The Atrocity Exhibition – J.G.Ballard

Book #371

Reviewer: Carol

This book is just awful. I absolutely hated it. The author, to me, is trying to imitate Hunter S. Thompson and Joseph Conrad — and failing miserably. The gist of the book is that a doctor is having a nervous breakdown and the book is the inside of his mind’s ramblings. He is obsessed with violent images and especially the deaths of John F. Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe. He is mixing sex and bloody violence/dismemberment rather constantly and interchanging people and grotesque images. It is annoying. The book is written in a titled paragraph format that is extremely disjointed and off-putting. Allegedly, this book is to show a world controlled by advertising and pseudo-events, science and pornography, forming a disturbing newsreel of our unconscious (and seriously disturbed) minds. One particularly idiotic chapter is titled “Why I Want to Fuck Ronald Reagan” and “explores” whether more people want to have sex with Ronald Reagan if he had a vagina than just sodomising him. Apparently, Reagan’s facial tonus and musculature revealed characteristics associated with homoerotic behavior. (Pllllllleeeeeeeeeeeassse!) Another chapter, “The Generations of America”, is written like the book of the Bible of the endless “begats” and features literally pages of made up who shot who’s…. Awful. Another non- “memorable” chapter called “The Assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy Considered as a Downhill Motor Race”. This book is just crap. Skip it. Or give it as a gift to someone you have never liked and never want to see again. Ever.


2 thoughts on “The Atrocity Exhibition – J.G.Ballard

  1. Bronwyn April 23, 2011 / 7:18 am

    Thank you for such an honest review, Carol – you made me laugh so hard!! I really never want to read this book now, that's for sure!

  2. Megan October 6, 2011 / 1:18 pm

    That book sounds dreadful, I definitely won't be checking it out!

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