Posted by: Ele Quigan | August 7, 2011

‘Kingdom Come’ J.G Ballard

Quite an unusual book this one, and seemed to weirdly fit in with what’s been happening in the UK and the world as I slowly plodded through it.

Fascism or at least the extreme right seems to be gaining popularity in Europe. From the English EDL to the recent Norway attacks that happened while I was half way through, to politically right parties gaining more seats in governments than we’ve seen since pre-WWII. There is a sense of bubbling frustration and anger at immigration, an underlying thought that multi-culturalism has failed and an unusual and backward sense of racism towards cultures that don’t seem to assimilate the same way others do.

It’s within this type of setting that ‘Kingdom Come’ is based. Drawing on this bubbling under current, at the M4 satellite towns near Heathrow and beyond, sport is used as an excuse for violence, only bowing to commercialism and the high place that shopping has within their (our?) lives.

I admit this book took me ages to finish. Parts of it I just didn’t really get, or it felt waffley or over done or unrealistic – but the sense that commerce, and the addiction to ‘stuff’ is a very honest and true part of our society resonated more than the violence/sport association for me.

While I don’t think our culture would as much ‘worship’ a mall, there is more of a sense that you are what you wear/drive/have than ever before.

I don’t think i’d read it again, nothing that feels like a complete chore to finish is really what I wanted to keep reading, but I couldn’t just stop reading it. I do enjoy dystopian novels (1984, Brave New World’ etc) but this didn’t draw me in as much

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