The Drowned World

J. G. Ballard
The Drowned World Cover



In his first novel, Ballard demonstrates both his seductive power for describing an apocalyptic future and his lack of interest in developing character. The visions of London transformed into a series of lagoons and swamps are beautiful, and he peoples them with characters who run about like the heros and villains of your average adventure novel. But he makes it all work. What stands out today, and possibly the reason the book is OP in the States, is the racist descriptions of the African retinue that accompanies the chief villain, Strangman. They could have stepped out of the most cringe-inducing scenes of an early Tarzan film.