Crash

Crash

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J. G. Ballard

When Ballard, our narrator, smashes his car into another and watches a man die in front of him, his sense of sexual possibilities in the world around him becomes detached. As he begins an affair with the dead man’s wife, he finds himself drawn with increasing intensity to the mangled impacts of car crashes. Then he encounters Robert Vaughan, a former TV scientist turned nightmare angel of the expressway, who has gathered around him a collection of alienated crash victims and experiments with a series of auto-erotic atrocities, each more sinister than the last. But Vaughan craves the ultimate crash – a head-on collision of blood, semen, engine coolant and iconic celebrity. First published in 1973 Crash remains one of the most shocking novels of the second half of the twentieth century and was made into an equally controversial film by David Cronenberg. Ballard’s autobiography Miracles of Life was published in 2008 and Extreme Metaphors, a collection of interviews with the author, is due out in 2012.