Concrete Island: A Novel by J. G. Ballard

By J. G. Ballard

On an afternoon in April, simply after 3 o'clock within the afternoon, Robert Maitland's vehicle crashes over the concrete parapet of a high-speed street onto the island less than, the place he's injured and, ultimately, trapped. What starts off as a nearly ludicrous drawback quickly becomes horror as Maitland—a wickedly sleek Robinson Crusoe—realizes that, regardless of facts of alternative population, this doomed terrain has turn into a replicate of his personal brain. looking the darkish outer rim of the standard, Ballard weaves deepest disaster into an intensely specular allegory.

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God - are you still here? I thought you were going. What a hell of an evening,' Crooning to herself, she kicked away her stiletto-heeled shoes. , a caricature of a small-town forties whore - a divided skirt that revealed her thighs and stocking tops, pointed breasts under a day-glo blouse. She tottered round to the far side of the bed and undressed, heaving the clothes into the suitcase. When she was naked she slipped under the frayed blanket. She stared up at the Rogers and Astaire poster and took Maitland's band in her own, partly to still him, partly for company.

He gazed at the high wall of the motorway embankment. The newly seeded grass was growing more densely on the surface. Soon it would hide all traces of his accident, the deep ruts left by the tyres of his car, the confused marks of his first struggles to climb the embankment. Maitland felt a brief moment of regret that he was leaving the island. He would have liked to preserve it for ever, so that he could bring Catherine and his friends to see this place of ordeal. ' The young woman had gone. Twenty yards away, her strong head and shoulders moved above the grass as she strode towards the air raid shelters.

The grass seethed around him in the light wind, speaking its agreement. ' The grass rustled excitedly, parting in circular waves, beckoning him into its spirals. Fascinated, Maitland followed the swirling motions, reading in these patterns the reassuring voice of this immense green creature eager to protect and guide him. The spiral curves swerved through the inflamed air, the visual signature of epilepsy. His own brain - the fever, perhaps damage to his cerebral cortex ... ' The grass lashed at his feet, as if angry that Maitland still wished to leave its green embrace.

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