The Day of Creation

J. G. Ballard

In parched Port-la-Nouvelle in central Africa, Dr Mallory watches his clinic fail as constant warfare between a ragged band of guerrillas and the local chief of police causes the tribal residents to flee. In this drought-plagued and poverty-ridden country he dreams of discovering a third Nile tributary to make the Sahara bloom. During his search for water an ancient tree stump is accidentally uprooted and water wells up, spreading until it becomes an enormous river. Naming the river after himself, Mallory becomes obsessed with his creation. But almost as soon as he has discovered it he resolves to destroy it. With the once arid land now abounding in birds and beasts, he forges up-river in an old car ferry, clashing with hostile factions in a dangerous quest to find the source of his own creation. A mesmerising tale from a master storyteller, this is a spellbinding fable for our times.

Reviews of The Day of Creation

  • ‘Absolutely vintage Ballard…Never anything but compulsively absorbing: the white heat of its images seems to burn off the page, and the surreal landscapes linger on in the mind’ Independent

    ‘An exciting plot, unfolded with a master’s cunning … Ballard has written an adventure story that constantly surprises and excites’ Guardian

    ‘A metaphysical adventure story dealing with complex themes – the life-giving power of water, the cold eye of television, obsession and love – all set in a dream Africa, as if hallucinated by Joseph Conrad’ Angela Carter

    ‘A blend of animated reverie, myth and adventure story, The Day of Creation imprints itself on the mind by its acid sweetness’ Times Literary Supplement

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