The Drowned World

The Drowned World

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J. G. Ballard

Fluctuations in solar radiation have melted the ice caps, sending the planet into a new Triassic Age of unendurable heat. London is a swamp; lush tropical vegetation grows up the walls of the Ritz and primeval reptiles are sighted, swimming through the newly-formed lagoons. Some flee the capital; others remain to pursue reckless schemes, either in the name of science or profit. While the submerged streets of London are drained in search of treasure, Dr Robert Kerans – part of a group of intrepid scientists – comes to accept this submarine city and finds himself strangely resistant to the idea of saving it. First published in 1962, Ballard’s mesmerising and ferociously imaginative novel gained him widespread critical acclaim and established his reputation as one of Britain’s finest writers of science fiction.

Reviews of The Drowned World

  • ‘The most important British writer of the latter half of the 20th century’ Will Self

    ‘Powerful and beautifully clear … Ballard’s potent symbols of beauty and dismay inundate the reader’s mind’ Brian Aldiss

    ‘One of the brightest stars in post-war fiction. This tale of strange and terrible adventure in a world of steaming jungles has an oppressive power reminiscent of Conrad’ Kingsley Amis

    ‘Extraordinarily prescient … Ballard is a prophet’ Philip Pullman, Guardian

    ‘The terrifying thing about Ballard is his logic; is this science fiction or history written ahead of its time?’ Len Deighton