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 under, the place he's injured and, eventually, trapped. What starts as a nearly ludicrous quandary 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 typical, Ballard weaves deepest disaster into an intensely specular allegory.

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The curving roof fell away on either side, disappearing into the dense undergrowth that sprang from the floor of the pit. The grass was silent now, as if waiting for Maitland to make some significant move. Wondering why he had climbed on to the shelter, Maitland caught sight of the overturned taxi in the breaker's yard. He turned with his last strength to reach the Jaguar. Before he could catch himself he slipped on the raindamp roof. He fell heavily, and slid down the rounded slope into the grass and nettles, plunging through them like a diver vanishing into the deeps of an underground cavern.

Maitland scooped up the bundle of smoking rags, but Proctor lunged forward and snatched the blanket away. He stamped out the flames, kicking the loose soil over the smouldering fibres. Maitland leaned weakly on the crutch. He waved at the passing cars, but no one had stopped or even noticed this brief episode. He turned to face Proctor. The tramp picked up a worn half-brick and circled Maitland like a boxer. Maitland darted forward, striking Proctor on the shoulder with the crutch. His rising blood pressure pumped against the loose sutures of his skull, but landing this single blow exhilarated him.

A blocked-off ventilation shaft rose from the centre of the ceiling, but the room was windowless. Beyond the open doorway a flight of semi-circular steps led to the floor above. A faded cinema poster hung from the wall at the foot of the bed, advertising a Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire musical. On either side were several more up-to-date prints taken from underground magazines - a psychedelic poster in the Beardsley manner, a grainy close-up of the dead Che Guevara, a Black Power manifesto, and Charles Manson at his trial, psychotic eyes staring out beneath a bald skull.

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