empire of the Sun role in an adaptation of Kindness of Women. Where have I heard that before? Some of the chapter titles are classic Ballard: Now, I want to soapbox here. This book has the same title as one of those "Christian fiction" Left Behind books.
About the Left Behind series: Because the Bible their "source" tells me so. Right in The Revelation. In The Revelation For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book.
And what do the Left Behind books do? Add unto the prophecies of The Revelation. I don't rejoice in the fall of my fellow humans, but I will point out that they're falling. View all 15 comments. The plot is really good but unfortunately it is very repetitive It's pretty much about a shopping complex built off of the M5 motorway in London. The people of the town see "The Metro Centre" as the place where all their problems are solved pretty much because you can buy a whole bunch of useless crap there.. I think that's why I didn't like this book much The plot is really good but unfortunately it is very repetitive I think that's why I didn't like this book much..
I'm having an anxiety attack as I write this. The suburbs are lame. That, I suppose, is the bare minimum of a premise for this book. Add in the fact that sporting events are often associated with hooliganism and proto-fascist, xenophobic behavior. Finally, concede the point that consumerism has strangled the life out of humanity after first dragging us to our basest level of moral ground. When you have acknowledged and laid out this trifecta of bleakness on the mental table in front of you, consider whether you would want to read a novel th The suburbs are lame.
When you have acknowledged and laid out this trifecta of bleakness on the mental table in front of you, consider whether you would want to read a novel that, in an excruciating and mind-numbingly slow manner, systematically bludgeons you over the head with these facts over and over again. Unfortunately Ballard's final novel is far from being his crowning achievement. To begin with, it is overwritten.
I found this to be surprising given the other two novels of his I've now read, each of which provided just enough detail for me to envision the unique world Ballard had dreamed up. In this book there is none of the outlandish spontaneity I had perhaps too soon come to expect from Ballard's writing. The novel is so carefully written, overflowing with the most superfluous detail, that I almost gagged on the word-lava flowing from this smoldering expository volcano.
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Perhaps my reaction would have been different if the flow was leading somewhere intriguing. Instead it was inching along in ever-widening circles, led by a dull, gelatinous narrator and flanked by a cast of cardboard characters, none of whom I ever came to care a whit about. Being new to Ballard's work, I'm now not sure what to expect from the many other works this prolific writer cranked out during his illustrious career suggestions from diehard Ballard fans are welcome—I'd prefer to move forward from this point having already separated the wheat from the chaff.
From reading Goodreads reviews, I've observed that he is quite a divisive figure among amateur literary critics. Maybe he is hit or miss. Certainly this one is a clear miss. It's just too bad he had to go out on a low wave. I will say that Ballard shows prescience here in his twisted vision of the rise of authoritarian-flavored neo-populism. It's probably for the best that he bowed out before having to watch his own fiction basically become a reality in certain parts of the world.
May 24, B.
I can always count on Ballard! I enjoyed this at first, but as I went on with it the writing became less plausible, until it just became obvious in every sentence that what Ballard was doing was writing a novel. That may seem like a bizarre criticism, but the story just didn't grab me, nor did any of the characters - one of the names even crops up for another character in Concrete Island, whether in a touch of laziness or forgetfulness I don't know. The whole thing read like an episode of The Bill trying to be a less profound I enjoyed this at first, but as I went on with it the writing became less plausible, until it just became obvious in every sentence that what Ballard was doing was writing a novel.
The whole thing read like an episode of The Bill trying to be a less profound version of , and I gave up about two-thirds of the way through. As the last novel Ballard wrote, this was probably not the best choice to introduce myself to his work, so I'm willing to give him another chance. Plus my best friend rates him as one of his favourites, so he must have something going for him I'm going to divide Ballard's stuff into two category's. The Surrealist experiments and his Novels-of-Ideas. In the first category: And in the second: Cocaine Nights, and this little gem.
Its the latter category that holds my true affection, though the surrealist stuff is by no means to be ignored. The primary ideas featured here are Fascism and Consumerism, Ballard brings them together in his imaginative laboratory and carefully details the ensuing i I'm going to divide Ballard's stuff into two category's. The primary ideas featured here are Fascism and Consumerism, Ballard brings them together in his imaginative laboratory and carefully details the ensuing interactions. Its fascinating stuff, but like all laboratory experiments, carefully contrived and somewhat unnaturally distilled from nature.
Still, like i say, fascinating stuff and well worth the read. Heavy handed indictment of consumerism, capitalism and the rise of the suburbs and the particular racism and prejudices associated with them. Some good points but Ballard really beats you over the head with them William Gibson's Pattern Recognition also was a scathing commentary on marketing and capitalism but far more eloquent and captivatingly written. Kingdom Come did make me think about suburban violence and the effects of boredom and consumer culture Heavy handed indictment of consumerism, capitalism and the rise of the suburbs and the particular racism and prejudices associated with them.
Kingdom Come did make me think about suburban violence and the effects of boredom and consumer culture combined, but it wasn't a fresh or new perspective, more a gathering of several satellite ideas into one place. Jun 21, Scott rated it it was ok. An inspired satire, to be sure, of consumerism and its regressive effects on humanity - but good God, it is such a mess.