A New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice Selection
A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year (Fiction)
“J.G. Ballard is the undisputed laureate of suburban psychosis.... A brilliant novel.” —Literary Review
A violent novel filled with insidious twists, Kingdom Come follows the exploits of Richard Pearson, a rebellious, unemployed advertising executive, whose father is gunned down by a deranged mental patient in a vast shopping mall outside Heathrow Airport. When the prime suspect is released without charge, Richard’s suspicions are aroused. Investigating the mystery, Richard uncovers at the Metro-Centre mall a neo-fascist world whose charismatic spokesperson is whipping up the masses into a state of unsustainable frenzy. Riots frequently terrorize the complex, immigrant communities are attacked by hooligans, and sports events mushroom into jingoistic political rallies. In this gripping, dystopian tour de force, J.G. Ballard holds up a mirror to suburban mind rot, revealing the darker forces at work beneath the gloss of consumerism and flag-waving patriotism.
About the Author
J.G. Ballard was born in Shanghai in 1930 and lived in England from 1946 until his death in London in 2009. He is the author of nineteen novels, including Empire of the Sun, The Drought, and Crash, with many of them made into major films.
Starred Review. Ballard (1930–2009) creates a world reminiscent of A Clockwork Orange and V for Vendetta in this novel of suburban fascism... Ballard writes brilliantly about the nightmarish underside of modern life, and this novel makes us poignantly aware of the loss of his voice.
— Kirkus Reviews
Nobody ever hated the contemporary world with as much intensity and conviction as J.G. Ballard... In Kingdom Come, Ballard's latest batch of preapocalyptic savages are happily clad in freshly ironed soccer jerseys and getting ready to fight for the only thing they believe in anymore — shopping at the Metro-Centre...
[T]here's a lot of irony in Ballard. If his late (and very funny) books sound peculiar to American ears, it's probably because of his very English tendency to play almost everything he says, however outrageous, at moderate to low volumes. Unlike the noisier, New Yorkerish avant-garde types who like to shock and awe their readers, Ballard doesn't shout or swear or get in your face. Even his most disturbing obscenities...are as mannered and concise and unimpassioned as a GPS device's soothing, digitally modulated voice describing how to reach the next gas station.
— Scott Bradfield - New York Times Book Review
Impressively packed with brilliant apercus.
Ballard, paradoxically, with all his characters gripped by obsession and necessity, is one of the great novelists of freedom.
— Financial Times