By J. G. Ballard
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Hardcover, 9780374286453, 182pp.
Publication Date: April 1, 1991
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A war-ravaged Beirut is the setting for the title story of this visionary collection, a tale in which a young street fighter inadvertently discovers how to bring an to the bloodshed only to find that his solution is all too effective as far as some supposedly neutral observers are concerned. Other stories feature an assassination plot against an American astronaut, the leader of an authoritarian religious movement; a man who is destroyed by a car crash and resolves never to leave his apartment again; and the survivor of a toxic-waste ship wrecked on a deserted Caribbean island.
Short, dense, vivid, hallucinatory. -David Foster Wallace, The Washington Post Book World
The voltage is high . . . Far more rigorous and fastidious than Jorge Luis Borges or Italo Calvino, Mr. Ballard keeps impeccably cool. -Ursula K. le Guin, The New York Times Book Review
Mr. Ballard creates a hallucinatory vision of mankind's perils in this collection of stories . . . Here is an author who keeps exting the limitless boundaries of fiction. -Herbert Mitgang, The New York Times