J. G. Ballard

J. G. Ballard was an English novelist, short story writer, and essayist known for his dystopian and avant-garde works. Born on November 15, 1930, in Shanghai, China, Ballard's experiences in a Japanese internment camp during World War II influenced his writing. He is best known for novels such as 'Crash' (1973), which explores the sexual and psychological allure of car accidents, and 'Empire of the Sun' (1984), a semi-autobiographical novel based on his childhood experiences in Shanghai, which was adapted into a film by Steven Spielberg. Ballard's work often examines modern society, technology, and the human condition. He passed away on April 19, 2009.


This list of books are ONLY the books that have been ranked on the lists that are aggregated on this site. This is not a comprehensive list of all books by this author.

  1. 1. Crash: A Novel

    The novel revolves around a man who becomes sexually aroused by staging and participating in real car-crashes, a fetish that spirals further out of control when he meets a like-minded woman. It explores the disturbing intersection of technology, sexuality, and violence, pushing the boundaries of social norms and challenging the reader's perception of reality.

  2. 2. The Drowned World

    "The Drowned World" is a dystopian science fiction novel set in a future where rising global temperatures have caused the polar ice caps to melt, submerging major cities under water. As the Earth becomes a tropical wasteland, the protagonist, a biologist named Robert Kerans, explores the surreal and decaying landscape of flooded London. Amidst the dangerous and primal environment, Kerans confronts his own psychological disintegration while encountering a group of eccentric characters who have adapted to the new world in bizarre and unsettling ways.

  3. 3. Empire of the Sun

    "Empire of the Sun" is a semi-autobiographical novel that tells the story of a young British boy's experiences in Shanghai during World War II. After being separated from his parents during the Japanese invasion, he is forced to fend for himself in a world turned upside down by war. The novel vividly portrays the harsh realities of life in a Japanese internment camp, where the protagonist learns to adapt and survive amid the chaos and brutality.

  4. 4. The Crystal World

    "The Crystal World" by J. G. Ballard is a mesmerizing and haunting novel that takes place in a remote African jungle, where a mysterious phenomenon is turning everything into crystal. As the crystallization spreads, it threatens to engulf the entire world, trapping its inhabitants in a frozen and beautiful but deadly landscape. Amidst this surreal backdrop, the characters grapple with their own desires, fears, and the inevitable decay of life, blurring the boundaries between reality and fantasy. Ballard's evocative prose and exploration of themes such as time, love, and the fragility of existence make this a thought-provoking and unforgettable read.

  5. 5. High Rise

    The book is a dystopian tale that explores the breakdown of civilization within the confines of a state-of-the-art, luxury high-rise building. Designed to cater to every need of its affluent residents, the building instead becomes the setting for a violent social collapse. As amenities fail and tribalism takes hold, the residents become increasingly isolated from the outside world. The narrative follows the building's descent into chaos, with the once-civilized inhabitants devolving into anarchy, driven by primal instincts and a struggle for power, ultimately revealing the thin veneer of societal norms and the dark potential of human nature when stripped of its social context.

  6. 6. The Atrocity Exhibition

    This book is a collection of interconnected stories that explore the effects of media and technology on modern psychology and human behavior. The narrative centers around a psychiatrist who, after a mental breakdown, becomes fixated on the idea that there is a deeper, more abstract reality beneath the surface of everyday life. He obsessively analyzes cultural events, car crashes, and sexual encounters as he attempts to deconstruct the world into a series of conceptual, almost fetishized images. The work challenges the boundaries between sanity and madness, reality and simulation, in a fragmented, non-linear style that mirrors the disjointed nature of the protagonist's psyche and the chaotic society he is attempting to dissect.

  7. 7. The Unlimited Dream Company

    In this novel, a man crashes a stolen aircraft into the Thames River near a quiet London suburb, only to emerge unscathed and with the newfound ability to transform reality. As he begins to exert a strange and seductive influence over the town's inhabitants, the boundaries between the mundane and the fantastic blur. The protagonist's powers grow, leading to a surreal and psychedelic transformation of the town, its people, and himself. The narrative explores themes of liberation, sexuality, and the human psyche, presenting a hallucinatory vision of human potential and the limitless expanses of the imagination.

  8. 8. The Day Of Creation

    In this novel, a restless scientist, driven by the desire to bring change to a parched, war-torn African country, inadvertently discovers a vast river where there was none before. His initial hopes for this miraculous waterway to become a force for good quickly sour as various factions vie for control, and the river itself becomes a source of chaos and destruction. As the protagonist becomes increasingly obsessed with the river, his journey turns into a surreal and perilous adventure, reflecting on the destructive impact of human ambition and the unpredictable power of nature.

  9. 9. Millennium People

    This novel delves into the heart of a middle-class rebellion in contemporary London, where a psychologist becomes embroiled in the lives of affluent revolutionaries. As he navigates through a landscape of sterile luxury and aimless anger, he finds himself sympathizing with their cause against the banalities and injustices of 21st-century consumer society. The narrative explores themes of social unrest, the search for authenticity, and the disillusionment with modern life, presenting a dystopian vision where even the privileged are not immune to the urge to destroy the symbols of their own success.

  10. 10. Super Cannes: A Novel

    In this novel, a high-powered advertising executive moves to an ultra-exclusive, high-tech business park on the French Riviera, where the world's elite professionals reside. As he settles into this seemingly idyllic community, he begins to uncover a disturbing undercurrent of psychological manipulation, violence, and hedonism that belies the area's polished surface. His investigation into the dark and twisted activities of the park's inhabitants leads him down a dangerous path, revealing the sinister realities behind the facade of a corporate utopia. The narrative delves into themes of power, control, and the human capacity for savagery beneath the veneer of civilization.