The Atrocity Exhibition - Annotated

Author(s): J.G. Ballard


The irrational, all-pervading violence of the modern world is the subject of this extraordinary tour de force. The central character's dreams are haunted by images of John F. Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe, dead astronauts and car-crash victims as he traverses the screaming wastes of nervous breakdown. Seeking his sanity, he casts himself in a number of roles: H-bomber pilot, presidential assassin, crash victim, pscyhopath. Finally, through the black, perverse magic of violence he transcends his psychic turmoils to find the key to a bizarre new sexuality.


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First published in 1970 and widely regarded as a prophetic masterpiece, this is a groundbreaking experimental novel by the acclaimed author of Crash and Super-Cannes, who has supplied explanatory notes for this new edition. / This revised edition features a preface by William Burroughs and extensive annotations by the author, which unlock many of the mysteries of one of the most enigmatic and prophetic works of fiction of the late 20th century / First publication of the revised edition as a Perennial paperback. / Ballard's most experimental work, it also contains in distilled form many of the themes and obsessions that run through his later novels and, in particular, contains the germ of the controversial Crash

'I would argue that The Atrocity Exhibition represents the zenith of the experimental novel in English. But Ballard's marginalia are a tour de force, a wholly original work in their own right. One can hear Ballard's voice as he offers a surreal evening class on his own work, life and preoccupations. This one is a must.' WILL SELF, Time Out 'Brilliant and unnerving! a writer with talent to burn.' The Times 'These stories -- "condensed novels", Ballard has called them -- are a high-water mark in English experimental fiction.' New York TImes

J.G. Ballard was born in 1930 in Shanghai, where his father was a businessman. After internment in a civilian prison camp, he and his family returned to England in 1946. His 1984 bestseller Empire of the Sun won the Guardian Fiction Prize and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. It was later filmed by Steven Spielberg. His controversial novel Crash has recently been made into an equally controversial film by David Cronenberg. His most recent novels are Cocaine Nights and Super-Cannes.

General Fields

  • : 9780007116867
  • : HarperCollins Publishers
  • : Fourth Estate Ltd
  • : May 2001
  • : June 2014
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : J.G. Ballard
  • : Paperback
  • : New edition
  • : 192