Friday, May 18, 2007

J.G. Ballard - The Complete Short Stories: v. 2

This is the second volume of a two book set of collected short stories by the great J.G. Ballard. Having thoroughly enjoyed the first volume, reviewed elsewhere, I was greatly relishing this second book. However, I admit to being somewhat disappointed so far.
So Far? Yes, because I admit I haven't finished the book yet. I'm writing this review now because I'm about to take a break from the book. I am Ballard-fatigued.

I will return and finish it. Maybe in a month or two. It is very enjoyable. There's just too much of it that is the same.

I mentioned in my previous review about sand. I think this volume goes slightly beyond a joke about sand. Every story has sand. it's everywhere, usually left over from dried up lakes or seas. Sand. Tons of it. And a lot of unhappy blokes. It's just too much.
In isolation the stories are great. Well... some start well and then just end, which is annoying, but it's all beautifully written and very imaginative. But too much sand. Way too much sand. Look... I'm doing it now... damn.

I mentioned in my previous review that I needed a dictionary to get the most out of this book, and indeed I bought one, but it was the wrong one. Despite having a similar number of pages to the Ballard book, it's still not big enough, it just hasn't got all the difficult words. I started to think he was making them up, but in fact these words do exist, just not in my 800 page concise  dictionary. So buy a nice big fat one to go with it.

Recommended, 7/10, you could buy it here.

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