Kingdom Come

J.G. Ballard. Norton/Liveright, $24.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-393-08178-7
With all the attention paid lately to terrorist narratives and novels of suburban malaise, the prescience of Ballard’s last novel, receiving its better-late-then-never American publication after six years, will come as a shock even to hardened veterans of the late author’s psychosexual parables and visceral sci-fi. This is a pitch-black comedy of consumer fascism hooked to wary hero Richard Pearson, a recently unemployed advertising exec who returns to suburban London to investigate his father’s death inside the monolithic Metro-Centre mall at the hands of a machinegun-wielding madman. But something much more sinister is at play, an evil that lurks inside boutiques and car parks, transmitted by commercials that make it seem as if everyone is a suspect except for the killer. Racial violence is on the rise, suburban assassinations and bombings have become as ubiquitous as strip malls, and Metro-Centre looms as a new church awaiting its messiah (or its führer?). Pearson goes deep into a bizarre conspiracy that extends beyond mere capitalist critique to a murderous vision of 21st-century Britain. But it is the connections Ballard makes between anti-Muslim violence, elective insanity, and governments complicit with autocratic corporate agendas that make this novel a compulsory read and a wicked masterpiece of postmodern post-9/11 literature, a chilling vision of things as they are. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 12/12/2011
Release date: 03/01/2012
Show other formats
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-0-00-724289-4
Hardcover - 280 pages - 978-0-00-723246-8
Paperback - 280 pages - 978-0-00-723247-5
Hardcover - 310 pages - 978-0-87140-403-9
Open Ebook - 320 pages - 978-0-87140-474-9
Paperback - 310 pages - 978-0-87140-319-3
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Email Address


Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.