13/09/01 J.G.Ballard-Supercannes

From: Ghost Writer
Category: Books
Date: 13 September 2001


The empty hours of the redundant and socially irritable necessitates much literary endeavour, both with pen and curled up on the sofa analysing why writers have been successful. The more I read of certain authors, the more persuaded that successful writers have in fact formed a cabal, to make us think that the process is far harder than it is indeed is.

Take Super-Cannes as an example. Main character is hubby of doctor entering corporate 21st Century isolated wealthy complex - he is confined to looming around after aircraft crash, she to working ludicrous hours to replace previous doctor who went on mad killing spree. Many interesting if pretty predictable observations - executives anaethestised and brainwashed into working stupid hours, their personalities rotting away, wife and hubby have affairs, thus questioning notions of fidelity (hardly particularly novel...)

And some mad crank who prescribes that these executives should let themselves go, that life would be far more exciting, if they indulge in some violence and nasty sex on/with the non-executive sub-class. And our hero, of course, comes to the rescue of the innocent (perhaps the most refreshing aspect of the novel).

Pretty poor stuff. Beautifully written. But this is "the first essential novel" of the 21st century, our author is the greatest living English novelist, or so we are told.

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