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Running Wild

In his true fashion, Ballard pre-dates Columbine High in Colorado with this tale of teenagers turned commandos. The tale is unraveled by a pschiatrist attempting to explain the death of a well-to-do group of professionals and what would seem to be the 'kidnapping' of their children from a gated community outside London. Despite the European setting, this tale is somehow much more American in observation and the expressions of violence. Grenville turns the situation inside out, speculating what if the children weren't kidnapped and possibly were involved in the murders....

Just as he was able to foreshadow the Regan presidency in the late 60s, Ballard's finger on the cosmic pulse brings us "Running Wild." Although a British writer, much of what Ballard synthesizes seems to flourish more lividly in the US. This story of teens seemingly smothered with caring who rebel against the planned community they live in is yet another eerie prediction of the what's actually happening right now in the US. A cool, who-and-how-dunnit, I read this book at a quick pace, following the Scotland Yard investigator as he builds his unorthodox theories of what happened. More accessible that some of his global disaster novels, this is a good book for those new to Ballard, and a great addition to the collection for fans.

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"Shortly after eight on the morning of June 25, 1988, the thirty-two adult members of an exclusive residence community in West London are brutally murdered, and their children abducted without so much as a trace. Through the forensic diary of Dr. Richard Greville, Deputy Psychiatric Advisor to the London Metropolitan Police, the brutal details of the massacre that has baffled the entire police department unfold. 'There seems scarecely room for evena single fresh theory,' writes Greville, but he has a few ideas of his own, and pursues them with determination despite repeated discouragement from his superiors."

  • from the 1989 Farrar Straus Giroux First edition
Ballard's Futures Imperfect
j.g. ballard

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j.g. ballard