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The Drowned World -

Review from a Transgressive Fiction Fan

fittingly, The Drowned World takes place in London, post-global warming when the ice-caps have melted & sea levels have risen, turning the city into a fecund swamp…the surprising thing is that Ballard wrote The Drowned World in 1962, when i’m sure little was known about climate change…not only is the [drowned:] world more flooded [& mottled with vast alluvial silt deposits:], but the rising temperatures had also induced a regression back to a new Triassic Age dominated by reptiles & large primeval plants…

call it science fiction, but what Ballard does best is draw parallels between the collective unconscious of his characters & the environment they are living in…i’d call it psychogeographical fiction…as the world regresses into a dreamy, swampy state, so do the mindsets of it’s inhabitants…the ontogeny of humanity recapitulates environmental evolution…the flooding, the erosion, the deposition of silt—it not only takes place in the landscape, but in the minds of those who occupy it…

“Insightful” Review from a Mainstream Reader

Oh my God!! Every single one of these characters were so frustrating!! In my eyes, this consisted of dull, two dimensional characters talking about nothing for 50% of the book, with the latter half being an incoherent mess of random people and action. Oh, and a woman in a bikini thrown in so men could talk about her “glistening skin” whilst she said nothing of any worth the entire way through.

Ok, maybe I’m being harsh, but I just couldn’t get behind this book at all. Sorry to my English teacher who recommended this so strongly to me, I might take your advice with a grain of salt from now on…

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