Review: The Drowned World by J.G. Ballard

20 Books of Summer: Book 5

J.G. Ballard’s High-Rise and Concrete Island are both creepily brilliant, but The Drowned World doesn’t meet their high bar. The writing is spectacular, but the characters are too flat for my taste. They’re buried under so much allegory that they lack surface-level believability or function. In the past, I’ve admired that Ballard writes stories that work on multiple levels, but The Drowned World is primarily a riff on Conrad’s The Heart of Darkness. read more