Review: High-Rise by J.G. Ballard

I’m posting out of order. I have in-progress reviews, but I’m coming off a book high and I’d rather blog about J.G. Ballard’s High-Rise. It’s a trippy, bizarre, downhill slide of a book with spurts of absurdist humor. I’m partial to weird books that are well-written and Ballard spins a tight tale about a high-rise populated with affluent professionals whose class struggle grows increasingly animalistic. The narrative rotates to follow three main characters: Richard Wilder, an occupant of the 2nd floor and member of the high-rise’s “lower” class; Dr. Robert Laing, a 25th floor occupant; and Anthony Royal, the architect on the top (40th) floor. As the building degrades, sharp lines of blacked-out floors divide the classes and Wilder leads raids to the upper floors. Laing and Royal begin their own expeditions and carve out niches for their own desires. read more