Crash by J.G. Ballard
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Before reading this book, I thought I was worldly, weary, and wise. I thought I had seen all the perversity and sex that modern novels could deliver. I thought I understood fetish.
I understood nothing.
This is a wild poem in novel format drawing out the most sexual visualizations. I could compare it with Anaïs Nin with her absolute poetry of sex, but to do so would ignore the absolute grotesquerie of Ballard's coupling with mangled machinery.
This is a novel of car crash survivors being unable to get off unless they remembered the "real" moment of utter release. Always chasing that high. Spying on car crashes, haunting crash test dummies, getting off in the seats of cars near the sites of your crash... or other's crashes. Of preparing the most lurid fantasies, drawing much more than solace from other victims, of fetishizing and tempting the ONE FINAL RELEASE.
This is death and violence and sex written in a nightmarish orgy of utter fixation... without most of the people actually, you know, taking it in a usual psychopathic thriller mode. This isn't about murdering your victims for that high. This is all about including our cars in on the very act that defines our lives. A third sexual partner.
And you know what? This novel RUINED ME for watching any kind of car-chase movie. If you find yourself wanting to swear off yet another Fast and Furious movie or an endless stream of Dukes of Hazard lookalikes, then look no further. This is your CURE. :) :)
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