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The Drought

Royal Rother

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Hmm, I'm probably a bit lowbrow and not too used to filling the gaps left by authors but I like a story to have well-drawn characters, with a beginning, middle and an end that are clearly defined.


This had none. It was all a bit ambiguous for me I'm afraid.


Because I enjoy "End of The World" books, it did have a lot in it for me, but was just so lacking in detail of the real struggles people were experiencing as civilisation descended into some kind of tribalism that it lacked punch.


I have read a few reviews now and this is one that picks on the best bits (which I acknowledge were okay, just so much less than they might have been to really float my particular boat.)


This book still haunts my mind nearly fifteen years after I first read it. It is, quite simply, brilliant. To call Ballard a science fiction writer is misleading, because what he writes is not reliant on technology or futuristic scenarios; he takes our own lives, suburban and mundane, products of school and advertising, and places them in a world for which they have not been trained. Here, environmental pollution has formed a scum on the surface of the sea, restricting rainfall and causing a draught and the breakdown of society. Ballard explores people's reactions to this catastrophic event, and how society reassembles itself, with new pecking orders and struggles. To my mind, it's one of his best novels and one of my all-time favourite books, with truly memorable images and scenes, almost crying out to be filmed. Read this for a start on his novels, and then get stuck into his short stories, perfectly crafted gems every one.
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Guest San1968

I have read all Ballard books over the last 10 years and Drought is certainly the weakest although his character devlopment is not wonderful in any of his books as the story and the message are the key elements. I would recommend Cocaine Nights and SuperCannes, these in my opinion are his best. Ballard is one of my favourite authors and I have looked forward to his new book every 2 years and I will certainly miss his stories. What I find most amazing about his books is the situation and setting of his stories, and although the story is basically the same one all the time the context is always brilliant, he can see decay everywhere.

He will be greatly missed.

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