High-Rise (J.G. Ballard)

149136“A triumph of artistry and feeling”, says the unidentified Times reviewer quoted on the cover of this older edition, who clearly got to read a different version of this book than I did… the film version is due out soon, so I thought I should give the book a go first in case I do somehow wind up going to see it. And, well, yeah, I really didn’t like it. Conceptually nothing wrong, the high-rise apartment building as (perhaps over-literally designed) microcosm of society and the sort of thing that happens when society goes pear-shaped. Problem was, for me at least it felt like once things started breaking down, they did so perhaps too quickly and too soon, so that the book kind of shot its load early and left itself without anywhere to really go… I got through the first half of the book fairly quickly, but the second half was a major slog as it became increasingly clear the book was going nowhere, to be honest I’m not sure how I actually finished it (I came close to quitting not long before the end). None of the characters are terribly interesting either, so it’s not like you really have much else to go on. Disappointing.

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