High-Rise by J. G. Ballard


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London: Jonathan Cape, 1975. First edition, first printing. 204 pages. Jacket art by Craig Dodd, depicts a high-rise in Berlin's Hansaviertel designed by the German architect Hans Schwippert. Dust jacket price-clipped and preserved in protective sleeve and attached to boards, slight darkening to edges with some minor marks present, light foxing to page edges, text clean and unmarked. A very good copy.

Ballard's visionary tale set in a luxury high-rise building, where the disintegration of its affluent residents descends into violent chaos. 

'A new social type was being created by the apartment building, a cool, unemotional personality impervious to the psychological pressures of high-rise life, with minimal needs for privacy, who thrived like an advanced species of machine in the neutral atmosphere. This was the sort of resident who was content to do nothing but sit in his over-priced apartment, watch television with the sound turned down, and wait for his neighbours to make a mistake.'

'Even the run-down nature of the high-rise was a model of the world into which the future was carrying them, a landscape beyond technology where everything was either derelict or, more ambiguously, recombined in unexpected but more meaningful ways. Laing pondered this — sometimes he found it difficult not to believe that
they were living in a future that had already taken place, and was now exhausted.'