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Monday, September 26, 2022

The Drowned WorldThe Drowned World by J.G. Ballard
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

J.G. Ballard is a one-of-a-kind author. Silvian prose, introverted, placid, but utterly post-apocalyptic and devastating.

In this book, we see some massive effects of global warming, but much worse than we imagine, today. Relocations went to the poles. Everywhere else is turning into a primordial jungle with mutations making the rest feel like we've gone back in time.

And, indeed, the psychological effects are rather extreme. Those who study or even raid the ruins of London, or parts thereabouts, find it hard to hold on to their subconscious and conscious self-control. Neptune and the great unconscious is a wonderful Charon-esq field trip to the underworld and barbarity returns.

The novel feels nothing like modern post-apoc fiction. It's lyrical and psychological even when we get some of the most interesting setting descriptions in prose. Think Conrad's Heart of Darkness and a prequel to the New Weird's Annihilation, but before it became utterly strange.

Well, this came awfully close to defining the modern's New Weird. Definitely worth reading.

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