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Biased and superficial Science Fiction reviews

The Drowned World

Copyright 1962 by J. G. Ballard

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SOJALS rating:     
one SOJALS point one SOJALS point one SOJALS point one SOJALS point no SOJALS point    Very good (4/5)

I first read this in 1967 and most recently on the 27th February 2007

Global warming has melted the icecaps and raised the sea level. Entire countries have been flooded and the changing climate has brought the tropical rain-forest to the United Kingdom.

Sent from the military base in North Greenland, Colonel Riggs leads his small unit in the exploration of this area of the global rainforest. Robert Kerans comprises, along with his assistant Dr Bodkin, the scientific support for the mission. Kerans interest in performing the scientific function is fading as rapidly as the military, discipline. When Riggs calls a return to base, Kerans, Bodkin and Beatrice, an original resident remain.

But Without the army how will Robert, Bodkin and the beautiful Beatrice survive when they encounter Strangman and his crew?

It seems the primeval environment encourages not simply the return and resurgence of primordial animal life. It brings deeper, ancient impulses and urges out of the men living within it.

A classic novel by this master author. I've given this a high rating with mixed feelings. I don't much like the plot, the characters, or indeed the suffocating tropical setting, but book moves me nonetheless. Ballard's superb writing sweeps me up and sets me down in a lush, humid, equatorial lagoon.

Loaded on the 29th March 2007.
Cover of The Drowned World