Miracles of Life: Shanghai to Shepperton: An Autobiography by J.G. Ballard
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This short, concise, brilliantly sharp commentary on Ballard's own life from childhood to the moments before his own death in his home is probably the most shocking and tear-jerking autobiographies I've ever read.
He doesn't embellish anything. He plainly tells us that his life as Jim in Empire of the Sun is true as far as it goes, made into a more fantastic story that is then later turned into the movie, but more than that, he briefly outlines the rest of his science-fiction career.
Not the what-if SF of his contemporaries, but the what-next.
I really appreciate the idea. I've read some of his novels and really enjoyed them. Very imaginative works. But, like the author himself, I'm surprised to have liked his closer-to-home work about his childhood in Shanghai during WWII best.
This is not to say I am going to stop here. I'm a big SF fan and I've just decided, after reading such a sharp history, that his writing should never be forgotten. I am going to read everything of his I can get my hands on.
It's important. He may be repeating the same themes in variations, but there is nothing about them that isn't NECESSARY. Rebirth, hope, dream-like calculation, intense connections between sexuality and violence, and, of course, WHAT COMES NEXT.
He was an author who should never be forgotten.
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